Both teams assured of playoff berths, the Philadelphia Eagles rested their starters while the Dallas Cowboys set records with theirs.
Thursday’s three games feature six teams coming off losses, with the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints playing in prime time.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is sitting on top of Jerry’s World, the Giants got an instructive win, and Kirk Cousins reverted to form in the Vikings’ loss.
Tampa Bay returns much of its Super Bowl-winning roster, but Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have Jordan-and-Pippen-style title dreams for Green Bay.
The Saints and the Vikings became the latest teams to invest in the run, signing Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook to five-year deals. They are likely to experience buyer’s remorse sooner rather than later.
The league stuck to plans to open its season Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans, even as pandemic spikes, player opt-outs and racial unrest forced alterations.
The lack of virus protocols as July’s camps approach has left many in football unsure about safety in a sport that requires contact on nearly every play and cramped quarters inside team facilities.