The Packers are opening a team’s new stadium for the second year in a row
Last season, the Packers traveled to Minnesota in Week 2 to open the Vikings’ shiny new U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, they’ll head south in Week 2 when the Falcons debut the revolutionary Mercedes-Benz Stadium in primetime. The game will be played on Sunday night, so all eyes will be on Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and that iris-looking hole in the roof in Atlanta. It’s sure to be a great spectacle as the stadium looks like something from the future.
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The Chiefs have the most primetime games with six
Not the Cowboys, not the Packers, not the Giants. Not even the Patriots. The Chiefs – the Alex Smith-led Chiefs – have the most primetime games of any team in the NFL.
Their first comes in Week 1 against the Patriots, which will open the season for the entire league. They then play four primetime games in five weeks from Week 4 to 8. It’s bizarre to see the Chiefs get such a big spotlight, but that’s partly because of the division they play in.
The Ravens don’t have a bye after their London trip
The Baltimore Ravens will travel across the pond to London where they’ll take on the Jaguars in Week 3. That game has been known for some time now, but what’s interesting about it is the fact that the Ravens don’t have a bye in Week 4 as teams typically do following London games.
That’s because they specifically requested a bye late in the season (Week 10), making for a difficult turnaround from Week 3 to 4. It’s strange, but it’s not the first time that’s happened. The Colts did the same thing last season.
Redskins are hosting a Thanksgiving game for the first time ever
For the first time in franchise history, the Redskins will host a game on Thanksgiving. It’ll come against their division rivals, the New York Giants, kicking off at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Redskins are no strangers to playing on Thanksgiving, doing so nine times before, but it’ll be a different atmosphere with the game being in Thanksgiving.
With Dallas also playing on Turkey Day, it’ll be a slate full of NFC East action, which means this week will have big playoff implications.
Cowboys start season against the Giants for the third straight year
This has become somewhat of a tradition in the NFL. The Giants and Cowboys will once again kick off the season on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, once again taking place at AT&T Stadium. This is the third straight year these two teams will meet in the season opener, splitting the past two matchups.
It’s also the fifth time in the past six years they’ve met in Week 1. Needless to say, the NFL loves seeing division rivals kick off the season in primetime.
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The Steelers play four primetime games in a row
The Steelers are one of the teams to beat this season, and it’s not surprising that the NFL would want to put them on the biggest stage as much as possible. They play five primetime games this season, four of which are in a row.
From Weeks 11 to 14, the Steelers play at either 8:25 or 8:30 p.m. ET, which is unheard of. Those games will come against the Titans, Packers, Bengals, and Ravens.
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The Chargers kick off their reign in L.A. against the Dolphins in Week 2
The Chargers begin the season on the road against the Broncos, but return to the comfy confines of the StubHub Center on Sept. 17 against the Dolphins – their first game in Los Angeles. The stadium is by far the smallest in the NFL, holding about 30,000 fans – half the size of the league’s average venue. It’ll be interesting to see the turnout and reception for the Chargers in Los Angeles, though it figures to be strong.
The Browns and Jaguars don’t have a single primetime game
The Browns and Jaguars were left off the primetime schedule, playing all afternoon or morning games this season. Every Browns game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET except for Week 8 in London (9:30 a.m. ET) and Week 13 (4:05 p.m. ET). The same goes for the Jaguars except for Weeks 3, 6, 12 and 16.
It’s not surprising at all to see the Browns and Jaguars without a night game considering how bad they’re expected to be in 2017.
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Bye weeks don’t start until Week 5 this season
In years past, byes started in Week 4, which was a bit early, to be honest. Now, the league has pushed byes back to Week 5. That means they’re crammed a bit more in the middle of the season, but it takes away the disadvantage of teams having their week off so early in the year.
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