2017 NFL Schedule Release

The 2017 NFL Schedule was released on Thursday night. Though we're five months away from the season, the excitement is building. Here's 16 games to help prepare for a perfect season.

Week 1:
* Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots, Thursday, September 7: The opening game of the season, and a good one. The Chiefs were the AFC West Champs and the No. 2 seed in 2016, and are likely to be an AFC contender again. The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the defending champs have a great record in these season opening games. This outta be a good one.

* Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, September 10: The NFL tries to beef it up on opening weekend, and this is an exhibit of how they do it. This game pits a pair of playoff teams and division winners, both of whom have aspirations of contending again in 2017. It's just a shame someone has to start 0-1.

* New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, September 10: The opening Sunday night game is a familiar one as the Giants and Cowboys have battled in prime time frequently over the years, often to start the season. The Cowboys were nearly flawless last year, beating all comers in games that mattered — except for the Giants, who beat them twice in 2016. Will Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot finally get one over on the Giants? This game could be a good start.

Week 2:
* Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday September 17: The Packers don't get any breaks in week two, as they come off a home game with the Seahawks and head to battle the NFC Champion Falcons in Atlanta. The NFC Championship Game was a lopsided blow out, but the regular season battle between these two last season was fantastic. Let's hope for more of the same here. And this one will have a lot of eyeballs on it as the Sunday night game.

Week 6:
* Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, October 15: The Steelers, with Big Ben returning and major league weapons in Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, figure to be top contenders in the AFC. So, too, do the Chiefs. This is the start of a brutal stretch for KC that will determine a lot about their ability to contend in the AFC.

* New York Giants at Denver Broncos, Sunday, October 15: The Giants got a brutal schedule, facing a number of teams coming off byes and hostile prime time games. This fits both bills, as the Giants travel to Denver on Sunday night with the Broncos coming off their bye and starting a brutal stretch. This also features one of the best receiving corps — Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepherd and Brandon Marshall — versus possibly the league's best secondary — Chris Harris, Jr., Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, TJ Ward and Darian Stewart. Strength versus strength in the Mile High City.

Week 7:
* Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders, Thursday, October 19: The Chiefs and Raiders were neck-in-neck atop the AFC West in 2016, and figure to battle it out again. Their first meeting in 2017 comes on a Thursday night in Oakland. The Chiefs will be coming off a Sunday match with the Steelers the week before, and are in the midst of a make-or-break stretch in their season as they host the Broncos on Monday night in week eight and travel to Dallas in week nine. It was a sweep of Oakland in 2016 that proved the difference in the West, will it happen again?

*Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots, Sunday, October 22: This is a re-match of the Super Bowl, with the Falcons traveling into New England to battle the Patriots on Sunday night. Last year's regular season Super Bowl re-match between the Panthers and Broncos was epic, so let's hope for more fireworks here.

Week 10:
* Dallas Cowboys at the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, November 12: Getting deep into the season, this is a premium match up. The Cowboys and the Falcons were the top seeds in the NFC last season, and they will clash in Atlanta in early November. This should be a game with plenty of fire works.

* New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, Sunday, November 12: The Sunday night game sees Tom Brady and the Patriots travel to Denver. This is always a great match up, and one that gets circled on the calendar, especially when it's played in Denver. For all Brady's accolades, he struggles in the Mile High City. And, doubtless, Von Miller and the Broncos' defense will be ready for them.

Week 11:
* New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders, Sunday, November 19: Derek Carr's injury at the end of last season was a great What If for Raiders fans. After their first great season in more than a decade, the Raiders ended up falling flat in the Post-Season behind rookie Connor Cook. But this Week 11 match up brings the defending Champs to town, a week after their trip to Denver. This could be one of the more marquee match ups in the AFC in 2017.

Week 12:
* New York Giants at Washington Redskins, Thursday, November 23: Thanksgiving is an unofficial football holiday each year. Looking at the lineup of games, there's some interesting choices. But the best appears to be the night game, which sees the Giants travel to Washington D.C. to battle their division rivals, the Redskins. Expect this to be a competitive and explosive game.

* Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, November 26: A couple great teams battling it out in late November. What more could football fans want? Aaron Rodgers and the high flying Packers will head to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers. Expect plenty of points.

Week 14:
*Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, December 10: This Sunday night matchup is another classic. The Ravens-Steelers divisional battles are among the best in professional football, and this early December battle promises to be crucial to both teams playoff chances.

* New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, Monday, December 11: Both these teams made the playoffs last season, and both could be contenders in 2017. If the Patriots have one weakness in their dominance of the AFC East it's December games in Miami. This battle, on prime time for Monday Night Football, could reveal that chink in the armor once again. And if the Dolphins take a step forward in 2017, it could put the AFC East in play.

Week 15:
* New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, December 17: Both these AFC contenders will be coming off clashes with division rivals the previous week when they meet in Pittsburgh. The two met in the AFC Title game following the 2016 season, and both have good chances at the Super Bowl again. This late December battle could have a lot to say about the seeding at the top of the AFC.


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