2024 NFL schedule features 9 playoff rematches



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Even though the Super Bowl rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will not occur until almost the midpoint of the season, NFL fans will be treated to a pair of playoff rematches on the opening weekend.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs begin their quest for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl title when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5 in the kickoff game, while the Los Angeles Rams are at the Detroit Lions in the Sunday night game on Sept. 8.

The two playoff rematches in Week 1 are among nine on this year’s regular-season schedule, which was released by the league Wednesday night.

The Ravens-Chiefs matchup is a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game, won by Kansas City 17-10. Kansas City heads to San Francisco on Oct. 20, after it defeated the 49ers 25-22 in the second overtime game in Super Bowl history. It also marks the second straight season the Chiefs will have a Super Bowl rematch after they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday night game last season.

Kansas City will then travel to Buffalo on Nov. 17 in what is becoming a yearly matchup. This will be the fifth straight year the two teams have faced off in the regular season. The Bills have won three straight in the regular season, but the Chiefs have won all three matchups in the playoffs.

The Rams’ Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s Jared Goff will face their former teams for the third time, including the playoffs. The Lions won their first playoff game in 32 years when they defeated the Rams 24-23 in an NFC wild-card round game.

The rematch of the NFC Championship Game between the 49ers and Lions won’t happen until Dec. 30 in San Francisco, which is the last Monday night game of the season.

After the Rams game, the Lions will host Tampa Bay on Sept. 15 in a rematch of a divisional-round game won by Detroit.

The other playoff rematches are Baltimore at Houston on Christmas Day, Philadelphia at Tampa Bay on Sept. 29 and San Francisco at Green Bay on Nov. 24.

The NFL released the full slate for its 105th season after revealing four international games and both of its Christmas Day matchups earlier Wednesday. The schedule has been released the past couple of years on the second Thursday in May but was slightly delayed this year.

Even though a memo was sent to teams late last week saying the schedule would be released Wednesday night, it wasn’t until Monday morning that it was finalized.

Hans Schroeder, the executive vice president of NFL Media, said there were meetings over the weekend to tweak things.

Five quarterbacks going in the first round of the draft impacted some of the final decisions.

“We were getting really close at the end of last week and had something we were really happy with Friday,” he said. “We had a four-hour Zoom on Sunday night and had the final winner. It was very similar to Friday but a couple things we liked better. We used every minute to continue to refine it.”

The league previously announced Tuesday that Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets would open the season on “Monday Night Football” at San Francisco on Sept. 9. The Jets opened at +5.5, according to ESPN BET odds, which would match Rodgers’ largest Week 1 underdog role as a starting quarterback. The Packers were +5.5 at the Seahawks in Week 1 of the 2014 season (Seattle won 36-16).

Among other highlights:

Kirk Cousins’ first game with the Atlanta Falcons will be at home on Sept. 8 when they host Russell Wilson and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cousins signed a four-year, $180 million deal with the Falcons during the offseason.

Wilson will be making his Steelers debut after being released by Denver. It will also mark the return of Arthur Smith, who is the Steelers’ offensive coordinator after being fired as Falcons coach.

Caleb Williams, the top overall pick by Chicago in last month’s draft, will make his Bears debut against Tennessee. Chicago then goes to Houston for a Sunday night game on Sept. 15 against the Texans and reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud.

The top two picks in the draft could meet Oct. 27 in Washington when the Bears face the Commanders and Jayden Daniels.

Including the kickoff game, “Thursday Night Football” and Thanksgiving, 14 teams will play multiple Thursday games.

The league amended its policy last season to allow teams to make more than one appearance on Thursday nights.

Six teams — the Jacksonville Jaguars, Titans, Colts, Cardinals, Panthers and Chargers — will not have the short Sunday to Thursday turnaround.

The Panthers are the only team this season to have no prime-time games, the first time that has been the case for Carolina since 2011. The Falcons and Cardinals were both without a prime-time game last season, the only teams to go without one since the 17-game schedule began in 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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