2024 NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ schedule: Ranking every matchup; Lions’ two

The 2024 NFL schedule was released Wednesday evening, and that includes the full “Sunday Night Football” docket. “SNF” is always the perfect ending to a full day of football, and will again be broadcasted on NBC.

The first edition of “Sunday Night Football” this upcoming season features a playoff rematch, as Matthew Stafford returns to his old home of Ford Field to play the Detroit Lions. The Lions defeated Stafford’s Los Angeles Rams, 24-23, in the wild-card round back in January, and eventually made a run all the way to the NFC Championship game. Will Stafford get his revenge this time around?

Here’s a rundown of each Sunday night game for the 2024 season. Each contest is slated to kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Week 1 (Sept. 8): Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions
Week 2 (Sept. 15): Chicago Bears at Houston Texans
Week 3 (Sept. 22): Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons
Week 4 (Sept. 29): Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
Week 5 (Oct. 6): Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 6 (Oct. 13): Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants
Week 7 (Oct. 20): New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 8 (Oct. 27): Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
Week 9 (Nov. 3): Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 10 (Nov. 10): Detroit Lions at Houston Texans
Week 11 (Nov. 17): Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
Week 12 (Nov. 24): Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
Week 13 (Dec. 1): San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills
Week 14 (Dec. 8): Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Week 15 (Dec. 15): Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Week 16 (Dec. 22): Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
Week 17 (Dec. 29): Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns
Week 18: TBD

Now that we have our full Sunday night schedule, let’s attempt to rank these matchups 17-1.

17. Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants (Week 6)

Joe Burrow takes his talents to the “Big Apple” in Week 6, and will face Daniel Jones and the Giants. New York decided to pass on replacing Jones this offseason, instead selecting a fun target for him in Malik Nabers at No. 6 overall. We’ll see if Jones can bounce back — and if he can stay healthy.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Week 16)

The last time these two teams played was in the playoffs, when Dak Prescott ended Tom Brady’s NFL career. With this matchup occurring so late in the regular season, it could be an important NFC showdown when it comes to playoff positioning.

15. Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 5)

An old NFL rivalry goes down in Week 5, with Prescott taking on Russell Wilson. These are two of four franchises that have won at least five Super Bowl titles, but times have changed for the two clubs. The Cowboys maybe had an underwhelming offseason, but they are still expected to be a contender in the NFC. As for the new-look Steelers with Russ, we’ll see.

Fun fact: The Steelers can tie the Cowboys for most consecutive seasons without a losing record in NFL history this year.

14. New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 7)

Two quarterbacks over the age of 35 will face off, as Aaron Rodgers travels to Pittsburgh to take on Wilson. Remember when these two played each other in that infamous “Fail Mary” matchup in Seattle? The 2012 season sure feels like a long time ago. The Jets have a whopping six prime-time games this year, so hopefully Rodgers can stay healthy.

13. Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (Week 15)

Speaking of the “Fail Mary” game, these were the two teams that partook in the wild affair. The Jordan Love era got off to a nice start in 2023, but he has some lofty expectations to live up to this year. Seattle’s defense should be much improved in Year 1 under Mike Macdonald, and with this game being so late in the year, it could affect the NFC playoff picture.

12. Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 14)

We get our classic Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes prime-time matchup in Week 14, but this time, it’s Jim Harbaugh at the controls instead of Brandon Staley. Could that help Herbert? He’s 1-5 vs. Mahomes.

11. Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets (Week 11)

The new phenom vs. the wily vet. Anthony Richardson vs. Rodgers could be a sneaky good matchup, but it’s fair to question if both quarterbacks will be healthy by Week 11. Richardson was able to finish just ONE game healthy in his rookie season. Still, he has the potential to take the league by storm in 2024.

10. San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills (Week 13)

The reigning NFC champs vs. an AFC contender. This will be a good late-season test for Sean McDermott’s defense, which lost several important players such as Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer.

9. Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (Week 17)

Two “good” squads looking to take the next step from borderline playoff team to legitimate contender. Also consider that this matchup goes down in Week 17, so both teams will likely be jockeying for playoff positioning. Tua Tagovailoa faces a tough Jim Schwartz defense, while Deshaun Watson looks to complete his first full season as a Brown.

8. Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (Week 8)

This matchup will surely rack up the ratings — like it always does. Hopefully it’s not a 42-10 beatdown or anything.

7. Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (Week 12)

Two legitimate NFC contenders face off in Week 12. The Eagles and Rams played last year, and actually gave us an entertaining low-scoring affair, with Philly leading L.A. 17-14 entering the fourth quarter. One of the reasons this game is interesting is that it gives Philly’s new-look secondary a challenge before the postseason. The Rams offense was elite when healthy, with Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams running wild.

6. Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons (Week 3)

Mahomes travels to ATL to take on Kirk Cousins. Remember, the reigning Super Bowl champs started a bit slow last year, and the Falcons could be a sneaky team depending on how Zac Robinson engineers this offense.

5. Chicago Bears at Houston Texans (Week 2)

The Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite vs. the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Many believe the Bears could be decent immediately with Caleb Williams under center, while some believe the Texans are legitimate Super Bowl contenders with C.J. Stroud in Year 2. If we were ranking wide receiver trios entering this season, the Bears and Texans would both rank somewhere in the top five. Weapons galore.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (Week 9)

This matchup is huge for one reason: Doug Pederson makes his return to Philadelphia. Also, it will be interesting to watch Trevor Lawrence on a national stage on the road in primetime as he attempts to make the case for a big pay day.

3. Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (Week 4)

We need more Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen. We didn’t get them last year, while the 2022 matchup was a historic comeback for the Bills, but a game dominated by nasty weather. And then, the playoff matchup in 2021 was where Jackson got hurt after struggling. I’m glad we get this game early in the regular season.

2. Detroit Lions at Houston Texans (Week 10)

Put the Over at 55. I don’t care, I’ll still take it. I’m expecting plenty of points in this showdown of interconference contenders. It will be a massive test for both defenses

1. Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions (Week 1)

Of course this is the No. 1 Sunday night matchup — and we get it right off the bat. Stafford starts his 2024 season where his 2023 campaign ended: At his former home. And Jared Goff gets the franchise that traded him to Detroit. Well, he’s thriving.

Stafford threw for 367 yards and two touchdowns in that wild-card matchup, while Goff threw for 277 yards and one touchdown, but registered just five incompletions. I don’t know abut you, but I’m ready for the season.

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