The 2019 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday, much to the delight of football fans everywhere. This is the first opportunity to start breaking things down, project wins and losses, and really get excited about the fall slate to come.
Another exciting part about the schedule is being able to look at potential revenge games. Few things are more exciting than watching a player or coach go against his former team. They have extra motivation to prove a point and show them how they went wrong.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a look at the best revenge games on the schedule.
1) New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams, Week 2
Does anything more really need to be said? The Rams beat the Saints in the NFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl, thanks to one of the most controversial calls in NFL history. Adding insult to injury, the Rams lost and had trouble scoring in the Super Bowl, giving the Saints the feeling that they probably would have been a better NFC representative. Though this game won’t give Saints fans an opportunity to get rowdy at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, those who do make the trip to Los Angeles will be sure to make their voice heard.
2) Le’Veon Bell’s New York Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 16
Does anyone have a bigger eye on a game than Le’Veon Bell on Week 16 when his New York Jets take on the Pittsburgh Steelers? Bell sat out the entire 2018 NFL season rather than play for the Steelers under the franchise tag for the second straight year. He endured a season of criticism from fans, critics, and even some of his former teammates. He’d probably want nothing more than to have a monster game against Pittsburgh.
3) Earl Thomas’ Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks, Week 7
It might be harder to envision a defensive player having a revenge game against his former team, but we’re talking about Earl Thomas — he’s a totally different matter. Remember what happened when he went against the Dallas Cowboys last year and was trying to prove a point to them about why they should have acquired him? We can only imagine how hard he’ll be playing against Seattle, especially with the thought that they slighted him regarding his contract situation.
4) Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears, Week 2
Fangio gets a chance to prove very early to the Denver Broncos brass just how astute of a coach he is. His Broncos will be hosting his former team, the Chicago Bears, and the game comes in Week 2. Fangio should know Chicago’s offense better than anyone after going up against them in practice regularly and watching them in games. He should be highly motivated to stop his former team and should have a gameplan that will keep them off the scoreboard.
5) Vontaze Burfict’s Oakland Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals, Week 11
The league office better have some extra eyes on this contest. In Week 11, Vontaze Burfict will be going up against the only team he’s ever played for when his new squad, the Oakland Raiders, host his old one, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals let him go following a season where he dealt with more concussion issues. When you think of dirty NFL players, Burfict’s name is at the top of the list. We can only imagine what kind of hits he’ll be eagerly dishing out to his former teammates in this one — if he’s healthy for the game.
Bonus: Cole Beasley’s Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys, Week 13
Slot receivers don’t always have the opportunity to make a huge impact on a game, but if there’s a situation where one will want to, it’s here. The Cowboys let Beasley go in the offseason, feeling he wasn’t worth the money the Bills signed him to. Instead, they chose to go a cheaper route by signing Randall Cobb. Beasley is sensitive about the subject and will be gunning to have a big game. He also seems to be all-in with the Bills and has already made some comments that would puzzle Cowboys fans.