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NFL Releases Schedule For Its 100th Season And Packers-Bears Is (Rightfully) The Opener

Getting Ready For The Next NFL Season So powerful is the NFL brand that it can make news while announcing information already essentially known. The NFL has a formula...

Getting Ready For The Next NFL Season

So powerful is the NFL brand that it can make news while announcing information already essentially known.
The NFL has a formula for scheduling. So when one season ends, each team’s opponents for the next are already known.

But when will they play? Ah, there’s the secret ingredient. Do we open at home or away? When is the bye? Any extended road trips? All was made clear when the NFL released the 2019-20 schedule on Wednesday night for its 100th season.

Appropriately, the league will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 5, with the Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears. This continues the longest rivalry in the league – the meeting will be the 199th between the two NFC Central Division foes. The Bears are on the upswing, the Packers in a sort of retooling under new coach Matt LaFleur.

Other schedule notes:

• Apparently, the NFL doesn’t think much of the Buffalo Bills’ chances this season. The Bills are the only team with no prime-time appearances.

• Bills fans can look with envy across Lake Erie at the rising Cleveland Browns, who will be in four prime-time games. As perennial losers, they were 1 p.m. fixtures. Now? The spotlight is on Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.

• Conspiracy fans will note that the New England Patriots play eight consecutive games against teams that did not make the playoffs. The fix is in for the Patriots again (just kidding). They open at home on Sunday night, Sept. 8, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

• Remember the disastrous missed penalty calls in the NFC Championship Game that likely cost the New Orleans Saints a berth in the Super Bowl? They get a Sunday, Sept. 15 rematch with the Los Angeles Rams, but this will be on the road. The league expanded its use of instant replay due to the blown pass interference and helmet-to-helmet contact calls.

Still craving football? Hey, the NFL draft is next week. Patience, patience, patience.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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