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A Look at the 2024 NFL Schedule

The NFL's 272-game schedule for the 2024 season features a number of marquee matchups and playoff rematches

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 29 days ago 6 min read
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The draft is long over, and now comes the best part of the NFL offseason: the unveiling of the NFL schedule. 272 games will be played in 18 weeks, making for a very thrilling season. The beauty of the NFL's schedule is that it's definitely not like the other three leagues. With Major League Baseball now allowing all 30 teams to run into each other, the NFL stands as the only league that has a pretty exclusive schedule. This increases the intrigue regarding who will play who, and when will these games take place.

Now, the league announces the season's opponents very shortly after the Super Bowl, but the schedule is unveiled usually after the draft. Since the addition of a 17th game in 2021, here's how the opponents are determined. Obviously, a team plays six intradivision games (two meetings against each of the three division foes); three at home and three on the road. The division games represent half of a team's conference schedule; a team plays 12 conference games. Out of the remaining six conference games, four of them are against one of the conference's other three divisions, and it rotates every year. The remaining two conference games are against a team from each of the other two divisions, with division placement determining the opponents. The remaining five overall games are all interconference; four against one of the opposite conference's four divisions, and one against a team from the other three divisions, with division placement determining the opponent.

Here's an example:

This is the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2024 schedule. Of course, the six divisional games go without saying. They will face the entire AFC West this season, which also means that the AFC South will face the AFC East. In the NFC, it's North vs West, and South vs East. Because the Steelers finished in third place in the North, they will face the South's third place team (Colts) and the East's third place team (Jets). They will face off against the entire NFC East, and they will face the third place team in the NFC South (Falcons).

So yeah, that's how a schedule works. Now for the important key games.

The Chiefs defeated the Ravens in last year's AFC Championship

The 2024 NFL season will begin on September 5, 2024 with a rematch of last year's AFC Championship contest. The two-time defending Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, will host the Baltimore Ravens on the first Thursday of September on NBC. The Chiefs defeated the top-seeded Ravens in the AFC Championship, and Lamar Jackson enters this season as the reigning MVP. Of course, we all remember how last year started; the Chiefs' celebration of their Super Bowl LVII win was crashed by the Detroit Lions, who defeated the Chiefs on Opening Day.

This game is one of nine playoff rematches taking place this season, and yes, that includes the Chiefs facing the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of Super Bowl LVIII, which was an overtime thriller that KC won with three seconds left. The Super Bowl rematch will take place in Week 7, on October 20, but strangely, it's in the late half of that day's regional coverage. Despite this, most of the country should get this game.

Let's look at the NFL's three main national TV spots.

This is Year Three of the NFL's kinship with Amazon Prime, which serves as the home of Thursday Night Football. Per usual, Prime starts their season in Week 2, and it's a pretty big matchup: the Miami Dolphins hosting the Buffalo Bills. For the second straight year, the collection of games also includes Black Friday, and this year, it's the Chiefs hosting the Las Vegas Raiders, and we remember what happened the last time the Raiders entered KC during a holiday weekend. Per usual, Prime's coverage last until Week 17, but this year, it includes the playoffs, as Prime will carry a Wild Card game this season. I do enjoy Prime's coverage of Thursday Night Football, there's a lot of pomp and circumstance in that slot.

Sunday Night Football. Love SNF with a passion. It's slowly become the ultimate prime spot, even though Monday Night Football comes after it. The kickoff game often counts in that collection; yes, it's a Thursday game, but it's part of the SNF package. The first official SNF game is yet another playoff rematch: the Detroit Lions hosting the Los Angeles Rams on September 8. Thanksgiving's primetime game is also part of the rotation, and this year, the Green Bay Packers host the Miami Dolphins on that very slot. In this graphic, 22 games are listed, though only 21 games are revealed, because the finale on Week 18 doesn't become known until after Week 17's game ends. Week 17's game pits the Dolphins against the Cleveland Browns--a pair of playoff teams who were ousted on Wild Card Weekend last year.

And finally, of course, there's Monday Night Football, the ultimate prime spot since 1970. This season will be MNF's 55th, and as announced prior to the full schedule reveal, the first Monday game will feature the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers, who will kick off their defense of the NFC Championship. That game will take place on September 9, and this year, we'll see a few MNF double dips, with ABC airing games. The first case this year will take place in Week 3 (September 23), as one game will pit the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Buffalo Bills, while the other will feature the Washington Commanders and the Cincinnati Bengals. On October 21, a game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals will air exclusively on ESPN+, and the season finale will be a rematch of last year's NFC Championship: the 49ers against the Lions.

Of course, there's also the international games this year, and there are five of them. The first one comes very early on Opening Week: the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles facing off in Sao Paulo, Brazil--the first NFL game to take place in South America's largest country. The month of October will see three games in England, with the Jags playing in two of them, and finally, the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers will face off in Germany. I do love the international games, because it means football in the wee hours of the morning here in the States.

Thanksgiving's NFL coverage has evolved immensely over the years. It used to be Lions vs Cowboys, but the league decided to give each team their own home game. Those served as the only games until a third game was added, and along with the aforementioned Dolphins/Packers game, Turkey Day 2024 will feature the Lions hosting the Chicago Bears, while the Cowboys will host the Giants. That often seems to be the case lately, Detroit and Dallas playing division games.

Finally, despite Christmas Day falling on a Wednesday this year, the NFL has two games scheduled for the big holiday, which pretty much means that the NFL plans to make Christmas Day part of their schedule every season. Regarding this year, two games will take place on Christmas Day; the Steelers hosting the Chiefs, and the Texans hosting the Ravens--the latter being another playoff rematch. Both games will air exclusively on Netflix; marking their first foray into the NFL.

Last, but not least, here's the Packers' schedule. We have seven games against 2023 playoff teams, resulting in the fourth-toughest schedule of the season. The Packers have five games on national TV (as of now, before flex scheduling), including four straight between Weeks 13-16. Our games against the entire NFC West include the team's very first trip to SoFi Stadium, and a playoff rematch against the 49ers. Our bye week falls on Week 10, which is a good spot, it's right in the middle of the season. I should get to see at last eight Packers games without the use of NFL RedZone this season.

The schedule release is the NFL offseason's last important date before all 32 teams even begin to prepare for any form of playing. Preseason begins on August 1, and five weeks after that, the 2024 NFL season kicks off. Let's go!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

Twitter - Facebook - Tiktok - Instagram

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  • Philip Gipson29 days ago

    This has been incredibly juicy stuff you've given the world.

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