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2024 Schedule Release

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How It's Made: Anatomy of the NFL Schedule
Each spring, six NFL executives take on an enormous task: creating the NFL schedule for the next season.
By NFL Football Operations May 15, 2024

Each spring, six NFL executives take on an enormous task: creating the NFL schedule for the next season.

The NFL schedule makers — Vice President of Broadcasting Michael North, Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Howard Katz, Senior Director of Broadcasting Blake Jones, Director of Broadcasting Charlotte Carey, Vice President of Broadcasting Onnie Bose, and Broadcasting Senior Coordinator Lucy Popko — must consider the fans, the league's broadcast partners and many other factors when building the 272-game schedule that spans the 18 weeks of the NFL season and showcases the league's best matchups and talent.

The schedule makers will have to work around events that are already scheduled to take place in or near NFL stadiums — events that may compete with the games, put undue stress on the playing surface, or create traffic or logistical nightmares. The league begins collecting information from the clubs in January about any events that may create scheduling conflicts.

The schedulers are also constrained by internal factors. A formula determines each team's opponents every year, and a rotating schedule ensures that every team plays each of the other 31 at least once in a four-year period.

It takes thousands of cloud-based computers to produce thousands of possible schedules — a process that sets the stage for the schedule makers to begin the arduous task of picking the best possible one.


Single Game Tickets

Limited 2024 single game tickets are available now


The league's 32 teams are split into two conferences — the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The 16 teams in each conference are split into the East, North, South and West divisions; every division has four teams.

Every team will play 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Teams will alternate seasons where they host nine regular-season games and one preseason game, or eight regular-season games and two preseason games. The AFC will have nine regular season home games in the 2023 season.

Here's a breakdown of how each NFL team's opponents are set:

  • Six games against divisional opponents — two games per team, one at home and one on the road.
  • Four games against teams from a division within its conference — two games at home and two on the road.
  • Four games against teams from a division in the other conference— two games at home and two on the road.
  • Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference — one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season.
  • The 17th game is an additional game against a non-conference opponent from a division that the team is not scheduled to play. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2024 active roster as it currently stands.


The NFL's marquee matchups often are scheduled to air during the week's premier time slots — Thursday, Sunday or Monday nights or the late game on Sunday afternoons. The league typically schedules the Super Bowl champion at home for the Thursday night game that kicks off the new season.

The league will also schedule games on the Saturdays of Weeks 15, 16 and 18. In Week 15, three of the five designated matchups will be played on Saturday with the remainder being played on Sunday. Specific dates and start times for the designated Week 15 matchups will be determined and announced later during the season.


The National Football League has announced the schedule of the 2024 International Games that will be played across London, U.K., Munich, Germany and São Paulo, Brazil — as the league's global footprint continues to expand.

The Minnesota Vikings will kick off the league's return to Europe on Sunday, Oct. 6, as they play the New York Jets at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — the only purpose-built NFL stadium outside of the U.S.

The following Sunday, Oct. 13, also at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Chicago Bears will play the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The London focus then shifts to Wembley Stadium as the Jaguars take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, Oct. 20. This is the second time Jacksonville will play back-to-back games in the U.K., marking the team's 12th and 13th regular season games in London.

The Carolina Panthers will play the New York Giants in Munich at Allianz Arena — Home of FC Bayern Munich on Sunday, Nov. 10 as part of the NFL's commitment to playing regular season games in Germany.

This season's slate of International Games will begin in São Paulo, Brazil on Friday night of Week 1 of the regular season. The Green Bay Packers will take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, Sept. 6 at 8:15 PM ET.

View photos from the New York Giants' first three regular-season trips to Europe.


In 2006, the NFL introduced a "flexible scheduling" procedure for NBC's "Sunday Night Football." Flex scheduling ensures that the Sunday night game will feature a quality primetime matchup.

Flexible scheduling for Sunday night may be used twice between Weeks 5–10, Weeks 11–15 and Week 17. In flex scheduling weeks, the games listed for the Sunday night window are tentative and subject to change. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to move to Sunday night, in which the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would move to a Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon games may also be moved between the 1 p.m. ET, 4:05 p.m. ET, or 4:25 p.m. ET time slots.

Beginning in 2023, flexible scheduling will also be applied to ESPN's "Monday Night Football." This flexibility will be available in Weeks 12-15 and 17, allowing the NFL to move a different game into Monday Night Football and allowing the originally scheduled Monday night game to go back to Sunday afternoon. Monday Night Football flex scheduling decisions will be made on 13 days' notice.


Each team has one bye week assigned and many teams have a specific number of cross-country games scheduled (as determined by the standard formula at the conclusion of the previous season), stadium conflicts and other operational obstacles in their schedule. The scheduling teams aim to balance these operational elements while still trying to maximize fan viewership.

The process is challenging, and there may be no such thing as a perfect schedule, but the schedule makers consistently try to provide the NFL's fans and broadcast partners with a compelling and entertaining slate of games week after week.


Single Game Tickets

Limited 2024 single game tickets are available now

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