17 WEEKS UNTIL NFL FOOTBALL! 119 DAYS UNTIL NFL FOOTBALL! The countdown to NFL football is one step closer with the official release of the NFL schedule. With the release of the NFL schedule, fans worldwide collectively start to analyze and react (or overreact) to their team’s schedule, while degens worldwide are studying the schedule release to plan their over/under plays on a team or, more likely multiple teams’ regular season win totals.
Let’s take a look at 10 reactions to celebrate the official schedule release of the National Football League.
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10 Reactions to the NFL Schedule Release
1. What is the point of the official schedule release if games and full team schedules are released early?
Look, I am excited about football being one step closer. I am excited about the schedule being released. But seriously, what is the point of an official schedule release if it will be leaked and shared beforehand? The NFL is releasing articles announcing the international series games BEFORE the official release. So WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? Either release it all at once on the official schedule release, or don’t have an official schedule release/release show at all.
2. The Packers and The Jets will not play each other during the 2023-2024 NFL regular season
With the Green Bay Packers’ schedule being leaked early, the Jets not being on their schedule as an opponent came as a little bit of a surprise. However, the NFL loves to create storylines to build interest and hype through the season. With the Aaron Rodgers trade finally becoming official after dominating the offseason, I was expecting the NFL to potentially have the Jets and the Packers faceoff.
Upon further research, since 2002, the Packers and the Jets have played once every four years, switching the home and away team each time, meaning the Jets and Packers last faced off in 2022. Following that trend, we’d have to wait until 2026 for the teams to meet again, with Rodgers most likely having closed the book on his storybook career. A consolation prize of Aaron Rodgers vs. Mike McCarthy will happen in Week 2 when the Jets and the Cowboys meet at Jerry World in Dallas.
3. The NFL International Series games are here to stay
In 2022, the NFL played five international games across three countries. (England, Germany, and Mexico.) The 2023 season will be no different as the NFL plans to host five international games, three in England and two in Germany.
The games in England will be featured at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Wembley Stadium, which both hosted games last season. The two games located in Germany will be played at Frankfurt Stadium, the first NFL games to have been played in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be calling London, England, their home away from home for two weeks, playing back-to-back international games in Weeks 4 and 5, facing off against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 in Wembley Stadium, and then playing the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 in Tottenham Stadium. So look for the international crowds to be LOUD when the NFL comes to town.
4. Tom Brady is Coming (Home), Tom Brady is Coming (Home)
Yes, that was a Paul Revere reference. Ahead of the official schedule announcement (seriously, what is the point of the announcement if a majority of schedules are leaked throughout the day), Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots announced plans to honor Tom Brady as part of their 2023 home opener.
The opponents the Patriots chose to honor Brady against are interesting, considering Brady still might not be over his loss in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the Brady coming out of retirement (again) rumors finally be put to rest with Brady returning to New England for his homecoming?
5. The Bengals at Chiefs New Year’s Eve Matchup in Week 17 might be the most exciting game of the year
This game has all the making of a time classic. A heated rivalry which has the mayors of both cities involved. A potential number-one seed in the AFC on the line. A possible first-round bye is on the line—a showdown between two of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in, Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow. There is nothing more to be said here besides circling your calendar for this must-watch game.
6. Super Bowl LVII Rematch Week 11 + Potential Super Bowl LVIII Preview?
Week 11 gives fans a Super Bowl LVII rematch between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Do Travis Kelce and the Chiefs TAKE A BOW at home, or do Jason Kelce and the Eagles put in the WORK and SHUT UP and DRIVE down the field to show his little brother and company the Super Bowl loss in the past?
Even though I wasn’t pleased with last year’s Super Bowl’s final outcome, I have to admit that the game was exciting and enjoyable. So look for this Week 11 matchup to be different and a potential preview for what’s to come in Kelce Bowl II, aka Super Bowl LVIII. The real question is, since this is a Super Bowl LVII rematch, do we get another Rihanna performance at halftime?
(Yes, Take a Bow, Work, and Shut up and Drive are three of Rihanna’s numerous hit songs. Songs that, as the kids nowadays say, absolutely slap and are bops.)
(For the older generation reading, a song that slaps/a bop means it’s a good song.)
7. 49ers at Eagles Week 13
This one’s personal for me. The 49ers have been absolutely unbearable since losing to the Eagles in the 2023 NFC Championship. I’ve put them on an equal level with the Cowboys as my number one despised team. You lost the game. Injuries, unfortunately, happen. Get over it. Move on. Try again this year. Even at full strength, the Eagles were going to win. Period.
I hope the 49ers are at full strength by then, with every single-player available to play, and the weather is exactly how they want it. Next, I hope they get the best night’s rest they have ever had. Finally, and most importantly, I hope the Eagles beat the everlasting snot out of the 49ers. My only regret about this game is that it’s not in San Fransico because that would be one less excuse for the 49ers to have at their disposal when the Eagles steamroll them. Go Birds.
8. Thanksgiving Dinner’s main dish is NFC football with a side of Rivalry
I love Thanksgiving football.
I like to think that when the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and sat down at a shared feast with the Wampanoag, the table conversation was about sports talk and rivalries in 1621 and their shared hatred of the terrible Dallas Cowboys.
There’s almost nothing better than spending time with family, stuffing your face with Thanksgiving food, and then entering a food coma on the couch watching NFL Football. Luckily for me, my family’s tradition has us eating at 1 pm almost every year, meaning if you strategically plan, you can, in fact, have two meals (thanksgiving lunch and Thanksgiving leftovers dinner) and still achieve maximum NFL football watching.
This year’s Thanksgiving slate provides us with three rivalry games, all in the NFC, with the Packers traveling to Detroit, the Commanders hopefully leaving Dallas with a win, and the Seahawks possibly putting everyone on notice that they’re the favorite in the division this year, not the 49ers.
9. The 2023 NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles, will have their work cut out to earn back-to-back Superbowl trips
The Philadelphia Eagles are the favorites to go back-to-back as NFC champions in 2024 after a great 2023 season which saw them fall just short of becoming Super Bowl Champions.
If the Eagles want to repeat, they must do it while having the most challenging schedule in 2023/2024. CBS Sports has the Eagles opponent’s combined records in 2022 as 161-123-4, a .566 win percentage.
The Eagles’ entire schedule looks to be a fight, but the stretch after their Week 10 bye will be rough. Week 11 at Kansas City Chiefs for Monday Night Football, two home games for Week 12 vs. Buffalo and Week 13 vs. San Francisco, back on the road for Week 14 against arch-rivals Dallas and Week 15 at Seattle, back home on Christmas day for a divisional battle with the Giants.
Hopefully, they get a bit of a breather against Arizona in Week 17 and then end the season back on the road for another divisional battle with the Giants. That is a rough eight weeks of professional football, but if any team can do it, count on it to be the Philadelphia Eagles.
10. The 2023-2024 NFL season will be incredible; sometimes, we don’t say that enough
We all love the NFL. It’s why we care so much about our teams and the NFL’s decisions. It’s why we get mad when refs or coaches make mistakes on calls (and sometimes ruin our parlays). But at the end of the day, the players, coaches, refs, team front office members, and NFL leadership put on an excellent product for us to enjoy week in and week out, season after season, and we should celebrate that.
So as Pat McAfee says, be a friend, tell a friend something nice you never know how it will change their life.
Hats off to you, NFL, for somehow making the NFL Schedule Release a spectacle, and I guess hats off to you, too, Roger Goodell.
Now let’s hurry up and get this season started!