2024 NFL Schedule Highlights

On Wednesday, the NFL released its full 272-game regular season schedule. Tickets are now on sale for the games you want to see in-person, and point spreads have been set for the games you want to wager.

Opening Week

For the second year in a row, the Kansas City Chiefs will open the season as the defending Super Bowl champions on Thursday, September 5. The Chiefs are 3-point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Championship Game rematch that might have been better left for December.

On Friday, the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) play in São Paulo, Brazil, in the NFL’s first South American game. On that Sunday, September 8, the league resumes its normal weekly schedule, with 10 day games, one primetime game, and a single primetime game on Monday.

That schedule is highlighted by the Houston Texans (-1.5) at the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC South showdown. No. 1 draft choice Caleb Williams makes his debut when the Chicago Bears (-4.5) host the Tennessee Titans, and Jim Harbaugh begins his NFL return when the Los Angeles Chargers (-3) host the Las Vegas Raiders.

On Monday night, a presumably healthy Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets open the season at the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers (-5.5).

Playoff Rematches

As is always the case, some of the best playoff showdowns from the last season have a scheduled rematch in the new season. The Chiefs and Ravens in Week 1 is one, as is the Week 1 game that has the Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions (-3). In the Wild Card Round in January, the Lions beat the Rams, 24-23.

The Lions play two other postseason rematches this year. In Week 2, Detroit (-6) hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Divisional Round rematch, and on Monday night in Week 17, they play an NFC Championship Game rematch at the 49ers (-4.5).

The Chiefs and Buffalo Bills (-1) will have their Divisional Round rematch in Week 11 in Buffalo. The Super Bowl rematch between the Chiefs and 49ers (-2) takes place in Week 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The other playoff rematches on the schedule are Eagles (-1.5) at Buccaneers in Week 4, 49ers (-2.5) at Packers in Week 12, and Ravens (-1.5) at Houston Texans in Week 17.

Holiday Games

That Ravens at Texans playoff rematch in Week 17 is one of two Christmas Day games to be carried by Netflix. The other is the Chiefs (-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers. Notably, Christmas is on a Wednesday, which is not a normal NFL day. In 2020, a COVID outbreak pushed a Steelers and Ravens game to Wednesday, and in 2012, the normal Thursday season opener was moved to Wednesday to avoid a conflict with Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The previous Wednesday game before that was the Lions and Rams in 1948. That game is also noteworthy for the painted horns on the Rams helmets – the first modern helmet emblems to be used in pro football.

Thursday football is traditional, and Thanksgiving has been a part of the NFL since 1934. Ninety years later, the Lions are still hosting games, and this year they host the Bears. Detroit is favored by 3.5 points.

The Dallas Cowboys have been hosting Thanksgiving games since 1966, and this year, Dallas (-8) will play the New York Giants. The Thanksgiving night game features the Miami Dolphins at Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. Green Bay is favored by a field goal.

Last year’s Black Friday was a huge success for Amazon Prime, and it is back in 2024, when the Las Vegas Raiders visit Arrowhead Stadium and the Chiefs (-7).

Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, and the game that night is Texans at Jets (-3).

Revenge Games

Two years ago, Russell Wilson was unceremoniously dumped by the Seattle Seahawks, and his new team, the Denver Broncos, went into Seattle as favorites for him to get revenge. Instead, it was new Seattle starter Geno Smith getting the last laugh.

This year, Wilson was unceremoniously dumped by the Broncos, and his new team, the Steelers, heads to Denver in Week 2 as a field goal favorite. Can Wilson finally get the revenge he’s been seeking since 2022?

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will lead his new team, the Atlanta Falcons, to Minneapolis in Week 14. Atlanta is favored by a point. 

In Week 5, the Texans (-1.5) and new wide receiver Stefon Diggs host his old team, the Bills. The brothers Harbaugh, Jim and John, face off on Monday night in Los Angeles in Week 12. John won the last matchup, Super Bowl XLVII, and his Ravens are favored by two points over Jim’s Chargers in this one.

Less about revenge, and more about how Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels will forever be linked to one another – the No. 1 overall pick in 2024, Williams and his Bears are two-point favorites in Week 8 when they visit Daniels, the No. 2 overall pick, and the Washington Commanders.

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