2017 NFL Schedule: Release Date, Team-by-Team Opponents and More

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after their 30-23 win at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The National Football League is prepared to announce its schedule for the 2017 regular season Thursday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.              

NFL.com confirmed the release details Tuesday. The league will reveal the dates, times and television information for all 17 weeks of action during a two-hour special.

As is customary, the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are expected to host the season-opening game Sept. 7 for Thursday Night Football. Other info about the 2017 schedule won't be known until the slate is public.

A list of opponents each team will face during the upcoming campaign is already available, however. Let's check out a table with all of those matchups before diving into some of the most intriguing storylines ahead of the 2017 schedule announcement.

 

Team-by-Team Opponents

2017 NFL Regular Season: Complete List of Games
AFC EastHomeRoad
Buffalo BillsMiami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis ColtsMiami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals
Miami DolphinsBuffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints (London), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee TitansBuffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens
New England PatriotsBuffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston TexansBuffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers
New York JetsBuffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville JaguarsBuffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns
AFC NorthHomeRoad
Baltimore RavensCincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Miami DolphinsCincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars (London), Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders
Cincinnati BengalsBaltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Buffalo BillsBaltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos
Cleveland BrownsBaltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings (London), New York JetsBaltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers
Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New England PatriotsBaltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs
AFC SouthHomeRoad
Houston TexansIndianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City ChiefsIndianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots
Indianapolis ColtsHouston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver BroncosHouston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens (London), Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles ChargersHouston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets
Tennessee TitansHouston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland RaidersHouston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins
AFC WestHomeRoad
Denver BroncosKansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Cincinnati BengalsKansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts
Kansas City ChiefsDenver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh SteelersDenver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Houston Texans
Los Angeles ChargersDenver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Cleveland BrownsDenver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars
Oakland RaidersDenver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Baltimore RavensDenver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans
NFC EastHomeRoad
Dallas CowboysNew York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay PackersNew York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons
New York GiantsDallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit LionsDallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Philadelphia EaglesDallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Chicago BearsDallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers
Washington RedskinsDallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota VikingsDallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints
NFC NorthHomeRoad
Chicago BearsDetroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ersDetroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles
Detroit LionsChicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona CardinalsChicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants
Green Bay PackersChicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle SeahawksChicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota VikingsChicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles RamsChicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns (London), Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
NFC SouthHomeRoad
Atlanta FalconsCarolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Dallas CowboysCarolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks
Carolina PanthersAtlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia EaglesAtlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans SaintsAtlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Washington RedskinsAtlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins (London), Los Angeles Rams
Tampa Bay BuccaneersAtlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York GiantsAtlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals
NFC WestHomeRoad
Arizona CardinalsLos Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay BuccaneersLos Angeles Rams (London), San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions
Los Angeles RamsArizona Cardinals (London), San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans SaintsArizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings
San Francisco 49ersArizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina PanthersArizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears
Seattle SeahawksArizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta FalconsArizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers
NFL.com

 

Key Matchups and Storylines

Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots

It wouldn't be a surprise to see a Super Bowl LI rematch to open the new season. That's what the NFL opted to do in 2016, when the Denver Broncos welcomed the Carolina Panthers to Colorado and repeated their Super Bowl 50 victory with another win in Week 1.

Getting another chance at New England would probably be a welcome opportunity for the Falcons. They are going to enter the new campaign with a sour taste in their mouths after blowing a 28-3 lead in the big game, and that would give them a chance to wash it right away.

Both teams figure to find themselves right back in the championship mix. That said, the number of changes New England has made after winning the title is interesting, and it shows the importance of not remaining content in a league where things change so fast.

Perhaps the roster moves probably shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, one day after winning the Lombardi Trophy, head coach Bill Belichick sounded disappointed other teams had an extra month to prepare for the offseason, per Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.

"The NFL season, the calendar is what it is," Belichick said. "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty, we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season."

His lack of scouting time didn't prevent the team from making a splash. The Pats quickly added cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy through free agency while trading for tight end Dwayne Allen, defensive lineman Kony Ealy and wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

It's no surprise OddsShark notes they are the clear favorite heading into the new season. The Falcons are among the second wave of contenders, meaning their matchup will be labeled as a "potential Super Bowl preview" whenever they face off.

 

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott formed one of the most exciting rookie duos in recent memory to carry the Cowboys back to prominence last season. They posted the best record in the NFC at 13-3 while ranking fifth in the NFL in total offense.

Dallas' playoff run came to an abrupt end in the divisional round when the Packers went into AT&T Stadium and emerged with a 34-31 victory, though. Just like the Falcons against the Patriots, the Cowboys would surely love to exact some measure of revenge.

The question is whether these teams will be among the best in the NFC again. Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio isn't so sure based on their offseason transactions:

That said, the Packers have never been major proponents of spending huge money in free agency in order to fill short-term voids. And they are still one of the model franchises in all of sports, so winning the offseason doesn't directly relate to championships.

The Cowboys and Packers still have a lot of talent, so they could remain firmly in the NFC mix in 2017. In fact, their head-to-head meeting could end up having a key impact when it comes to seeding for the postseason, especially if it comes late.

 

Los Angeles Chargers' Home Opener

The Chargers made the journey from San Diego to Los Angeles to join the Rams for 2017. So the nation's second-largest media market went from having no NFL teams to welcoming a new one in successive offseasons, making for a pair of grand arrivals.

While the decisions are understandable on paper, the biggest question moving forward will be whether there's enough fan support to keep both teams in good shape for the long haul. If so, it could be a financial boon for the NFL, but it's far from a guarantee.

Fox Sports San Diego showcased some disgruntled fans with no interest in supporting the team in its new home:

The Chargers will play in Carson at the StubHub Center—the home of MLS' LA Galaxy—until their new stadium is ready in a couple of years. It will create a different atmosphere since the seating capacity is only 30,000, whereas most NFL stadiums can hold at least 60,000.

Although the home opener is going to generate a lot of attention and rightfully so, it won't be the most important thing in the grand scheme of the move. How the crowds look late in the year, especially if the Chargers aren't in the playoff race, will be the first key indicator.