The 2019 regular season’s 256 games will be played over a 17-week schedule that is expected to begin on September 5, 2019. Each of the league’s 32 teams will play a 16 game schedule, with one bye week. There will be games on Monday nights and on Thursdays, Including the National Football League Kickoff game and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season will conclude with a full slate of 16 games, tentatively scheduled for December 29, all of which are expected to be intra-division matchups, as it had been since 2010.
- Scheduling formula
Under the NFL’s current scheduling formula, each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice. In addition, a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team’s schedule are against the two remaining teams in the same conference that finished in the same position in their respective divisions (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division will play all three other teams in the conference that also finished fourth). The division parings for 2019 will be as follows:
AFC East vs AFC North
AFC West vs AFC South
NFC East vs NFC North
NFC West vs NFC South
AFC East vs NFC East
AFC North vs NFC West
AFC South vs NFC South
AFC West vs NFC North
The entire schedule will be released in April 2019. Highlights of the 2019 season include:
- NFL Kickoff Game: The Kickoff Game is scheduled for September 5. Although the game has typically been hosted by the defending champion of the previous season (in this case, the New England Patriots), reports emerged that the NFL was considering having the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers for the game instead, in honor of the Bears’ and the NFL’s centennial season.
- NFL International Series: Five games will be held outside the United States in 2019. In addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the three teams hosting an annual game abroad as part of their relocation agreements (the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Oakland Raiders), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will also host a home game abroad in 2019 as part of their agreement to host Super Bowl LV in 2021. Dates and times will be released with the rest of the schedule in April 2019.
- NFL London Games: Four games will be played in London: Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders. The Texans-Jaguars game and one other game will be staged at Wembley Stadium, the former as part of the Jaguars’ long-term agreement to play an annual game at Wembley. The remaining two games will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after construction delays prevented the stadium from opening in time for the 2018 game scheduled there. Dates and times will be released at a later date.
- NFL Mexico Game: The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers are scheduled to play a game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
- Thanksgiving Day: As has been the case since 2006, three games will be played on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, including the traditional afternoon doubleheader hosted by the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys respectively, as well as a primetime game. Preliminary reports identified the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins as the Lions’ and Cowboys’ respective opponents.
The 2019 Playoffs are tentatively scheduled to begin on the weekend of January 4–5, 2020, with the Wild Card Playoff round. The four winners of these games will visit the top two seeds in each conference in the Divisional round games, tentatively scheduled for January 11–12. The winners of those games will advance to the Conference championships tentatively scheduled for January 19. The 2020 Pro Bowl will be held at a site to be announced, tentatively scheduled for January 26 and will be broadcast on ESPN. Super Bowl LIV, tentatively scheduled for February 2, will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Fox.