2024 NFL schedule release: Best game from each week, including Chiefs vs. 49ers

The 2024 NFL schedule is officially here. The league announced all 272 regular-season matchups Wednesday, and the opening week of action is chock-full of marquee contests, including the Kansas City Chiefs’ opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and the Philadelphia Eagles’ historic clash with the Green Bay Packers in Brazil. But Week 1 is just the start.

Here’s our take on the top matchup from each and every week on the 2024 schedule:

Date: Monday, Sept. 9 | Time: 8:20 pm ET | TV: ESPN, ABC

Aaron Rodgers’ long-anticipated return under the bright lights of Monday night, up against his childhood team? Brock Purdy with a chance to once again affirm his place among the NFL’s top quarterbacks, and kick off San Francisco’s bid to return to the big game? This one’s made for prime-time.

Week 2: Bengals at Chiefs

Date: Sunday, Sept. 15 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: CBS

A rematch of both the 2021 and 2022 AFC championships, this will pit a presumably healthy Joe Burrow against Patrick Mahomes for the first time since that most recent conference title matchup.

Week 3: Ravens at Cowboys

Date: Sunday, Sept. 22 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: Fox

Good, bad or something in between, America’s Team is always a dazzling draw, and Jerry Jones’ squad could be under even more pressure this year thanks to the uncertainty of Dak Prescott’s future. The Ravens, meanwhile, boast the reigning MVP in Lamar Jackson, now paired with Derrick Henry.

Week 4: Bills at Ravens

Date: Sunday, Sept. 29 | Time: 8:20 pm ET | TV: NBC

Lamar. Josh Allen. What more must be said? This is a prototypical AFC fireworks show for Sunday night.

Week 5: Cowboys at Steelers

Date: Sunday, Oct. 6 | Time: 8:20 pm ET | TV: NBC

Pittsburgh may or may not be ready for a real playoff run after welcoming both Russell Wilson and Justin Fields to the remade quarterback room, but Mike Tomlin’s old-school ruggedness makes for an intriguing contrast with the flashy and splashy Cowboys. This could be a prime spot for a prime-time upset.

Week 6: Lions at Cowboys

Date: Sunday, Oct. 13 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: Fox

Dallas again? Sure. But the real draw here is probably Detroit, which will be angling to avenge last year’s narrow defeat to the Cowboys, while also working to return to — and get past — the NFC championship.

Week 7: Chiefs at 49ers

Date: Sunday, Oct. 20 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: Fox

A midseason rematch of Super Bowl LVIII, this should be just as, if not more, entertaining than the back-and-forth title game they just played in February. Love them or hate them, the Chiefs feel inevitable in the AFC. The 49ers, meanwhile, still boast one of the most balanced and gifted lineups, from top to bottom.

Week 8: Eagles at Bengals

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: CBS

The Cowboys visit the 49ers this week, treating NFL fans to a Sunday night clash of historic franchises. But this will be the first time Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow, 2020 draft-mates who happen to be two of the league’s coolest customers, go head to head. Could this be a potential Super Bowl preview?

Week 9: Texans at Jets

Date: Thursday, Oct. 31 | Time: 8:15 pm ET | TV: Prime Video

Few players captivated the rest of the NFL quite like C.J. Stroud in 2023. Now the young gunslinger also has Stefon Diggs at his disposal. Assuming Aaron Rodgers is still upright at this point, however, the Jets could also be squarely in the mix near the top of the AFC playoff race. Talk about a Halloween special.

Week 10: Lions at Texans

Date: Sunday, Nov. 10 | Time: 8:20 pm ET | TV: NBC

This is a good time to reflect on the Lions’ meteoric rise the last few years. It would’ve been crazy to pencil them into so many must-see matchups at the start of the Dan Campbell era. Now? Their showdown with C.J. Stroud and Co. could pit two of the NFL’s top teams against each other.

Week 11: Chiefs at Bills

Date: Sunday, Nov. 17 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: CBS

The Texas Bowl — Cowboys against Texans — is also this week. But since when do we discount Bills-Chiefs? Whether it’s the regular season or the postseason, these two clubs are dynamite when thrown in the ring. Buffalo, by the way, is all but following the Chiefs’ model of roster-building around Josh Allen.

Week 12: Ravens at Chargers

Date: Monday, Nov. 25 | Time: 8:15 pm ET | TV: ESPN

The Harbaugh Bowl! Jim and John famously met in Super Bowl XLVII, when John’s Ravens narrowly hoisted the trophy. Now, Jim is finally back in the pros, looking to infuse some old-fashioned physicality to Los Angeles. This profiles as a smashmouth contest under the Monday night lights.

Week 13: Dolphins at Packers

Date: Thursday, Nov. 28 | Time: 8:20 pm ET | TV: NBC

Thanksgiving Weekend features a slew of intriguing heavyweight bouts, including Eagles vs. Ravens and Bills vs. 49ers. But Thanksgiving itself closes with a bang: Miami remains an all-star track team on offense, and Green Bay has one of the game’s most enticing, ascending gunslingers in Jordan Love.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 8 | Time: 1 pm ET | TV: Fox

Will this be the most competitive game of the week? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s hard to say where Minnesota will be due to their quarterback questions; will rookie J.J. McCarthy supplant Sam Darnold sooner rather than later? Either way, this could/should mark Kirk Cousins’ return to the city that let him walk.

Week 15: Dolphins at Texans

Date: Sunday, Dec. 15 | Time: 1 pm ET | TV: CBS

As you may have noticed, so many of these games come down to the high-profile quarterback matchups. But both Miami and Houston also have well-rounded lineups. The high-scoring potential is through the roof here, with Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Jaylen Waddle and Odell Beckham Jr. all likely to take the field.

Week 16: 49ers at Dolphins

Date: Sunday, Dec. 22 | Time: 4:25 pm ET | TV: CBS

Kyle Shanahan against his former disciple, Mike McDaniel? Purdy against Tua Tagovailoa, another “system” signal-caller with video-game-like production? This could be an early Christmas gift of a game.

Week 17: Lions at 49ers

Date: Monday, Dec. 30 | Time: 8:15 pm ET | TV: ESPN, ABC

A rematch of the last NFC title game, this won’t hold nearly as much weight, but it could still mean a ton for Detroit, as the Lions look to put their sour 2023 finish to rest and storm into the 2024 playoffs with momentum. Might we be looking at another race for the NFC’s No. 1 seed?

Week 18: Dolphins at Jets

Date: TBD | Time: TBD | TV: TBD

You can substitute this one for basically any divisional contest: Eagles-Giants, Rams-Seahawks, Bengals-Steelers. But the AFC East could be especially tight if Rodgers is healthy and the Jets live up to their potential. This could ultimately prove to be a win-and-you’re-in scenario.

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