The 2024 NFL Schedule: The Games That Will Tell the Story of the 2024 Season

By Scott Kacsmar

The 2024 NFL schedule was released Wednesday evening, giving us the road map of each team’s path to the playoffs and Super Bowl LIX. We have already gone through free agency, the 2024 NFL draft, and now that the schedule is out, the next big event won’t be until training camps open in July.

This should be another historic season with many storylines and records we are excited to follow:

  • Kansas City is pursuing an unprecedented third-straight Super Bowl win after ending the longest drought in NFL history without a repeat champion.
  • If the Bills will regret trading Stefon Diggs to Houston, and if that move shifts the AFC standings this year with the contenders.
  • The Steelers can tie the 1965-85 Cowboys with a 21st consecutive non-losing season, but they will have to figure out if Russell Wilson is still any good, or if Justin Fields can do the job at quarterback.
  • After a record-setting 2024 draft saw 14 straight offensive players go off the board, we also had a record six quarterbacks in the first 12 picks, and we could easily see five of them start this season.

With that in mind, let’s go through the 2024 NFL schedule and pick out the games that should tell the story of this highly anticipated season.

Table of Contents

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 1

Ravens at Chiefs (Thursday on NBC)

We’ll get things started with a rematch of the 2023 AFC Championship Game. How much do you want to bet Derrick Henry gets more than the 6 carries the Baltimore running backs had in that low-scoring game? That will be a huge story in that one, and it should give the Ravens a different looking offensive approach, if not a chance at a win if they can play keep away with the ball from Patrick Mahomes.

But does that kind of formula still work in January for the Ravens? Time will tell, but this should be the healthiest Henry feels all season. Would have preferred to see this one in November or December, but it’s a heck of a way to open the 2024 season.

Packers vs. Eagles (Friday in Brazil on Peacock)

This is going to be something different. The NFL is playing a regular-season game in South America (Brazil) for the first time, and you have to have Peacock to watch it. It’s an intriguing one too as the Packers should be a hyped team this year with the way Jordan Love ended last season, and of course the Eagles have been the last unbeaten team in the NFL the last two seasons. It’s a top NFC matchup in Week 1.

Cowboys at Browns (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

If you enjoyed last season in getting a break from Tom Brady on Sundays, he’s back as a FOX broadcaster for the 2024 season and this will be his first game in replacing Greg Olsen on the top broadcast. At least it’s a decent game as we’ll see the return of Nick Chubb at running back for the Browns, and if the Cowboys can put last year’s disappointing playoff loss to Green Bay behind them.

Jets at 49ers (MNF on ESPN)

The NFL is seriously putting Aaron Rodgers right back on a Monday night field for Week 1, the same situation as last year when he tore his Achilles just 4 snaps into the season. But at least this won’t be at MetLife Stadium. However, Rodgers has struggled with the 49ers for over a decade, so making his return to football a road game against a Super Bowl favorite is a tough one. Remember, we still have no real idea how Rodgers is going to fare as the quarterback of the Jets. We have not seen him play at a high level since the 2021 season and he’ll be 41 years old this year.

This needs to work since the Jets are in prime time in 6-of-11 weeks to start the season, and that doesn’t include a game in London against the Vikings, a seventh early island game for this team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 2

Bengals at Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on CBS)

Props to the NFL for recognizing the best way to make sure Joe Burrow is playing in this game instead of Jake Browning is to schedule it for Week 2 instead of December. Let the rivalry continue as all four games between Burrow and Mahomes were decided by a field goal. The Chiefs took the last one in the 2022 AFC Championship Game, and this is another good home test for them to start the season. Get a couple of tough games out of the way immediately.

Bears at Texans (SNF on NBC)

There are some interesting teams featured on Sunday Night Football this year, which is supposed to be the de facto matchup of the week in the NFL. Here we have the Bears trying to end a playoff drought in what should be the first prime-time start for Caleb Williams, the No. 1 pick in the draft. We think he has the best situation of any No. 1 pick at quarterback to start his career.

He’s going up against C.J. Stroud and the Texans, who figure to play heavily into our Super Bowl odds and expectations this season. It’s definitely a fresh matchup with two of the league’s (hopeful) young, franchise quarterbacks.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 3

Chiefs at Falcons (SNF on NBC)

We’ll get a good glimpse of Kirk Cousins with his new team after the Falcons signed him to a 4-year deal worth $180 million this offseason. Beating the Chiefs in this spot would certainly give him and the Falcons some credibility as they are favored to win the NFC South this year.

The Falcons have statistically the easiest schedule in the league in the 2024 season, but this will be one of their hardest games and a true measuring stick for how their season may go.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 4

Cowboys at Giants (TNF on Prime Video)

This is not a huge game, but we just wanted to share some good news that the Giants are buried at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday for the first three weeks. We don’t have to see them in prime time until this game, and the NFC East rivals will also meet on Thanksgiving. But that still beats the way the NFL shoved the Giants down our throat last year in national games.

Chiefs at Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on CBS)

We’ll see Jim Harbaugh get his first crack against Mahomes and the Chiefs in a Week 4 game at home. The Chargers have a fairly easy September before this game, so they could enter on a good start as they look to give Justin Herbert better team support this year. Games between Herbert and Mahomes are usually some of the best division games to watch in the NFL, so throw in Harbaugh to the mix and this should be a good late afternoon game.

Bills at Ravens (SNF on NBC)

A big matchup here as two of the best teams in the AFC meet on SNF. We’ll see how the Bills adjust without Stefon Diggs, and the Ravens of course made the logical move in free agency to add Henry to the backfield.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 5

Bills at Texans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS)

Another tough test early in the season as the Bills head to Houston, and you know Diggs will be eying huge numbers in that matchup. The 2023 Texans were the first offense in history to have three wide receivers with multiple games of 140 receiving yards in a season, and now they have Diggs to go along with those weapons. This one will probably be personal.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 6

Lions at Cowboys (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

It’s a bit appalling that this game wasn’t the SNF choice and Bengals-Giants was. This is a rematch of a late-season game last year where the Lions felt they were robbed on an illegal formation penalty on a 2-point conversion that could have won the game for them. This should be a big NFC game.

Bills at Jets (MNF on ESPN)

While it’s true the Bills just rallied from a 6-6 start to win the AFC East again last year, it really does feel like this team’s season could be decided in this Weeks 4-6 stretch where they play the Ravens, Texans, and Jets. If there is going to be a new ruler in the AFC East, then maybe it comes out of this stretch and with the Jets playing well.

But Rodgers is going to have to get much better protection than we saw on that drive last year in this spot when he was injured against Buffalo. At the very least, we don’t have to watch Zach Wilson this year with the Jets after he was traded to Denver.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 7

Texans at Packers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS)

This non-conference battle may get lost in the early Sunday afternoon shuffle, but this is a potentially exciting game. You never know, it could even be a Super Bowl preview if Stroud and Love live up to the hype and expand on what they did last year with already winning a playoff game. At least one of these teams should make the leap to elite class this year.

Chiefs at 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

It’s a rematch of the Super Bowl, and we’ll probably have to listen to Tom Brady call it for FOX. Fun. But it’s a big one for the 49ers to get over the mental hurdle of always folding, especially in the fourth quarter, against Mahomes and the Chiefs. The 49ers are home for this one, but the Chiefs are coming off a bye week, and we know they usually do well on those under Andy Reid.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 8

Cowboys at 49ers (SNF on NBC)

Big 2-week stretch for the 49ers in hosting the Chiefs and Cowboys. Just as we talked about the 49ers needing to get over the mental hurdle against the Chiefs, the Cowboys need to do the same against the 49ers. These games have gone poorly for them, and they were blown out 42-10 on SNF in San Francisco last year. If they are ever going to end this drought of not getting past the divisional round, they need to start winning games against the 49ers, the favorite in the NFC again for this 2024 season.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 9

Texans at Jets (TNF on Prime Video)

Could be a fun one on Halloween to kick off Week 9. Stroud suffered a concussion against the Jets last year in what was his worst game of the season. Hopefully we get a healthy battle between Stroud and Rodgers here, and that matchup of the Houston offense against the New York defense could be a great one if these teams live up to expectations.

Dolphins at Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS)

If the Dolphins ever want to change the narrative under Mike McDaniel, they need to start winning games like this on the road. He has not won on the road against a good team since a 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter in Baltimore in the first month of his coaching career in 2022. This is another shot to get a win in Buffalo where McDaniel is 0-3 (playoffs included).

Lions at Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

If we are going to see a quick changing of the guard in the NFC North back to Green Bay, this is a key home game for the Packers. The teams split last year with the road team winning both games. As a believer in both teams, this is one to circle for sure.

The rematch will kick off Week 14 on TNF.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 10

Bengals at Ravens (TNF on Prime Video)

Just so I have this right, the NFL has Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow playing games in the same venues against the same opponents on the same nights of the week in which they suffered their season-ending injuries last year? Seems a little intentional or like a sick game of wishful déjà vu.

But a reason we liked the Ravens to win the AFC North last year was because of the quarterback health issue. Lamar Jackson was injured in December in 2021 and 2022 and the Ravens were leading the AFC North at the time both years before the Bengals leaped ahead of them. Last year, the pendulum swung back to the Ravens having a healthy season out of Jackson and Burrow was the one plagued by injuries.

Good advantage for the Ravens here getting this game at home on another short week as they look to repeat as division champions.

Giants vs. Panthers (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. in Munch on NFL Network)

Just wanted to point out that this should be a great morning to sleep in and bypass this game in Munich, Germany. The Panthers are the only team that did not get a single prime-time game this year, and this is their only island game of the 2024 season.

Maybe the Panthers can surprise under rookie coach Dave Canales, but this is not an exciting matchup as it currently looks.

Eagles at Cowboys (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

The odds for the NFC East are a tie between the Eagles and Cowboys right now, so these head-to-head matchups should prove crucial again. The home team has been winning each battle since 2022, so this year the Cowboys get the first opportunity at home, a switch up by the schedule makers.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 11

Chiefs at Bills (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on CBS)

These teams often play great, important games in the AFC. But despite the Bills beating the Chiefs in three straight regular seasons, they still cannot get past them in the playoffs. At least this game will be in Buffalo, where none of the last three matchups in the regular season have been.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 12

49ers at Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

The 49ers have been a thorn in Green Bay’s side for many years now. The Packers were so close to pulling off the upset in the playoffs, but they came up just short. This game is another huge opportunity to flip the script in the NFC and for the Packers to possibly jump ahead of the 49ers in the conference if things are going well.

It’s really a huge week for Green Bay as the Packers will also be at home for Thanksgiving to face the Dolphins.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 13

Raiders at Chiefs (Black Friday Game on Prime Video)

The NFL is having a Black Friday game for the second year in a row. We’ll see if the Raiders can repeat their improbable win on Christmas last year in Arrowhead when they beat the Chiefs by returning two touchdowns on defense in 7 seconds, and quarterback Aidan O’Connell did not complete a pass after the first quarter.

Something tells me that won’t work this time, but we’ll see if rookie tight end Brock Bowers can have an impact in what could be his most high-profile appearance of the season.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 14

Bengals at Cowboys (MNF on ESPN)

ESPN gets a good one in early December assuming these teams are still very much in the hunt. Neither is currently an outright favorite to win their division.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 15

Dolphins at Texans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS)

Another chance for the Dolphins to win a big road game, but the real story here could be Houston. This game is on December 15, and it kicks off what could be the most crucial stretch of the 2024 season when the Texans, Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers will all play 3 games in a span of 10 days.

It’s a very bold, very risky move by the NFL to schedule what could be three of its top Super Bowl contenders to have so many big games in such a short period of time. This probably should be the main talking point about this NFL schedule. It’s an experiment that is using some very probable Super Bowl contenders in a way that could have a negative impact on the postseason.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 16

There is a Saturday doubleheader in the afternoon (December 21).

Texans at Chiefs (Saturday, 1:00 p.m. on NBC)

The first matchup between Mahomes and Stroud could be a big one that decides everything from the No. 1 seed to the MVP in this 2024 season. The Chiefs will be at home for it, but the Texans could gain a ton of momentum (and respect) if they step up and pull out a win here.

Steelers at Ravens (Saturday, 4:30 p.m. on FOX)

After the Texans-Chiefs, we’ll also be treated to the best divisional rivalry of the 21st century in the NFL between the Steelers and Ravens. The Steelers swept Baltimore in a pair of games that ended 17-10 last year, but the Ravens did rest starters for that last one. They won’t be doing so here despite the fact both teams have to get ready to play on Wednesday for Christmas.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 17

The week starts with a Wednesday doubleheader on Netflix on Christmas Day.

Chiefs at Steelers (Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. on Netflix)

Depending on how their game with Houston goes on Saturday, the Chiefs will either be feeling great or sad going into this one. But they better take it more seriously than they did the last time they played on Christmas when they suffered an embarrassing loss to the Raiders.

As for Pittsburgh, playing the Chiefs and Ravens so late in the season could ultimately decide if the non-losing season streak lives or dies. The Steelers have an over/under of 8.5 wins and it’s looking like it will be right on that line unless vintage Russell Wilson shows up for 2024. The Steelers also have all six of their AFC North games in the final eight weeks, which sounds like an insane scheduling quirk to me.

Ravens at Texans (Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. on Netflix)

If the Texans can go into Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs, then come back on Wednesday and beat the Ravens at home, then they just might have the inside track to the Super Bowl this year. It’s a tough test, but we’ll see if the Texans are ready to pass it.

It should be noted that in this 3-games-in-10-days gauntlet, the Texans and Ravens both have a late bye in Week 14. The Chiefs have an early bye in Week 6. We’ll see if that has a factor in how these teams are playing late in December.

It feels like the league designed this part of the NFL schedule as a little playoff preview in late December, but I’m worried about the negative effects it can have on these teams playing so many crucial games in such a short window of time.

Cowboys at Eagles (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX)

This week also has a game that could decide the NFC East in the 2024 season. No team has repeated as division champion in the NFC East since the Eagles did it in 2001-04. That could continue this year if the Eagles are able to win it back from Dallas, and having this game at home late in the season could be the decisive edge they need to do so.

It would be a huge change from last year when the Eagles collapsed down the stretch.

2024 NFL Schedule: Week 18

Finally, Week 18 is all division games, so we are looking for anything that could be a clinching scenario for a division title. No dates or times are announced yet for the Week 18 slate.

Panthers at Falcons

The Falcons actually will have most of their division games out of the way very early this year. But if they still need Week 18 to clinch the lowly NFC South, then they probably get the best draw possible with a home game against the Panthers.

Dolphins at Jets

In the 2023 season, the final game of the regular season was Buffalo at Miami to decide the AFC East, which was won by the Bills for a fourth year in a row. Could this game be for the division title on Sunday Night Football, or could it at least be for the final wild card spot in the AFC? It has potential to be a big one for the final week of the season.

We’ll see if any of the teams we largely ignored (Rams, Browns, Jaguars, Colts, etc.) become a much bigger part of the 2024 NFL season story than expected. But these were just some of the top games and storylines we are looking forward to this season.

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