The 2021 NFL season got off to a thrilling start as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to squeak out the win over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys were major underdogs and surely made some bettors happy.
Now we turn our attention toward the first full Sunday of the season.
This is always a day of opportunity around the league as even teams projected to finish near the bottom of the standings have hope at 0-0.
We want to take a look at three NFL teams that could shock fans and pull off some upsets to get the season started.
3. Detroit Lions
Are these the same Detroit Lions we have seen for years?
The Lions are set to open the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jimmy Garoppolo gets the nod as the starter, with Trey Lance expected to get some time on the field as well.
All offseason NFL fans have heard just how weak the Lions receiving corps looks.
Yet the entire team has a new voice and could be much more inspired after a few years of trying to tune out Matt Patricia.
There is also no guarantee the 49ers will suddenly be contenders again after finishing 6-10 in 2020.
The team has one winning record in four years under Kyle Shanahan.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
The Baltimore Ravens continue to lose running backs at an alarming rate, but remain betting favorites over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1.
This is a home game for the Raiders too.
The injuries to the backs and to Marcus Peters had to have some sort of negative mental impact on the team.
It also changes up the plans on both sides of the ball, so it is difficult to say the Ravens were unaffected at all by all the shocking injuries.
The Raiders still have Derek Carr under center and should feed off the home crowd in Las Vegas.
That whole team is also desperate for success and Jon Gruden will likely be coaching like it’s a playoff game.
If they can’t pull the upset, rumblings of change may begin early with that often erratic franchise.
1. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns get to open the season with a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs after last year’s hard-fought Divisional game.
The Chiefs came out on top and get to play the rematch at home.
However, the Browns only appear to get stronger with time and have had months to mentally prepare for this game.
The question in this one is how Baker Mayfield will look as he tries to shine to earn a lucrative contract extension.
This roster is extremely stacked and if he can just provide above-average play, the Browns have a great shot to win and set the tone for the season early.