2020 NFL Schedule: 9 Games to Look For When NFL Releases Its Full Schedule on Thursday Night

The NFL will release its full schedule for all 32 of its teams on Thursday night. The home and away opponents are already known for each team, but now the days, nights and weeks they'll be played will finally be announced.

Just knowing the opponents, there will definitely be some interesting matchups. The NFL will surely want to put Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a couple of spotlight games, along with the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams—who will share a brand new stadium.

The Oakland Raiders have moved to Las Vegas, and the NFL will likely want to showcase the Raiders and their stealth-like stadium on a Sunday night, or perhaps even a Monday or Thursday night.

There are quarterbacks who may be playing their final seasons with their longtime teams. New Orleans Saints signal caller Drew Brees will playing his last season in the Crescent City, and the rumor mill says Aaron Rodgers may be playing his final season with the Green Bay Packers after the team drafted a quarterback in the first round last month. They will play each other in New Orleans.

Four quarterbacks were drafted in the first round, and none drew more buzz than Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals) and Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins). Those two teams face each other in 2020 in Miami, but schedule makers might want this game late in the season for the best chance of both quarterbacks starting by then.

Of course, there are the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who will have the proverbial bullseye on their backs. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, along with the entire AFC West, will battle the NFC South during inter-conference play, and that includes a game at Brady's Bucs.

One social media thread indicates all AFC-NFC games will be played in the first four weeks.

Packers vs. AFC South the first four weeks. They host Titans and Jaguars, travel to Texans and Colts https://t.co/fbeDqLbmO1

— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) May 6, 2020

The schedule reveal will be at 8 p.m. ET Thursday night on the NFL Network and the NFL app. Here are nine games to look for when the schedule is released Thursday night. (Note: Divisional games were omitted because they are already rivals, and they play each other twice)

New England Patriots opening game
This will be a chance for fans to see what life will potentially be like without Tom Brady, who quarterbacked the team for 20 years, winning six Super Bowl trophies and nine AFC titles along the way. Intriguing matchups would be at home against the San Francisco 49ers or at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Opening night at Allegiant Stadium
The Las Vegas Raiders might be a team that deserves a prime time game on opening weekend, whether it's Thursday night, Sunday night or the second Monday night slot. They host three games that could be great opening night matchups—including two against the NFC South in New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Tom Brady). The other is the Kansas City Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes), but it's likely the Chiefs will host their first game as the defending Super Bowl champs.

Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore won the 2019 regular season and top overall seed, but the Chiefs won the AFC and then the Super Bowl—and the 2019 regular season game. Lamar Jackson, the 2019 league MVP, and his Ravens will likely play with their hair on fire again, trying to prove they're the AFC's top team. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes will look to duplicate from last year's win against Baltimore. This game could go a long way to determining this season's AFC regular-season champion.

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Unless both teams make the playoffs and see each other again, this could be the last time Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees play against each other.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys
Ok, so it's a rivalry that transferred dominance of the Cowboys to the 49ers in the early 1980s, and then back to Dallas in the early 1990s. San Francisco is the reigning NFC champion. If the Cowboys believe they've made the right choices with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot and all other moves, beating the 49ers at Jerry World would be a bold statement.

First game at SoFi Stadium
There are actually two new NFL stadiums debuting at SoFi this fall. One of them is in Los Angeles, which will play home to both the Chargers and the Rams. If there is one game to preview this stadium, then it would either be the Kansas City Chiefs at the Chargers or the Dallas Cowboys at the Rams.

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It's Aaron Rodgers and the Pack against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Enough said.

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins
This has the potential to be a matchup of Joe Burrow (Bengals) vs. Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins). They are 1-1 against each other head-to-head in LSU-Alabama games, respectively, over the last two seasons. Both were first-round picks last month, so this could be a game for quarterbacks of the future.

New Orleans Saints final home game
The final time Drew Brees will lead the Saints in a regular-season game in the Superdome. If the schedule makers got this one right, it would be against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in a matchup of two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

About the writer

Scott McDonald is a Newsweek deputy night editor based in Cape Coral, Florida. His focus is assigning and writing stories across all topics, from news to politics, business, weather, sports and international news. Scott joined Newsweek in 2018 after a lengthy career of print journalism in Texas, including The Dallas Morning News, where he was a sportswriter, and he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been a newspaper editor-in-chief and also a newspaper publisher. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. You can get in touch with Scott by emailing s.mcdonald@newsweek.com. Languages: English

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