As NFL fanbases across the country scour the 2018 schedule following its release Thursday, division rivalries, potential postseason showdowns and holiday matchups surely stand out.
So do the night games.
It is difficult to top the pageantry of NFL night games, where a nation of football fans all tune into the same game under the lights with the hopes of seeing some of the sport's biggest stars. This year's slate of night games will be no different, as powerhouses such as the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers all make appearances.
Here is a look at the entire schedule of 2018 night games, per NFL.com, as well as some intriguing showdowns that highlight the list.
2018 NFL Night Schedule
- Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- New York Jets at Detroit Lions on Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders on Monday, Sept. 10 at 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network
- New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears on Monday, Sept. 17 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- New York Jets at Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network
- New England Patriots at Detroit Lions on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, Sept. 24 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network
- Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos on Monday, Oct. 1 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Washington at New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 8 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers on Monday, Oct. 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons on Monday, Oct. 22 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills on Monday, Oct. 29 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Nov. 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers on Monday, Nov. 12 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams on Monday, Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans on Monday, Nov. 26 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Washington at Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Dec. 3 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Dec. 10 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox and NFL Network
- Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers on Monday, Dec. 17 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
- Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
- Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders on Monday, Dec. 24 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Games to Watch
Week 9: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
Fans can't ask for more star power than this prime-time quarterback matchup.
While their individual talent stands out in this showdown, so does the fact they will serve as primary storylines this season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday Brady hasn't fully committed to playing during the 2018 campaign, although he granted "people who know him believe he will be back for the coming season."
That, along with the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, creates some intrigue surrounding New England that usually doesn't come until late in the postseason.
Even assuming Brady does play, he will turn 41 years old before the 2018 regular season starts and has shown few signs of slowing, leading the Patriots to three of the last four Super Bowls and winning two. Logic dictates he will eventually reach a point where he is no longer one of the best players in the league, but that time hasn't come yet.
Rodgers will also be under the spotlight considering he is coming off a broken collarbone and played just seven games in 2017. The injury derailed Green Bay's season, and the dominant franchise missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 campaign.
The only realistic chance the Packers have at bouncing back is a healthy Rodgers, and he will have the opportunity to once again showcase what he can do to a national audience in this matchup.
Peter King of TheMMQB called this showdown "the regular season game of the year" for 2018 and highlighted the fact Brady and Rodgers have only started head-to-head one other time in their illustrious careers—a 2014 win for the Packers.
While this inter-conference clash doesn't feature the same playoff implications as some of the divisional games on the schedule, the rare chance to see these two future Hall of Famers on the same field makes it the primetime matchup to watch in 2018.
Week 12: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
While this NFC South battle between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints is an intriguing game on its own between two 2017 playoff teams, it stands out as one of the best prime-time matchups because it is on Thanksgiving Day.
Families gathered across the country looking to watch some pigskin after enjoying their turkey will be pleased to know the NFL rewarded them with a high-stakes contest that could have playoff implications.
The Falcons won the NFC South in 2016 and proceeded to make the Super Bowl before losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Patriots, while the Saints won the division in 2017 before losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC divisional round.
New Orleans finished a game ahead of the Falcons in last year's race after the two teams split their matchups.
Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune noted, "The Saints-Falcons series is one of the most intense and long-running rivalries in the NFL and has become a favorite of the league's network broadcast partners. This year will mark the 10th time in the past 12 seasons that one of the games in the annual series has been broadcast in prime time."
Like the Patriots and Packers battle, the quarterback matchup stands out in this one.
Matt Ryan was the MVP of the league in 2016 but is looking to bounce back after throwing just 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions last year. Drew Brees is an 11-time Pro Bowler and has a Super Bowl MVP on his resume and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in each of the last 12 seasons as a future Hall of Famer.
This Thanksgiving game between the two signal-callers is late enough in the season that the divisional standings will be on the forefront of everyone's minds, and a head-to-head win would go a long way toward propelling one toward the NFC South crown.
Those stakes, along with the fact it is such an important game on a holiday largely defined by football, make it a primetime clash to watch.