The NFL preseason is over, and now the meaningful games finally are set to start. The NFL season kicks off Sept. 7 with a marquee AFC matchup, while the rest of the weekend features a few interesting divisional battles.
The Chiefs and Patriots start the season Thursday night on NBC. Tom Brady faces Alex Smith for the first time after the Patriots downed the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in the divisional playoffs two seasons ago.
Thursday’s matchup looks like the best game of the weekend, though there are plenty of other great Sunday matchups. Seahawks vs. Packers looks to be the highlight of the Sunday afternoon games, while NBC’s Sunday night game pits the Giants against the Cowboys.
On Monday night, newly-signed Saints running back Adrian Peterson returns to Minneapolis to take on his former team. Then a matchup between the Chargers and Broncos will set the tone in the AFC West.
It’s hard to imagine the NBA under those rules.
Five teams used the core designation this offseason, meaning their other restricted free agents (beside the “core player”) will be unrestricted. The result: The much-anticipated offseason in which there should be a lot of talented free agents available.
Delle Donne — described by The Times as “the first WNBA star at her high level of play and prime age to switch teams” — just won’t be among them.
Hawkins entered the NFL in 2011 with the Bengals and played three seasons in Cincinnati, then three in Cleveland before signing with the Patriots in May. He finishes his NFL career with 209 catches for 2,419 yards and nine touchdowns.