The NFL is in the final two weeks before the NFL Draft begins, but there is another piece of April business the league still has to do. Usually sometime in the middle of this month, the league releases the regular season schedule for the upcoming year. The NFL released last week the preseason schedule, but there had not been word on the regular season release. At least, not until yesterday.
Detroit Lions president Rod Wood, who met with the media as a part of the team’s unveiling of new uniforms, stated, “The schedule coming out next Thursday will be a focus, too.” The statement was first reported by Fox 2 Sports in Detroit.
The annual release of the NFL schedule has become a major event in its own right, with television specials built for breaking down all 17 weeks of the regular season and fans debating the merits of when their favorite team plays a division rival, when the home games are scheduled, what primetime games a team may have, and when the bye week is scheduled to happen for their team. It appears this year’s schedule release will happen exactly a week prior to the Draft, giving everyone plenty to discuss before the selection meeting begins.
The opponents and home-or-away match ups have already been determined, based on the league’s annual rotation of division versus division scheduling and the final divisional standings from last year. For the Miami Dolphins, the team will host the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tennessee Titans, while visiting the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Baltimore Ravens. Miami will also be the “home” team during a Week 4 game in London against the New Orleans Saints, and will, of course, have their annual home-and-home series against the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets.