Sports

National Football League schedule 2018 winners and losers

National Football League schedule 2018 winners and losers

The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will head to England's home of soccer when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in one of four National Football League worldwide games next season. Then again, just because the Eagles are facing a different kind of pressure doesn't mean they would trade it for anything in the world since this team has been waiting decades to get that first Super Bowl under their belts.

The 2018 schedule has three three-game road trips, down from seven previous year.

Green Bay hosts Chicago in the first Sunday night matchup on September 9.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" gets underway September 9 when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears (8:20 p.m.) at Lambeau Field in the 195th regular-season meeting between the storied franchises.

Also, no team plays a road game following a road Monday night match.

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That's one of four global games. And all Week 17 games - all division games for the ninth straight season - will be played Sunday, Dec. 30. The Eagles have previously played worldwide games in the preseason, most recently in 1993 in Tokyo against New Orleans, but have not had a regular season game overseas.

The network is taking over broadcasting duties for a majority of the NFL's Thursday night slate from CBS and NBC, and it looks to have done pretty well with the schedule.

♦ The Eagles have five night games (which nearly certainly will be expanded due to flex scheduling) and a game in England that will start at 9:30 a.m. At night, it will be Atlanta visiting New Orleans. That quarterback battle is reason enough to tune in but don't discount two of the best defenses in the conference trying to contain them either in a crucial early matchup that will go a long ways in the standings a few months down the line. After that game against the Eagles, Dallas is dealing with three straight games against teams that didn't make the playoffs in 2017 - and only one of those is outdoors. San Francisco travels to Green Bay in Week 6, but everything else is manageable; there's the rest of the NFC West and NFC North, plus the AFC West and two fellow last-place teams (at the Buccaneers in Week 12 and at the Bears in Week 16).

The NFL on Thursday announced its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2018, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 6, in Philadelphia and concludes Sunday, Dec. 30 with 16 division games. But this year, at least on paper, the schedule seems pretty good, starting with the late-night Week 1 game featuring former "MNF" color commentator Jon Gruden in his second debut as Raiders coach (against the should-be-good Rams, no less). Additionally, in weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. That will be chosen after Week 16 games conclude.


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