May 13, 2024   4 MIN READ

Right Opening Night

AFC Title Game Rematch to Open NFL Season; Winfield and Goff Get Paid; Jets Confident in OC?

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It’s official.

The two-time defending Super Bowl champions will open the 2024 NFL season against a familiar foe.

The NFL on Monday announced that the reining champion Chiefs will open the league’s new season against the defending AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

 

Patrick Mahomes

GETTY IMAGES: The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Baltimore Ravens on the NFL’s opening night.


The game, which will be carried by NBC, is a rematch of the 2023 AFC Champion, won 17-10 by the Chiefs, whose win over the 49ers in the Super Bowl gave quarterback Patrick Mahomes his second straight Lombardi Trophy and third overall.

The rest of the NFL schedule is expected to be announced at 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

Along with the Chiefs-Ravens season opener, the other game that’s been made official is the Friday, Sept. 6, game between the Eagles and Green Bay Packers in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Record Set

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have locked in their All-Pro safety with the largest contract for a defensive back in NFL history.

With his rookie contract up, Winfield was given the franchise tag worth over $17 million in March.  

The 25-year-old becomes the latest Buccaneer to receive a big extension this offseason, following star wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

As a second-round draft pick in 2020, Winfield made an instant impact on the way to Tampa’s Super Bowl victory in his rookie season. 

But it was in 2023 where he established himself as one of the best defensive players in the NFL with 122 tackles, 12 pass deflections, three interceptions, six sacks, and a league-leading six forced fumbles. 

Winfield is a representative of the versatile defensive back position that can line up in multiple spots across the field, one that is quickly becoming one of the most important tools for a defense to have. 

Goff the Guy

Following a trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Detroit Lions are rewarding QB Jared Goff with a massive extension.

The deal makes Goff the second highest paid QB in annual value behind Joe Burrow as he surpasses Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Herbert.

It has been quite the journey for the 29-year-old, going from the number one overall pick in the 2016 draft to being traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford in 2021.

In his last three seasons, Goff proved he is not just a bridge QB, but one you can win with. 2023 was his best year yet as a Lion, throwing for 4,475 yards on a 67.3% completion percentage and 30 touchdowns as Detroit made their first NFC Championship game appearance since the 1991 season.

Taking a page from the Eagles in locking up their offensive stars, Goff becomes the third Lion to receive an extension in recent weeks following WR Amon Ra St. Brown and OT Penei Sewell.

Hackett’s Job

While there is no shortage of talent on the New York Jets offense, major questions remain about the man in charge of the system in Nathaniel Hackett. 

Hired as offensive coordinator in 2023 to successfully lure Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers to the QB-starved organization, Hackett has now called plays for struggling offenses for two seasons in a row, first a failed 15-game stint as the Broncos head coach in ‘22 followed by a Jets offense that did not stand a chance with an injured Rodgers and lack of offensive line help in ‘23. 

Connor Hughes of SNY reported that the team was potentially looking to hire someone earlier in the offseason that would have held power over the OC. 

Ultimately, the offense’s chain of command remains in place for a second season running as the team hopes Hackett and Rodgers both return to their 2020-21 form, where the latter won two consecutive MVPs. 

– Geoff Mosher and Benjamin Paul contributed to this story.

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