Matthew Stafford’s Rams Debut Caps First NFL Sunday – Sports Illustrated

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Plus, the U.S. Open crowns a men’s singles champion, and the NWSL’s top teams face off.

I do not plan to leave my couch except to load up on more game snacks as I celebrate the first Sunday of the NFL season. My hometown Washington Football Team will try to make some FitzMagic against the Chargers, but I am more interested in the other Los Angeles team, the Rams, and what quarterback Matthew Stafford and head coach Sean McVay can cook up in their season opener against the Bears. In addition to the packed NFL slate, the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage will face off in a clash of the top teams in the NWSL, and Novak Djokovic will go for a calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open men’s final. My TV remote will get a workout even if I will not.

Here’s what I’m watching.

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MUST WATCH

Chicago Bears at L.A. Rams

aaron-donald

Aaron Donald has won three of the past four Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

The first Sunday of the NFL football season will wrap with Matthew Stafford’s debut for the Rams. After 12 seasons with the Lions, the 33-year-old quarterback requested a trade this offseason and departed Detroit for Los Angeles in search of a championship.

Powered by Aaron Donald and a stifling defense, the Rams went 10–6 last season but lost to the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Los Angeles sent starting quarterback Jared Goff and three draft picks to Detroit in exchange for Stafford in a bid to return to Super Bowl contention.

The visiting Bears drafted quarterback Justin Fields out of Ohio State but will start veteran Andy Dalton under center in the season opener.

8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, watch on fuboTV

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LINEUP

  • U.S. Open men’s singles final | If Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev, he will win his 21st Grand Slam title and become the first man to complete a calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. 4 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
  • Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs | This game offers a rematch of the teams’ AFC divisional playoff game last season. The Chiefs beat the Browns 22-17 but went on to lose the Super Bowl 31–9, a result Patrick Mahomes and company would be happy to put in the rearview mirror. 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS, watch on fuboTV
  • Washington Mystics at Chicago Sky | The Mystics need to reel off wins in their last three games to have a chance at a playoff spot, starting with today’s game at Chicago. 3 p.m. ET, ABC, watch on fuboTV
  • Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox | The Red Sox are vying with the Yankees for the top wild card, while the White Sox are jostling with the Astros for the second seed in the playoffs. 2:10 p.m. ET, TBS, watch on fuboTV

HIDDEN GEM

Portland Thorns at North Carolina Courage

The top team in the NWSL, the Portland Thorns, will face off against the second-place North Carolina Courage, who enter today on a seven-game unbeaten streak. A win by the Courage would tie them with the Thorns at 32 points with six weeks left in the regular season. Portland, though, has played one fewer game so far. North Carolina beat the Thorns 2–0 earlier this season, with two goals from Lynn Williams and two assists from league-leader Carson Pickett.

3 p.m., CBS Sports Network, watch on fuboTV

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