Happy NFL schedule release day football fans! With the draft in the rear-view mirror, today marks the next milestone date on our way to the 2020 football season. At this point, who knows exactly when the season will start, how long it will be, or if games will be attended by fans or not? But those worries are for another day.
Today is for us football nerds to analyze our favorite team’s slate of games, our dynasty fantasy football players strength of schedule, and what team win totals look juicy enough to bet on.
As is the case every year, there are always rumors and leaks leading up to tonight’s release. Here are some of the most notable.
1. The first 4 weeks of the year will feature NFC vs AFC games only. No inter-conference or inter-division games until week 5. This has been implemented in case the season needs to get pushed back. This ensures inter-division games, that are more playoff meaningful, won’t be cancelled and each team will have the same amount of division and conference games.
2. We already know cross conference games each division will play:
AFC East vs NFC West ; AFC North vs NFC East ; AFC South vs NFC North ; AFC West vs NFC South.
3. This means the NE Patriots and presumably Jarret Stidham will open the year up against the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles Rams.
I’m sure they are hoping it’s not against the 49ers and their dominant defense.
4. Other compelling out of conference games include:
49ers/Patriots (Jimmy G vs Belichick), Ravens/Cowboys, Steelers/Eagles (Battle of PA), Browns/Giants (OBJ vs his old team) ; and Chiefs/Bucs (Mahomes vs Brady)
5. As usual, the Cowboys will host a game in Dallas on Turkey Day.
The possible opponents this year are the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, Steelers, Browns, or Falcons.
6. The Bears and Packers will be playing in Week 12.
This means the Lions will be hosting one of these six teams on Thanksgiving: Vikings, Saints, Buccaneers, Texans, Colts or Redskins. Who wants to bet the NFL chooses the Bucs and Tom Brady?
7. Speaking of Tom Brady, the Bucs will face the Bears in Chicago on a Thursday night in Week 5.
That is sure to be a compelling matchup. There’s also rumors the Bucs may open up the year in the early Monday night game vs the Falcons.
8. We’ve also learned the Bears and Packers are playing each other in Week 17 (in Chicago).
That means the Vikings and Lions will face each other that week. Possible playoff implications abound.
9. Rookie quarterbacks often draw a lot of eyes, and we may get the chance to see a few first-rounders go head-to head.
The Bengals, Dolphins and Chargers all play each other. That’s possible Burrow vs. Tua, Burrow vs. Herbert, and Tua vs Herbert matchups. I expect Burrow to start right away. We’ll see about Tua and Herbert.
10. We’ve heard the Broncos will host the late Monday Night Football Week 1 game.
No word on who the opponent will be at this point.
11. The 49ers will face the AFC East and the Packers and Saints the first 6 weeks of the season.
Expect some of these captivating games to be in primetime. Pretty difficult start to the season for one of the Super Bowl favorites.
12. The Eagles might start off the year in Washington vs my Redskins.
That is the NFL version of an SEC team opening up vs an FCS school. Nice warm up game for Philly.