NFL 2018 Schedule Is Out: Check Out The Primetime Games, Thanksgiving & More

Erik Pedersen
Deadline

The NFL is coming off a rough season lowlighted by some ratings challenges and a president — and a big chunk of the league’s fan base — grumbling about players protesting during the national anthem. But after an off-season in which Fox spent a reported $3 billion for the Thursday Night Football TV rights for its 25th year airing the NFL games, spring has sprung and a new campaign looms, as the country’s most lucrative sports machine released its 2018 regular-season schedule today.

The league’s 99th season will stick with recent tradition and kick off with the defending Super Bowl champion in the Thursday night opener. The Philadelphia Eagles will host the previous year’s NFC champions, the Atlanta Falcons, in a birds-of-prey clash on September 6. Fast-forward a few days, and the also neo-traditional opening doubleheader for Monday Night Football will see the New York Jets at the Detroit Lions, followed by a California clash, as the Los Angeles Rams travel north to play the Oakland Raiders, who are launching their final season in California before moving to Las Vegas. Also notable there: Jon Gruden, who went to a Super Bowl as coach of the Raiders and has spent the past decade in the Monday Night Football booth, is back to lead the team again this year.

This season’s three-game Thanksgiving schedule is an all-divisional-matchup affair: the Chicago Bears at the Lions at 12:30 PM ET, the Washington Redskins at the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 ET), and the Falcons at the New Orleans Saints in the first Turkey Day game ever in the Big Easy (8:20 ET).

As for the 2018 season’s international games, three of the four California teams are playing “home games” abroad: The Rams will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City on MNF in Week 11; the Raiders “host” the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6 at England’s Tottenham Stadium (the first NFL game there); and the Los Angeles Chargers’ second year in the City of Angels will see them travel to London’s Wembley Stadium for a tilt against the Tennessee Titans on October 21. The ensuing Week 8 will feature the Jacksonville Jaguars in a home game against the Eagles at Wembley.

Also of note this year: The league will start all of its prime-time games a little earlier. After Week 1, Monday Night Football will kick off 15 minutes earlier at 8:15 PM ET; Sunday Night Football will start 10 minutes earlier at 8:20 PM ET; and Thursday Night Football gets a five-minute headstart at 8:20 PM PT.

Check out the full slate of Thursday, Sunday night and Monday games below. Note that “flex” scheduling begins the Sunday of Week 5 and runs throughout the season:

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Fox and NFL Network except where noted, 8:15 PM ET)

Week 1, Sept. 6 Falcons at Eagles (NBC)
Week 2, Sept. 13 Ravens at Bengals (NFL Network)
Week 3, Sept. 20 Jets at Browns (NFL Network)
Week 4, Sept. 27: Vikings at Rams
Week 5, Oct. 4: Colts at Patriots
Week 6, Oct. 11: Eagles at Giants
Week 7, Oct. 18: Broncos at Cardinals
Week 8, Oct. 25: Dolphins at Texans
Week 9, Nov. 1: Raiders at 49ers
Week 10, Nov 8: Panthers at Steelers
Week 11, Nov. 15: Packers at Seahawks
Week 12, Nov. 22: Falcons at Saints (NBC)
Week 13, Nov. 29: Saints at Cowboys
Week 14, Dec. 6: Jaguars at Titans
Week 15, Dec. 13: Chargers at Chiefs

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC, 8:20 PM ET)

Week 1, Sept 9: Bears at Packers
Week 2, Sept.16: Giants at Cowboys
Week 3, Sept. 23: Patriots at Lions
Week 4, Sept. 30: Ravens at Steelers
Week 5, Oct. 7: Cowboys at Texans
Week 6, Oct.14: Chiefs at Patriots
Week 7 Oct. 21: Rams at 49ers
Week 8 Oct. 28: Saints at Vikings
Week 9 Nov. 4: Packers at Patriots
Week 10 Nov. 11: Cowboys at Eagles
Week 11 Nov. 18: Steelers at Jaguars
Week 12 Nov. 25: Packers at Vikings
Week 13, Dec. 2: 49ers at Seahawks
Week 14, Dec. 9: Steelers at Raiders
Week 15, Dec. 16: Eagles at Rams
Week 16, Dec. 23, Chiefs at Seahawks

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (ESPN, 8:15 PM ET except where noted)

Week 1, Sept. 10: Jets at Lions
Sept. 10: Rams at Raiders 10:20 ET
Week 2, Sept. 17: Seahawks at Bears
Week 3. Sept. 24: Steelers at Buccaneers
Week 4, Oct. 1: Chiefs at Broncos
Week 5, Oct. 8: Redskins at Saints
Week 6, Oct. 15:49ers at Packers
Week 7, Oct. 22: Giants at Falcons
Week 8, Oct. 29: Patriots at Bills
Week 9, Nov. 5: Titans at Cowboys
Week 10, Nov. 12: Giants at 49ers
Week 11, Nov. 19: Chiefs at Rams
Week 12, Nov. 26: Titans at Texans
Week 13, Dec. 3: Redskins at Eagles
Week 14, Dec. 10: Vikings at Seahawks
Week 15, Dec. 17: Saints at Panthers
Week 16, Dec. 24: Broncos at Raiders

Related stories

Les Moonves Predicts Tech Giants One Day Might Seek Sunday NFL Rights

Fox Didn't Overpay For NFL Thursday Night Rights, Says CEO Peter Rice

Eagles' 1st Super Bowl Win Draws 103.4M Viewers, Smallest Audience In Nine Years - Update

Get more from Deadline.com: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter

What to Read Next