The 2019 NFL schedule is officially set.
After a week of rumors, the league announced its schedule for the upcoming season Wednesday. There are clearly some marquee matchups worth looking forward to, while other games are sure to develop into must-see events as the season goes on.
The Bears will open action against the Packers on Thursday, Sept. 5. Here are five other dates to circle on your calendar:
Sept. 15: Saints at Rams
We all remember how the game ended the last time these two teams met.
With the score tied at 20 and the ball in the red zone late in the fourth quarter, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees’ pass to Tommylee Lewis fell incomplete. But, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made contact with Lewis before the ball arrived, yet the referees did not throw a flag.
No flag on this play… pic.twitter.com/q5yDHqm0yQ
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 20, 2019
The Saints ended up kicking a field goal and the Rams answered with one of their own to force overtime. Los Angeles went on to win 26-23 in overtime.
The Saints will have their chance to avenge that loss early in 2019.
Nov. 17: Patriots at Eagles
There’s nothing like a Super Bowl rematch.
The Patriots and Eagles represented the AFC and NFC, respectively, in the big game two seasons ago, with Philadelphia coming out on top.
Multiple key players have left the two teams over the last few seasons, including quarterback Nick Foles — who signed with the Jaguars in March — and tight end Rob Gronkowski — who retired following 2018.
But, there will still be plenty of stars on the field who played in Philadelphia’s 41-33 win in Super Bowl 52.
Dec. 5: Cowboys at Bears
Dallas and Chicago both made the playoffs last season, and both should be competing to advance once again in 2019.
The Cowboys have a pair of explosive offensive playmakers in Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Meanwhile, the Bears have one of the best defenses in all of football, led by star linebacker Khalil Mack.
It will be intriguing watching those units face off in a game that could have significant postseason implications.
Dec. 8: Chiefs at Patriots
The defending Super Bowl champions make the list twice.
The Patriots and Chiefs battled in the AFC championship last season and they produced one of the most exciting games of the year.
New England held a 14-0 halftime lead, but the Chiefs rallied in the second half. Both sides scored in the final minute, sending the matchup to overtime, where the Patriots went on to win 37-31.
Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes threw for three touchdowns in the losing effort while New England scored three times on the ground.
Both teams figure to be in contention for the Super Bowl once again. Their late-season rematch should be a fun one.
Dec. 22: Steelers at Jets
This will be the Le’Veon Bell revenge game.
The 27-year-old spent his first five seasons with the Steelers and made three Pro Bowls during his time with the team. But, Bell missed all of 2018 after holding out over a contract dispute.
The running back eventually signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in mid-March.
“The decision I made… I don’t regret anything that happened,” Bell said after joining New York. “Who can say if I played on a franchise tag, if I do get hurt, do I sit here with the New York Jets with a beautiful deal?”
He’ll get to face his former team for the first time in Week 16.