With the 2019 NFL schedule all set, there are a number of classic revenge games on tap. It starts in Week 1 with a rematch of the Packers and Bears. Remember, one year ago the two teams played in first week of the 2018 season and the Bears Khalil Mack dominated the game for a half. Then, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers returned from a mysterious injury and laid waste to the Chicago defense.
Even more interesting than team revenge games are a number of player revenge games. A long list of players who changed teams in the offseason will have the opportunity to go up against their old teams. Here’s a look at the best of them.
Kirk Cousins vs. Redskins
The Washington Redskins paid Cousins a bunch of money, but they just couldn’t pay him enough. The Minnesota Vikings decided in 2018 that they could. Now, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will likely see the results of his decision when Minnesota hosts Washington in Week 8. The Redskins lost Alex Smith to injury last season and may not get him back. They signed journeyman quarterback Case Keenum this offseason just in case.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Steelers
The former Steelers RB has a chance at a nice early Christmas present when his new team, the Jets, host Pittsburgh on Dec. 22. Bell played under the franchise tag in 2017 and then skipped the entire 2018 season when the Steelers tagged him once again. Bell wanted more guaranteed money. The Steelers wouldn’t budge. In the end, Bell agreed to a contract valued at less than what Pittsburgh offered two years ago; however, Bell’s new deal does contain more guaranteed money. Too bad this game isn’t in Pittsburgh.
Jordan Howard vs. Bears
Remember when Howard was the running back of the future for the Bears? Yeah, well not anymore. Howard gets a chance to show Chicago they were wrong for trading him to Philadelphia for a late-round draft pick. Howard will get a chance to rack up some yards against his former team in Week 9 in Philadelphia. That will be much easier said than done. The Bears led the NFL in run defense last season allowing opponents just 80 yards per game on the ground.
Justin Houston vs. Chiefs
The Indianapolis Colts found a gem when they picked up Houston, the former Chiefs linebacker who led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014. Houston gets to prove the Chiefs made a big mistake in Week 5 when the Colts travel to Arrowhead Stadium. Houston did struggle his last few years in Kansas City. He was hurt most of the 2016 season but still recorded decent numbers in both 2017 (9.5 sacks) and 2018 (9.0). Just 30, Houston has plenty left in the tank and should have all cylinders functioning when he faces his old team.
Terrell Suggs vs. Baltimore
After 16 seasons in Baltimore, future Hall of Fame LB Terrell Suggs will lineup opposite his former franchise when Arizona plays in Baltimore in Week 2 of the new season. Suggs was signed by the Cardinals after the Ravens decided they could no longer afford the 16-year veteran. A 7-time Pro Bowler and the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Suggs will get a chance to add to his 132.5 career sacks. He’ll have to work hard though in chasing around Baltimore second-year QB Lamar Jackson.
Khalil Mack vs. Raiders
It’s a good thing the Week 5 Bears-Raiders matchup is in London. Oakland fans would have spent their day watching their former star Mack eat up Raiders offensive tackle Kolton Miller all day. Mack, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, will have fun against his old team regardless of the location. The Bears are favored once again to win the NFC North Division.
Vontaze Burfict vs. Bengals
It was a tumultuous seven-year career in Cincinnati for LB Vontaze Burfict. The Bengals finally had enough and released Burfict earlier this year. Injuries and suspensions prevented Burfict from ever reaching his full potential. Can he do so in Oakland in 2019? Possibly. Burfict will have a chance to smack around his former teammates when Oakland hosts the Bengals on Nov. 17.
C.J. Mosley @ Ravens
Just one week before fellow teammate Le’Veon Bell faces his former team, LB C.J. Mosley gets a shot at his. Mosley and the Jets travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, a team that did not see Mosley as a priority in the offseason. The former Alabama star didn’t mind. He got paid – five years, $85 million. Now, he gets to give back on the field.
Earl Thomas vs. Seattle
The last time Earl Thomas was in Seattle in a Seahawks uniform, he was being carted off the field after suffering a broken leg. Oh, and he was giving the finger to the Seahawks sideline. In Week 7, he can give an even bigger finger to the Seahawks when his new team, Baltimore, comes to town. Thomas is a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first team All-Pro. With 28 career interceptions, Seattle QB Russell Wilson will need to be on the lookout for Thomas.
Landon Collins vs. Giants
There was some talk in New York that Collins was just a box safety that couldn’t really play in space. Collins and his six-year, $84 million contract with the Washington Redskins seems to say otherwise. Collins gets his first shot at the Giants in Week 4 in New York. It should make for a nice visit. Collins also gets the luxury of facing his former team a second time on the Sunday before Christmas. The three-time Pro Bowler could give himself and his new teammates a nice early present.
2020 NFL Football Playoffs