The NFL will open its new season where the last one kicked off — in Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, as the Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8, the teams announced.
The Bills-Rams matchup features elite quarterback play between Matthew Stafford and Josh Allen, who has guided the Bills to back-to-back playoff appearances. This game highlights a challenging schedule for the Rams, whose opponents have the league’s highest winning percentage from last year (56.7%). NBC will broadcast the game.
The Monday Night Football opener offers a spicy storyline — Russell Wilson making his Denver Broncos debut against his old team, the Seattle Seahawks, in Lumen Field. Wilson guided the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and nine winning seasons over 10 years. Seattle traded Wilson to Denver in March for multiple draft picks and veteran players. The game airs Sept. 12 on ESPN.
The Monday Night Football schedule is set 🙌
𝐂𝐀𝐍’𝐓 𝐖𝐀𝐈𝐓 🍿 pic.twitter.com/0fGvwCYvc9
— ESPN (@espn) May 13, 2022
Other key Week 1 matchups include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, a rematch of last season’s Thursday night opener; the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Las Vegas Raiders, re-igniting a dramatic 2021 regular season finale with playoff implications; the Cincinnati Bengals at the Pittsburgh Steelers, a clash of fierce AFC North rivals; and the Kansas City Chiefs making the trip west to play the Arizona Cardinals, two high-powered offenses in the desert.
The Buccaneers will face serious firepower in the first month of the season, with a Sept. 25 home opener against the Green Bay Packers and a clash with the Chiefs the following week.
Other Week 1 matchups include the Jacksonville Jaguars, with new coach Doug Pederson, at the Washington Commanders, with new quarterback Carson Wentz. Pederson coached Wentz in Philadelphia and won a Super Bowl with the Eagles, although Nick Foles was behind center with Wentz injured.
Several key division matchups, meanwhile, are also on tap for Sept. 11: the New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, and the Packers at Minnesota Vikings.
NFL teams began releasing information on their home openers a few hours before the 8 p.m. league-wide schedule reveal.
Teams have known their opponents since the end of last season, but the NFL builds drama around the schedule release, announcing the order, kickoff times and broadcast networks for all 272 games on one night each May. This will be the second NFL season that follows a 17-game schedule, as agreed upon by the NFL and players union during recent labor negotiations.
The regular season runs through Jan. 8, with the Super Bowl set for kickoff Feb. 12.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.