Advertisement

A Texas Longhorns connection to each week of the 2024 NFL schedule

Texas Longhorns fans will already be watching plenty of football this fall with the long-awaited move to the SEC, rivalry games against Oklahoma and Texas A&M and a home game against Georgia. Oh, and don't forget Texas will play at defending national champion Michigan, too.

But that's just on Saturdays. For the burnt-orange believers out there, there will be plenty of reasons to watch NFL games as well. The NFL released its 2024 season schedule on Wednesday, and here is a Longhorns tie for each week:

Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, right, celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals last season. The former Texas Longhorns star is entering his second NFL season and is one of several notable Longhorns in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, right, celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals last season. The former Texas Longhorns star is entering his second NFL season and is one of several notable Longhorns in the NFL.

Week 1: Ravens at Chiefs (Thursday, Sept. 5)

A first-round pick last month, former UT receiver Xavier Worthy will make his NFL debut on a large stage. This prime-time showdown between the Ravens and Chiefs is also the first game of the NFL's 2024 season.

Week 2: Saints at Cowboys (Sunday, Sept. 15)

Fans of UT linebackers should tune into this one. Jaylan Ford was taken by New Orleans in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL draft. DeMarvion Overshown was Dallas' third-round pick in 2023 who missed last season with a knee injury. The past three seasons, either Overshown or Ford led Texas in tackles.

Week 3: Broncos at Buccaneers (Sunday, Sept. 22)

Why won't Texas and Oklahoma fans have to wait until October's Red River Rivalry game? Because Tampa Bay is quarterbacked by ex-OU quarterback and longtime Texas heel Baker Mayfield. And three Longhorns defensive backs — Brandon Jones, P.J. Locke and Caden Sterns — are on the Denver roster.

Week 4: Commanders at Cardinals (Sunday, Sept. 29)

Over the past 16 years, only three Texas offensive linemen have been drafted. Two may play in this game. Sam Cosmi was a second-round pick by Washington in 2021. Christian Jones was selected by Arizona in the fifth round of this year's draft.

Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson signs autographs for Texas fans while attending the Longhorns' Orange-White spring game at Royal-Memorial Stadium on April 20.
Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson signs autographs for Texas fans while attending the Longhorns' Orange-White spring game at Royal-Memorial Stadium on April 20.

Week 5: Buccaneers at Falcons (Thursday, Oct. 3)

Over the first five weeks of the season, Atlanta will make three appearances in prime time. That will give former Texas running back Bijan Robinson plenty of opportunities to shine on a large stage. This final primetime slot has been reserved for this game against Atlanta's NFC South rival.

Week 6: Jaguars at Bears (Sunday, Oct. 13)

Since Collin Johnson is a Bear and Devin Duvernay is a Jaguar, how about a reunion in London between two receivers who combined for 1,945 receiving yards in 2019? That's the fourth-most yards recorded by a receiving duo in UT history.

Week 7: Seahawks at Falcons (Sunday, Oct. 20)

With Byron Murphy II in the heart of its defensive line last season, Texas ranked third nationally in rushing defense. One year later, can Murphy help stuff an Atlanta rushing attack fueled by Robinson?

Week 8: Panthers at Broncos (Sunday, Oct. 27)

There are three former UT players — running back Jonathon Brooks, defensive back D'Shawn Jamison and rookie tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders — on Carolina's roster. Jones, Locke, Sterns, Lil'Jordan Humphrey and Malcolm Roach represent Texas in Denver. The postgame photo op for all these Texas exes might get a little congested.

Week 9: Chargers at Browns (Sunday, Nov. 3)

This game features some veteran Longhorns who found new homes this offseason. Linebacker Jordan Hicks will spend his 10th NFL season in Cleveland. Defensive lineman Poona Ford is now a Charger after playing six years for Seattle and Buffalo.

Week 10: Bills at Colts (Sunday, Nov. 10)

During the 2024 draft, Adonai Mitchell was the 11th receiver taken off the board. This season, the ex-Horn gets six games against teams that chose to draft another receiver before he was taken with the 52nd pick. One of those is Buffalo, which used the 33rd pick on Florida State's Keon Coleman.

Week 11: Texans at Cowboys (Monday, Nov. 18)

OK, so most fans in the state were going to watch this game anyway. But Houston fullback Andrew Beck and defensive back Kris Boyd are former Longhorns. So is Overshown, the Dallas linebacker. All three of these Texas exes were on UT's 2019 Sugar Bowl team.

Week 12: Ravens at Chargers (Monday, Nov. 25)

National audiences may tune into this game since brother John and Jim Harbaugh will be the two head coaches. Texas fans may be more interested in the duel between kickers since it will feature Baltimore's Justin Tucker and Los Angeles' Cameron Dicker — who had memorable field goals at UT to beat respectively Texas A&M and Oklahoma — kicking.

Week 13: Titans vs. Commanders (Sunday, Dec. 1)

Cosmi might draw an ex-Longhorn as a blocking assignment in this game. T'Vondre Sweat and Keondre Coburn are both interior defensive linemen on the Tennessee roster. Sweat was a second-round pick last month.

Week 14: Bears at San Francisco (Sunday, Dec. 8)

Texas won't be just represented on the field this season. Former UT receiver Kyle Shanahan is heading into his eighth year as the head coach in San Francisco. Richard Hightower is Chicago's special teams coordinator. Shanahan and Hightower were teammates and former walk-ons at Texas.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu strips the ball from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in a critical play late in the Chiefs' win in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 28. It helped send the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu strips the ball from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in a critical play late in the Chiefs' win in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 28. It helped send the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.

Week 15: Chiefs at Browns (Thursday, Dec. 22)

Most Texas fans would probably like to forget about the 2016 season, but that team did have some talent. One was current Kansas City defensive end Charles Omenihu. Another was Cleveland running back D'Onta Foreman.

Week 16: Jaguars at Raiders (Sunday, Dec. 22)

An All-Pro last season, AJ Cole might be punting away to a UT product this week. Duvernay has earned two Pro Bowl invitations as a return specialist. Keilan Robinson, a fifth-round draft pick this year, scored on a 95-yard kickoff return for Texas in 2023.

Week 17: Chiefs at Steelers (Wednesday, Dec. 25)

Pittsburgh has two Longhorns in its secondary: 2024 draft pick Ryan Watts and free agent signee DeShon Elliott. Elliott and Watts will spend their Christmas with Kansas City star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and perhaps Watts might find himself lined up as a cornerback against an ex-teammate in Worthy.

Week 18: Panthers at Falcons (TBA)

This game will feature two running backs who are responsible for three of Texas' 26 all-time 1,000-yard seasons. Robinson rushed for 1,127 yards in 2021 and 1,580 yards in 2022. After serving as an understudy to Robinson for two years, Brooks produced a 1,139-yard campaign in 2023.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: NFL schedule features plenty of connections to Texas football program