Next up on NFL schedule: The schedule release

Getty Images

Perhaps the best proof of the NFL’s dominance in America comes from the concept of the schedule release. Since early January, the who and the where of the upcoming 256-game slate has been known. The supplying of the “when” every April ends up trumping the various other sports that, unlike the NFL, will actually be playing games.

This year, the week to watch in April for the release of the 2016 regular-season schedule is the 18th.

Typically, the schedule isn’t released on a Monday or a Friday. That makes Tuesday the 19th, Wednesday the 20th, and Thursday the 21st the most likely dates for the official announcement of the schedule.

The more important games on the slate include the regular-season opener (September 8 in Denver), when the Broncos will celebrate their Super Bowl 50 win by facing a team like the Texans, Patriots, or Panthers. The trio of Thanksgiving games also will draw plenty of interest, as will the NFL’s plans for Christmas Day, which lands on a Sunday in 2016.

The last time Christmas fell on a Sunday, the NFL shifted the Sunday games to Saturday and staged a prime-time game between the Bears and Packers on Christmas night. With a captive audience similar to the one on Thanksgiving, could the league decide to drop multiple games on Christmas Day?

The Thursday night schedule also will provide intrigue, with CBS and NBC splitting the package this year.

Fans also will look at the various prime-time games to see when their favorite teams will play, and topics for attention/consternation will include how many times a team is facing opponents emerging from a bye.

Still, ultimately the schedule release tells us only when games that we already know will happen will be played. But the sports world will nevertheless be riveted by the news — and the schedule-release show on ESPN and/or NFL Network inevitably will feature analysts picking the outcome of games to be played eight months later.

51 responses to “Next up on NFL schedule: The schedule release

  1. Can’t wait and please do not make the Dolphins play in London or any other damn international city. They have drawn the short straw with Travel Games and Hard Knocks almost every year. Trust me as a suffering fan… this team has enough handicaps as it is!!!

  2. It’s always a big day, the schedule release. It’s the day the feverishly training athlete finds out where and when he will be spending his time. The feverishly training athlete, Big John Football.

  3. Funny how the patriots have played the least number of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish. Also expect them to play the toughest team on their schedule coming off their bye week and 0 west coast trips. Just the usual Kraft makes Goodell set up.

  4. If they want to give the Rams an opening week game in L.A. it’s going to put the Coliseum crew to the test. Saturday Sept 10th the Trojans play a home game.

    Sunday would be pushing it, but a Monday night home game in L.A. would be a nice draw on TV. They only get to wear their throwbacks a couple times, but that would be pretty sweet if they were able to week 1.

  5. Bengals will play Steelers week 1 and week 3. Dan Rooney told his lackey Roger Goodell he doesn’t want Burfict beating up any more of his players.

  6. jchipwood says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:04 PM
    Funny how the patriots have played the least number of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish. Also expect them to play the toughest team on their schedule coming off their bye week and 0 west coast trips. Just the usual Kraft makes Goodell set up.

    Nice try chipster. last year the Pats played 7 games against teams that had extra rest.

  7. I see where the Patriot fans plan to boycott the first round of the draft.

    SO WHAT and WHO CARES

    It just means only very intelligent fans will watch the first round and the well documented feeble-minded Patriot fans will not.

  8. Rumor has it the Bucs get a Thankgiving Day night game at a newly renovated RayJay in blamy Tampa to host a Thursday game–DET and DAL always get the first two games. A little bird told me there was a big push for this. As a season ticket holder, I never liked any home games other than Sunday due to the rat race, but T-Day will be no traffic….

  9. “grogansheroes says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:20 PM
    jchipwood says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:04 PM
    Funny how the patriots have played the least number of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish. Also expect them to play the toughest team on their schedule coming off their bye week and 0 west coast trips. Just the usual Kraft makes Goodell set up.

    Nice try chipster. last year the Pats played 7 games against teams that had extra rest.”

    Nice try Grogan…apparently reading isn’t your forte. Chipster said “since Goodell became commish” – not “last year”. Maybe a few more years of getting a regular schedule (or even a crap one) will even out the total numbers for the past few years.

  10. If I’m a betting man I think the Rams will get their home opener as the late game on Monday night in week 1.

  11. Cant wait to see my Panthers in LA! It’s been too long since I’ve seen them in action!

  12. I guarantee the Seahawks will play the Patriots at 10AM coming off a short week with the Pats coming off their bye week.

  13. Will be interesting how much prime time attention the Raiders get besides the Mexico City MNF game and annual TNF game. Big things are expected in 2016 and with a team on the rise I could see an additional Monday night and plus a Sunday night game which the Raiders have had only one of since the package went to NBC in 2006.

  14. ariani1985 says:
    Mar 31, 2016 7:54 PM
    Will they release the packers first round playoff loss?

    Not much will be said about the Packers second round playoff loss.

    But we can all look back at the Vikes first round playoff loss. At home!. Oops.

  15. Where to start?

    They’re going to schedule west coast teams to play on the east coast at 10am pacific time. They apparently try to do this, with the most recent occasion being Seattle v Carolina in the playoffs – the one where Seattle fell behind hugely in the first half, and their comeback ran out of time in the second.

    They are going to schedule games in London. You’d think football lovers who make the schedules would simply walk off the job if they had to do this. No. There are no football lovers in the front office.

    They are going to schedule the vast majority of games at noon central. Nobody can even wake up from a typical Saturday night that early, then the action is mostly done by 3pm. Only east coast v east coast teams should play this early, it would still be a half dozen games most weeks.

    They are going to schedule perennial losers in primetime early in the season. Does anyone out of their market need to see Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Miami and Tennessee stink up the screen?

    Bye weeks are going to start way too early in the season and go on way too long. They haven’t figured out yet that it should be half off one week, half off the other in the middle of the season.

    And PLEASE! Lets confine the turkeys on Thanksgiving to the table.

  16. jchipwood says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:04 PM
    Funny how the patriots have played the least number of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish. Also expect them to play the toughest team on their schedule coming off their bye week and 0 west coast trips. Just the usual Kraft makes Goodell set up.

    ———————————————————————————-
    Funny how the Patriots had to play a Monday night football game on 11/23/16 and had to travel to Denver for a game on 11/29/16 on a short week. Since both teams had identical records that Patriots/Broncos game decided home field for the AFC Championship game.

  17. ravensfan56 says:
    “If the NFL screws over the Ravens again this year by forcing us to play four consecutive away games, I might flip.”
    *********************
    They won’t do that again… this season it will be 6 consecutive away games.

  18. ravensfan56 says:
    Mar 31, 2016 10:22 PM
    If the NFL screws over the Ravens again this year by forcing us to play four consecutive away games, I might flip.

    Last year, the rat-birds never played more than two consecutive away games. They did get two, three-game streaks at home.

  19. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Mar 31, 2016 10:01 PM

    I guarantee the Seahawks will play the Patriots at 10AM coming off a short week with the Pats coming off their bye week.
    ————————————
    Put down your crying towel and stop whining. As that is a SB rematch it should be a marquee game, probably be a night game or late afternoon Sunday, no guarantees. I will say, though, that West coast teams coming East should always be late afternoon or night games not early Sunday games. NFL could manage that if they wanted to, they just can’t be bothered.

  20. onegamedoesnotaseasonmake says:
    Mar 31, 2016 10:31 PM

    ariani1985 says:
    Mar 31, 2016 7:54 PM
    Will they release the packers first round playoff loss?

    Not much will be said about the Packers second round playoff loss.

    But we can all look back at the Vikes first round playoff loss. At home!. Oops.

    Wide Left!

  21. Not that anyone cares, but the last few years I’ve read how the schedule is so hard to come up with, and two years in a row, I’ve built a realistic schedule on excel (taking into account international games and the bye week you get following an international game, Thanksgiving games, and the Jets/Giants sharing a stadium, playing a division opponent on the last game of the year, and not playing more than 3 consecutive home or away games, etc). I’m a 26 year old dude with a computer and basic understanding of the formula, I don’t see why it’s so complicated.

  22. The schedule conspiracy theorists are out in force. LMFAO. I will say though, thank god you have finally, after 13 seasons, accepted that 14 of 16 games are preplanned based on the formula, and the NFL doesn’t just make the schedule easy or hard for certain hand picked teams. Glad you finally got on board.

    But you still need a conspiracy, so now the new one is that the Patriots never play hard opponents, unless it is right after the Pats bye week. LMFAO, and they don’t ever play games on the west coast. Good to know.

  23. burfictisabeast says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:48 PM
    Just a matter of WHEN Burfict ends the Steeler season. Again.

    =========================================

    You mean just a matter of when Burfict ends the Bengals season !

  24. badandy84 says:

    Mar 31, 2016 9:10 PM

    Vikes opening new stadium….

    Same as the FAILcons. 3 New Stadiums + 0 Lombardi’s =
    SAME Garbage Team….

  25. coachglove says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:48 PM
    “grogansheroes says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:20 PM
    jchipwood says:
    Mar 31, 2016 8:04 PM
    Funny how the patriots have played the least number of teams coming off bye weeks since Goodell became commish. Also expect them to play the toughest team on their schedule coming off their bye week and 0 west coast trips. Just the usual Kraft makes Goodell set up.

    Nice try chipster. last year the Pats played 7 games against teams that had extra rest.”

    Nice try Grogan…apparently reading isn’t your forte. Chipster said “since Goodell became commish” – not “last year”. Maybe a few more years of getting a regular schedule (or even a crap one) will even out the total numbers for the past few years.

    Not even a nice try. Since Goodell became Der Kommisar, 7 teams have played less games against teams coming off a bye, 4 have played the same amount. Also, the schedule, which is done by formula, has the Pats going to SFran and Arizona(not on the coast, but same diff). The Pats had their bye in wk 4 last yr, a big disadvantage, and then played the Cowboys. Hardly their toughest opponent. Also, because they’re so good, the Pats always play the max number of prime time games. Another disadvantage. Not sure who’s less intelligent, Dolphins fans, or the guys that run the team.

  26. Just for kicks, I had to check this out. Surely it is rooted in truth, not stupidity, lets see the results of the Patriots opponent after the Patriots’ bye, by season under Goodell. The opponents record will be in ( )
    2006-Buffalo (7-9)
    2007-Buffalo (7-9)
    2008-49ers (7-9)
    2009-Dolphins (7-9)
    2010-Ravens (12-4)
    2011-Steelers (12-4)
    2012-Buffalo (6-10)
    2013-Carolina (12-4)
    2014-Indy (11-5)
    2015-Dallas (4-12)

    Interesting. The Patriots played teams with a winning record 4 times, and teams with a losing record 6 times. Makes it very hard for me to buy the theory that the Patriots play their most challenging opponent right after the bye week. But what do facts matter, right?

  27. Also, because they’re so good, the Pats always play the max number of prime time games. Another disadvantage. Not sure who’s less intelligent, Dolphins fans, or the guys that run the team.
    —————-
    Interesting. The Patriots played teams with a winning record 4 times, and teams with a losing record 6 times. Makes it very hard for me to buy the theory that the Patriots play their most challenging opponent right after the bye week. But what do facts matter, right?
    —————–
    Commenters like finfan68 I can appreciate but commenters like lil chippy consistently make Dolphins fans look ignorant. NO fan base needs that.

    – pats fan

  28. The Patriots will be picked to go 12-4 or 13-3 no matter who’s on the schedule, where it is, or what time the games are.

    They don’t worry about such trivialities and get busy preparing to win.

    Everyone else will get busy preparing their excuses.

  29. I predict the Bengals and Steelers will play both their games in the first 3 weeks so Goodell can protect his special snowflakes.

  30. I can’t wait to see who the vikings play on October 30th (a.k.a. the day the vikings are mathematically eliminated from the 2016 NFL playoffs).

  31. PS my prediction about how the Rams will open in LA will be on Week 2, with a Sunday niter on NBC, after an entire afternoon of celebrations and presentations before the players warm up on the field, Rams vs their biggest and most important rival on the coast since 1950, the 49ers.

  32. (quoted)
    Rumor has it the Bucs get a Thankgiving Day night game at a newly renovated RayJay in blamy Tampa to host a Thursday game–DET and DAL always get the first two games. A little bird told me there was a big push for this. As a season ticket holder, I never liked any home games other than Sunday due to the rat race, but T-Day will be no traffic….

    ……………………….

    There is absolutely no way TB is playing a NBC game on Thanksgiving. That is part of the Sunday night package and 6-10 from the buccaneers is not nowhere near good enough for a SNF.

  33. craigbhill says:
    Apr 1, 2016 2:15 PM

    PS my prediction about how the Rams will open in LA will be on Week 2, with a Sunday niter on NBC, after an entire afternoon of celebrations and presentations before the players warm up on the field, Rams vs their biggest and most important rival on the coast since 1950, the 49ers.

    ………………………………………..

    I don’t see how it’s possible rams will get a SNF with a 7-9 record last year and not having a previous proven resume as other 7-9 teams such as NO. And SF is definitely not getting a SNF.

    SNF games goes to the teams that have made the playoffs and had at least a .500 record. Anyone else has to have had a proven past resume such as the giants, saints, cowboys, etc. Usually the 8-8 or 9-7 teams that get one also have to had some previous accomplishments. So Buffalo will not get one but Indy and Atlanta will.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!