But enough about 2009. The regular season is finally here. All rejoice.
I'm listing these in order of how I see them, best game to the worst. All times are eastern.
Why to watch: Two of the best defenses in the NFL clash. Baltimore shows off its many offensive additions and New York's Super Bowl hype gets an immediate test.
The storyline: One of the NFL's best rivalries is renewed, with Donovan McNabb taking part for the first time. Mike Shanahan makes his coaching debut for Washington.
Why to watch: Massive big-play potential all over the field, and quite possibly a good 'ol shootout between two of the better young teams in the league. Will Kolb's first pick elicit chants for McNabb from the fans? Or a call for Michael Vick? Ah, Philly in September.
Why to watch: Division winners open the season with some questions considering the way they exited the postseason. Wes Welker makes a quasi-miraculous return from an ugly knee injury.
The storyline: Houston gets another chance to beat a team that has long had its number. There are ample potential playoff ramifications and an immediate test for the Texans' wobbly defense.
The storyline: If the Raiders are to be the upstart operation I expect, no better time to display it. Dare I mention it as a possible tie-breaker game come December?
The storyline: Two AFC East rivals going in very different directions after their offseasons. If the Bills are going to be spoilers, might as well start here.
The storyline: After winning a coin flip in the Commish's office, the Giants get the right to play the first game ever at the New Meadowlands. And they do so under immediate pressure after a brutal 2009.
The storyline: San Francisco begins what could be a return to glory against a division foe, while coach Pete Carroll tries to show his college success can translate to the NFL.
Why to watch: Seattle's roster continues to transform and the running game and offensive line, already under scrutiny, opens the season just days after position coach Alex Gibbs resigned. If the 49ers take care of business in the division, on the road, they could run away with NFC West title.
Why to watch: All about the QBs. Max Hall is now one hit away from getting on the field for Arizona. Bradford will try to hold up with few real weapons at his disposal and a less-than-stellar offensive line. Could be the first start in a memorable career.
The storyline: Tim Tebow gets unveiled in the season-opener, with the rookie likely to get some Wildcat/short-yardage looks. Two coaches who could find themselves on the hot seat get their chance to make a good impression to start 2010.
Why to watch: Tebow's hometown team passed on him -- perhaps sagely -- but some fans might be ready to tell them otherwise. Denver managed to provide one of the classic finishes of last season in its opener. Maybe the Broncos can do it again.
The storyline: Hey, everyone starts the season undefeated. And one of these two rebuilding teams still will be undefeated come Monday.