5 takeaways from NFL schedule release: Primetime matchups, bye weeks and more

Here's a deep dive into all the biggest takeaways from the 2024 schedule release

NBC Universal, Inc.

The NFL never sleeps.

During what should be one of the quietest moments on the calendar, the league advantageously recaptured the headlines by releasing its full 2024 schedule.

All of the matchups were known, but the exact order and times are now locked in. And fans across the league will inevitably be predicting how their favorite team will do in each game -- even though Week 1 is still almost four months away.

Looking through all 272 regular season games is a difficult task, but here are five takeaways from the full schedule release:

Primetime studs and duds

The first thing that most people look at -- after scouring their own team's schedule -- is the primetime matchups.

Every year, there are a handful of must-see standalone games. But there are also some games that you might be OK with skipping. Looking at all the Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, here are the three best and worst primetime battles:

BEST: New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers, Week 1 (MNF)

Aaron Rodgers' first game since tearing his Achilles. The 49ers' first game since the devastating Super Bowl loss. This is a heck of a way to kick off the MNF slate.

WORST: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, Week 12 (TNF)

Last time we saw these teams play in primetime, Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome knee injury. For that alone, we could've gone at least a year without this matchup in a standalone spot.

BEST: Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans, Week 10 (SNF)

Could this be a Super Bowl preview? Two upstart teams that won playoff games last season with stars on both sides -- C.J. Stroud, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Will Anderson Jr. and Aidan Hutchinson, to name a few.

WORST: Atlanta Falcons vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Week 15 (MNF)

By this point in the season, the Raiders could be out of the mix depending on how Gardner Minshew or Aidan O'Connell play. The Falcons, given their division, could still be in the hunt. But nothing about this matchup screams excitement.

BEST: Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Week 12 (MNF)

The first Harbaugh Bowl since Super Bowl XLVII, with Jim returning to the NFL and John looking to defeat his younger brother once again. Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson facing off is an added bonus.

WORST: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants, Week 4 (TNF)

It's a matchup we've seen dozens (hundreds?) of times in primetime. The Cowboys had a quiet offseason and the Giants are running it back with Daniel Jones. Don't expect fireworks in this one.

Wait, when is our bye week?

Ideally, the bye week falls at or around the midpoint of the season -- Weeks 9 to 11, give or take. Some teams didn't get that luxury in 2024.

Eight clubs will have their bye before Week 7, while 12 others won't get their break until after Week 11. Take a look at the unlucky franchises:

  • Week 5 bye: Lions, Chargers, Eagles, Titans
  • Week 6 bye: Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings
  • Week 12 bye: Falcons, Bills, Bengals, Jaguars, Saints, Jets
  • Week 14 bye: Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Colts, Patriots, Commanders

Not built for this weather

It might be a cliché, but some teams just don't fit in certain environments. Whether it's the Buffalo Bills struggling in the Miami heat or the Dolphins freezing up in Western New York, there are certain matchups each year where the weather plays a factor.

Here are five games this season where the road team will be out of their element:

  • Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars, Week 2 (Sept. 15, 1 p.m. ET)
  • New Orleans Saints at New York Giants, Week 14 (Dec. 8, 1 p.m. ET)
  • Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, Week 16 (Dec. 21, 1 p.m. ET)
  • Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets, Week 16 (Dec. 22, 1 p.m. ET)
  • Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, Week 18 (time/date TBD)

Racking up those frequent flyer miles

Just based on geography, certain teams will always travel more than others. But facing certain opponents doesn't help -- like when the Miami Dolphins have to visit the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.

Here are the five teams with the most travel miles in 2024 (per Bill Speros of

  1. Los Angeles Chargers: 26,803 miles (longest trip: New England)
  2. Miami Dolphins: 25,869 miles (longest trip: Seattle)
  3. Seattle Seahawks: 25,797 miles (longest trip: New England)
  4. New England Patriots: 25,071 miles (longest trip: London)
  5. San Francisco 49ers: 24,575 miles (longest trip: Miami)

Rematches from last season and historically

Everyone loves a good sequel.

Over the 272 regular season games, there will be nine rematches from playoff foes last season:

  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Week 1 (AFC Championship Game)
  • Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions, Week 1 (NFC Wild Card)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions, Week 2 (NFC Divisional)
  • Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 4 (NFC Wild Card)
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Week 7 (Super Bowl LVIII)
  • Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills, Week 11 (AFC Divisional)
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers, Week 12 (NFC Divisional)
  • Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans, Week 17 (AFC Divisional)
  • Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers, Week 17 (NFC Championship Game)

But that's not all. Looking at the first 58 Super Bowl matchups, there will be 18 rematches played this year -- including the most recent teams in Week 7:

  • Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks, Week 1 (Super Bowl XLVIII)
  • Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots, Week 2 (Super Bowl XLIX)
  • Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts, Week 3 (Super Bowl XLI)
  • Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 5 (Super Bowl X, XIII, XXX)
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Week 7 (Super Bowl LIV, LVIII)
  • Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos, Week 8 (Super Bowl 50)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Week 9 (Super Bowl LV)
  • New England Patriots vs. Chicago Bears, Week 10 (Super Bowl XX)
  • Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots, Week 11 (Super Bowl XXXVI, LIII)
  • Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos, Week 11 (Super Bowl XXXIII)
  • Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets, Week 11 (Super Bowl III)
  • Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 14 (Super Bowl XXXVII)
  • New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens, Week 15 (Super Bowl XXXV)
  • San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins, Week 16 (Super Bowl XIX)
Contact Us