The NFL schedule release is the next milestone on the league’s calendar following the draft. 

The league will announce a date for its scheduled release soon. Last year, the full NFL schedule was revealed on Thursday, May 11. Fans will be on alert in the next couple of weeks as the release could be as soon as May 9 or as late as May 16. It’s likely NFL Network, and one of the ESPN networks will air the release live.

Opening Night falls on September 6. That game almost always features the defending Super Bowl champion at home. This year, once again, that’s the Kansas City Chiefs. Their most likely opponent would be the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chiefs beat the Ravens in the AFC title game this past January. NFL futures odds have the Chiefs as favorites to three-peat as Super Bowl champs.

Super Bowl 59 will be played in New Orleans on February 9, 2025. Kickoff is set for 6:28 p.m. EDT on Fox.

 


One regular-season game has been set on the NFL calendar. The “home” Philadelphia Eagles and “visiting” Green Bay Packers will play on Friday, September 7, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. That will be the first NFL game played in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each team’s opponents were determined once the regular season was complete in January.  Since we know each team’s opponents for the upcoming season, we’re able to decide on the 2024 strength of schedule based on last year’s final record of each team’s opponents.


Here is the rundown of all 32 NFL teams based on their opponent’s 2023-24 record.


NFL Strength Of Schedule 2024-25 By Team

Table with 3 columns and 32 rows.
1Cleveland Browns0.547
2Baltimore Ravens0.536
3Pittsburgh Steelers0.533
T-4Green Bay Packers0.526
T-4Houston Texans0.526
T-6Buffalo Bills0.516
T-6New York Giants0.516
T-8Jacksonville Jaguars0.512
T-8Las Vegas Raiders0.512
T-8New England Patriots0.512
11Detroit Lions0.509
T-12Dallas Cowboys0.505
T-12Los Angeles Rams0.505
T-12New York Jets0.505
T-12San Francisco 49ers0.505
T-16Cincinnati Bengals0.502
T-16Kansas City Chiefs0.502
T-16Minnesota Vikings0.502
T-16Washington Commanders0.502
20Denver Broncos0.495
T-21Indianapolis Colts0.491
T-21Philadelphia Eagles0.491
T-21Tennessee Titans0.491
T-24Arizona Cardinals0.488
T-24Miami Dolphins0.488
T-24Seattle Seahawks0.488
T-24Los Angeles Chargers0.488
28Tampa Bay Buccaneers0.478
T-29Carolina Panthers0.467
T-29Chicago Bears0.467
T-31Atlanta Falcons0.453
T-31New Orleans Saints0.453

Toughest and Weakest NFL Team Schedules 

The Cleveland Browns have the NFL’s toughest schedule this upcoming season. Their opponents had a combined winning percentage of .547 last season. The Browns reached the postseason in January before getting smoked by the Houston Texans 45-14 in the Wild-Card Round.

The AFC North is matched up against the AFC West and NFC East this season in terms of its inter– and intradivisional matchups. Their 17th game is against the NFC South. That means games the Browns will be facing the Dallas CowboysPhiladelphia Eagles, and Chiefs, in addition to the Miami Dolphins, outside the division. All those teams made the playoffs last season, as did AFC North foes home-and-away Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

The Browns seek an entire, healthy season from QB Deshaun Watson. Last year, Watson underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in November. He only made six starts last season, coming off his NFL suspension. The Browns expect him to be ready for Week 1.

The NFC South remains the league’s softest division, at least when it comes to strength of schedule. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are tied for the weakest schedule this season, with their opponents having a combined .453 winning percentage.

Four of the five softest schedules in the NFL belong to the NFC South teams.

The NFC South is matched up with the AFC East and AFC West this year in terms of its inter- and interdivisional matchups. Its 17th game will be played against the AFC North, as noted above.


How The NFL Schedule Is Determined

The current NFL scheduling formula was first implemented in 2002, and the 17th regular-season game was added in 2021.

Here are the factors used in determining each team’s schedule. 

  • 3 home and 3 away games for each division’s opponents
  • 4 games from another division within its conference on a rotating, three-year cycle
  • 4 games from a division in the other conference on a rotating, four-year cycle
  • intraconference games based on the previous year’s standings. These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched the same way each year.
  • interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating 4-year cycle. These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite-conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate.

Here is how the schedule rotation by division falls this season

AFC

EAST

IntraconferenceAFC SOUTH
InterconferenceNFC WEST
17th gameNFC NORTH
AFC

NORTH

IntraconferenceAFC WEST
InterconferenceNFC EAST
17th gameNFC SOUTH
AFC

SOUTH

IntraconferenceAFC EAST
InterconferenceNFC NORTH
17th gameNFC EAST
AFC

WEST

IntraconferenceAFC NORTH
InterconferenceNFC SOUTH
17th gameNFC WEST
NFC

EAST

IntraconferenceNFC SOUTH
InterconferenceAFC NORTH
17th gameAFC SOUTH
NFC

NORTH

IntraconferenceNFC WEST
InterconferenceAFC SOUTH
17th gameAFC EAST
NFC

SOUTH

IntraconferenceNFC EAST
InterconferenceAFC WEST
17th gameAFC NORTH
NFC

WEST

IntraconferenceNFC NORTH
InterconferenceAFC EAST
17th gameAFC WEST

 


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