Chiefs to open their season against Browns on Sept. 12, plus other NFL schedule notes
The reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs will be opening their season on Sept. 12 with a playoff rematch against the Cleveland Browns, according to the NFL schedule released Wednesday night.
The Chiefs eliminated the Browns in the divisional round last season despite losing Patrick Mahomes to a concussion.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who defeated Kansas City in the Super Bowl, will be opening the NFL’s first 17-game season at the same venue where they rolled past the Chiefs. Tampa Bay, which was the first team ever to win a Super Bowl at home, will host the league’s annual kickoff game on Sept. 9
In other highlights from the schedule:
• The NFL is returning to London in October. The first game in London since the coronavirus pandemic will be played on Oct. 10 as the Atlanta Falcons face the New York Jets. A week later, the Jacksonville Jaguars meet the Miami Dolphins. Both games will be played at the stadium of Premier League soccer team Tottenham.
• In the opening weekend, Matthew Stafford will play his first game for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night against the Chicago Bears with SoFi Stadium welcoming fans for the first time.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who lost to Cleveland in the wild-card round, will visit the Buffalo Bills, who reached the AFC title game.
Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts will host Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. In Philadelphia, Wentz was 0-4 against Wilson.
The Las Vegas Raiders will host the Baltimore Ravens in the first Monday night game. The Green Bay Packers will open the season with or without Aaron Rodgers at New Orleans minus the retired Drew Brees.
Jaguars fans have to wait until the second game to see No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence in person. Jacksonville opens at Houston and hosts Denver in Week 2.
• Detroit, Dallas and New Orleans will host games on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions face the Bears in the first game. The Cowboys play the Raiders in the second one. The Bills visit the Saints in the prime-time matchup.
Four teams will play on Christmas. Baker Mayfield and the Browns go to Green Bay and the Colts visit Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
• The 17th game, which was added in the new CBA last year, features teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their respective divisions at the end of the previous season. AFC teams have the extra home game this year.
“One of the tremendous benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to bring more games to more fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”
• The regular season concludes on Jan. 9, 2022, featuring all divisional games for the 12th consecutive season. Super Bowl 56 is on Feb. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Pro Bowl will be played a week earlier at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Some scheduling quirks:
• The Browns play the Ravens twice in a three-week span with Cleveland’s bye sandwiched in between.
• The Eagles don’t have to take a plane trip after Week 10 because they have four home games, a bye, and train rides for three road games against the Giants, Jets and Washington.
• The Raiders have back-to-back road games only once in Weeks 14-15 at Kansas City and Cleveland.
• The Titans have five consecutive games against playoff teams from Oct. 18 to Nov. 14. Their eight games against 2020 playoff teams sets a franchise high since the team moved from Houston in 1999.
Kansas City’s schedule:
Week 1 — Sept. 12: vs. Cleveland, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Week 2 — Sept. 19: at Baltimore, 7:20 p.m., NBC
Week 3 — Sept. 26: vs. LA Chargers, Noon, CBS
Week 4 — Oct. 3: at Philadelphia, Noon, CBS
Week 5 — Oct. 10: vs. Buffalo, 7:20 p.m., NBC
Week 6 — Oct. 17: at Washington, Noon, CBS
Week 7 — Oct. 24: at Tennessee, Noon, CBS
Week 8 — Nov. 1: vs. NY Giants, 7:15 p.m., ESPN
Week 9 — Nov. 7: vs. Green Bay, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Week 10 — Nov. 14: at Las Vegas, 7:20 p.m., NBC
Week 11 — Nov. 21: vs. Dallas, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Week 12 — BYE WEEK
Week 13 — Dec. 5: vs. Denver, Noon, CBS
Week 14 — Dec. 12: vs. Las Vegas, Noon, CBS
Week 15 — Dec. 16: at LA Chargers, 7:20 p.m., FOX/NFLN/Amazon
Week 16 — Dec. 26: vs. Pittsburgh, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Week 17 — Jan. 2: at Cincinnati, Noon, CBS
Week 18 — Jan. 9: at Denver, 3:25 p.m., CBS