LOS ANGELES: The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will lock horns on September 8 as the 2016 National Football League season kicks off with a Super Bowl 50 rematch.
The Broncos-Panthers game at Sports Authority Field in Colorado is set to be the first Super Bowl rematch on the opening weekend of the season since a 1970 clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings.
“I think it’s great,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “It’s a big challenge for our team. It gets our attention really quick.”
“We know that we’re going to have to have a really good offseason. We’ve got some changes going on with our football team, but our standard will be the same. We’ll look forward to it.”
On Thursday, the league released the 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule, which wraps up January 1.
Opening weekend also features a contest between conference championship game participants New England and Arizona on September 11.
The Los Angeles Rams will play their first game in the City of Angels since moving back from St. Louis in the second week of the season. Los Angeles will square off against the Seattle Seahawks in a Sunday game.
The Minnesota Vikings, who are looking for defend their NFC North title, open their new bank-sponsored stadium in a Sunday night game during week two against the Green Bay Packers.
The American Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins.
The remainder of the holiday tripleheader on November 24 will feature the Vikings against the Detroit Lions in the opener, and the Indianapolis Colts playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the nightcap.
The league’s three games in London will be the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Colts on October 2 at Wembley Stadium, the Rams against the New York Giants on October 23 at Twickenham Stadium, and the Cincinnati Bengals against the Redskins on October 30 at Wembley.
On November 21, the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans will circle the wagons in Mexico City for the first Monday night game to be played outside the USA.