NFL schedule release: The top 10 must-watch games of the regular season

By NFL writer

In about four months, we get NFL regular-season games back in our lives. And now we know who is playing who, and when.

The NFL released its 18-week regular-season schedule on Wednesday evening. There are 272 games now on the calendar. Not all of them are equal.

Here are the 10 (well, actually 11) best games on the schedule for the 2024 regular season:

Here’s some drama for early in the season. Assuming the Steelers’ starting quarterback is Russell Wilson and not Justin Fields, there will be emotions on both sides. Broncos head coach Sean Payton isn’t going to want to lose to Wilson after he ostracized him last season. Wilson can’t feel too good about how he was treated at the end of a failed stint in Denver. Broncos fans are unlikely to give Wilson a warm welcome. On top of it all, this could be Broncos rookie quarterback Bo Nix‘s home debut if he wins the job right away.

Another QB revenge game had to make the list. This game might not be that exciting if the Vikings aren’t very good. But it’s clear why it’s on the list: Kirk Cousins returns to Minnesota for the first time since signing with the Falcons. Will he be welcomed back warmly after six productive yet ultimately unsatisfying seasons with the Vikings? It’s also interesting to see Vikings rookie J.J. McCarthy, a first-round draft pick and Cousins’ replacement. And who knows where the Cousins-Michael Penix Jr. drama will stand after the Falcons made Penix one of the most controversial first-round picks in recent memory.

Maybe this isn’t a matchup between teams we’ll see in the playoffs this season, but we get to watch the top two picks of the draft square off. No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams starts a brand new era with the Bears. The Commanders grabbed their quarterback of the future with the second pick in Jayden Daniels. It’s also notable that the Bears host the New England Patriots on Nov. 10; the Patriots used the third pick of the draft on QB Drake Maye.

HarBowl! The most famous meeting between coaches Jim and John Harbaugh happened in Super Bowl XLVII. Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL after nine seasons at Michigan and will meet his brother’s Ravens in what should be one of the toughest tests of Jim’s first season in Los Angeles. This one is happening on a Monday night, to add to the intrigue.

The traditional season opener at the defending champion Chiefs will be highly anticipated as usual, but this new addition to the NFL schedule is good too. It’s the first regular-season game in South America. It’s the first Friday game of the NFL’s opening week since 1970. And it’s between two fascinating teams. The Packers finished last season strong and Jordan Love had a breakout. The Eagles were rolling at 10-1 before their entire season fell apart. Philadelphia has the talent to bounce back. Ravens-Chiefs, followed by Packers-Eagles the next day is a great way to get the season rolling.

Just make sure all the offensive linemen report as eligible, Lions. This is a repeat of one of the weirdest games of last season, when the Lions had a 2-point conversion wiped out due to a penalty when officials said offensive tackle Taylor Decker didn’t report as eligible, though it seemed like he did. This isn’t just a flashback to that game either, it’s a matchup between two of the best teams in the NFC.

Read the full Yahoo Sports article here.