The NFL’s schedule for the 2017 season was released Thursday night.
Here’s a look at the most notable games:
▪ Chiefs at Patriots, Sept. 7 at 8:30 p.m.: The NFL’s season-opening game sends the Chiefs, coming off a playoff season and hoping for more this time around, rather than the Falcons to Foxborough, Mass.
▪ Vikings at Steelers, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.: The Steelers play their first home game since the death of their revered, longtime owner, Dan Rooney. It won’t be quite the same without him.
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▪ Dolphins at Chargers, Sept. 17 at 4:05 p.m. ET: The Chargers play their first home game at the StubHub Center, their temporary Los Angeles home, following their offseason move from San Diego. The 30,000-seat venue is extremely cozy by NFL standards, and the Chargers are a year behind the Rams in building an L.A. fan base. It will be interesting to see how they’re received.
▪ Jets at Raiders, Sept. 17 at 4:05 p.m. ET: It’s the beginning of the end for the Raiders in Oakland. Their move to Las Vegas was ratified by the NFL owners and they plan to be there beginning in either 2019 or 2020. They’re scheduled to play at least the next two seasons in Oakland, and owner Mark Davis has said he thinks the team will be well supported. That certainly remains to be seen. A contending team and the possible addition of local favorite Marshawn Lynch would help.
▪ Packers at Falcons, Sept. 17 at 8:30 p.m.: The Falcons open their glitzy new stadium with a Sunday night game in Week 2 and a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game, with quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Matt Ryan of Atlanta aiming for MVP contention once again.
▪ 49ers at Redskins, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m.: The 49ers might not be able to pry franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins from the Redskins until next offseason for that. If so, that merely would add intrigue to this meeting between Kyle Shanahan, the first-year head coach of the Niners who was Cousins’s first NFL offensive coordinator in Washington, and Cousins.
▪ Falcons at Patriots, Oct. 22 at 8:30 p.m.: It was a memorably great Super Bowl, and the Falcons can’t do anything in a regular season game to make up for their late meltdown in Houston in February. But these teams should be contenders again, and the outcome should be significant for both.
▪ Cowboys at Falcons, Nov. 12 at 4:25 p.m.: This would have been the NFC championship game, albeit in Dallas, if the Cowboys had not been upset in a conference semifinal by the Packers. It will be a significant test for the Cowboys as they attempt to remain in the top-contender mix in the NFC in Year 2 for quarterback Dak Prescott and tailback Ezekiel Elliott.
▪ Patriots-Raiders, Nov. 19 at 4:25 p.m. ET in Mexico City: Would this have been the matchup in last year’s AFC championship game if Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hadn’t gotten hurt late in the regular season?
▪ Eagles at Rams, Dec. 10 at 4:25 p.m. ET: Second-year quarterbacks Jared Goff of the Rams and Carson Wentz of the Eagles, the top two selections in last year’s NFL draft, meet for the first time.
▪ Patriots at Steelers, Dec. 17 at 4:25 p.m.: The Steelers weren’t particularly competitive in the AFC championship game at New England. They’ll be at home this time as they try to do better.
▪ Cowboys at Raiders, Dec. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET: A very good game even without the subplots. But on top of that, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was a major behind-the-scenes power broker in arranging the Raiders’ pending move from Oakland to Las Vegas. It’s the Raiders’ final home game of the regular season. If things don’t go well this season, is there a chance they could leave Oakland earlier than scheduled and play elsewhere in 2018?