One of those is in their lone prime time appearance, a star-splashed PBS Thursday nighter on Sept. 30 against Jacksonville that features the NFL Draft’s last two overall No. 1 choices, the seventh time two such quarterbacks have met in PBS. The tradition began when Carson Palmer bested Dallas’ Vinny Testaverde in 2004 and the most recent meeting was only last year when a last-minute touchdown pass from Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield headed off Joe Burrow’s Bengals rookie record 406 yards. Burrow not only tees it up against Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but also old University of Cincinnati defensive back Urban Meyer. Meyer, who recruited Burrow to Ohio State, returns as the Jags head coach. That game’s depth chart could have as many as nine players from the 2019 national championship game, when Burrow’s LSU Tigers tamed the Tigers of Lawrence’s Clemson club.
Just on the Bengals alone are six alums, including one of Lawrence’s favorite college targets, wide receiver Tee Higgins, and the man who protected Lawrence’s blindside, Bengals rookie right guard Jackson Carman. Plus, Burrow has his own college teammates in rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, rookie defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin and sophomore tight end Thaddeus Moss.
The opener, the first in PBS history against an NFC team, also has some familiar faces when Zimmer returns for the first time as a head coach in a 1 p.m. game.
During six seasons as the Bengals defensive coordinator, he…