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NFL Season Key Dates
Updated: June 2017

As the NFL Draft concludes and teams get ready for minicamps and organized team activities in May, pro football fans around the country are gearing up for the season. Teams will begin to report to training camps in just a little over two months. It’s hard to believe, but the NFL season is right around the corner. Here’s a look at some of the key dates for this upcoming season.

September 8, 2016
The NFL season will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 8, with a rematch of Super Bowl 50. The Denver Broncos will play host to the Carolina Panthers, the first time in NFL history that a season begins with a rematch of the previous year’s Super Bowl. With Broncos quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired, it will be interesting to see who starts at QB for Denver. The Broncos obtained Mark Sanchez in free agency and he appears to be the leader in the race. Carolina will return league MVP Cam Newton at QB and most of one of the NFL’s best defenses.

September 11, 2016
The first Sunday action of the new season will end with New England travelling to Arizona, NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecast. The two teams were the losers of the AFC and NFC championship games last season. Tom Brady returns for his 17th NFL season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Arizona wants another chance at the NFC title.

September 18, 2016
Cincinnati travels to AFC North Division rival Pittsburgh in the first meeting of the two teams since their playoff game a year ago that featured some serious antagonism. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the first four games of this season as a result of his hit on Steelers WR Antonio Brown. Burfict will miss this game as a result. The two teams dislike each other and it will be interesting to see how 2016 pans out.

October 2, 2016
The NFL’s International Series will start on the first Sunday in October. Four games will be played this season, three in London and one in Mexico City. On October 2, Indianapolis and Jacksonville will play at Wembley Stadium in London. In the first international game held in England in a stadium other than Wembley, the New York Giants will face the Los Angeles Rams on October 23 at Twickenham Stadium in London. The final game in England pits Washington against Cincinnati on October 30. On November 21, Houston and Oakland will play in Mexico City at Estadio Azteca. It will be the first Monday Night Football game held outside of the U.S.

November 26, 2016
Three games will be played once again on Thanksgiving Day. The traditional game in Detroit starts off the day as the Lions host the Vikings. Dallas will play host to its rival, the Washington Redskins, and the day’s final game will pit the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Colts in Indianapolis. It’s the first time since 2013, that the third game features two teams from the AFC.

Christmas and New Year’s Day
Both holidays fall on Sundays this year. As is customary, Christmas Day games will be moved to Saturday, the 24th. There will be two nationally televised games on Christmas Day – Baltimore at Pittsburgh at 4:30 EST and Denver at Kansas City at 8:30 EST. The NFL regular season will close on New Year’s Day with a full slate of 16 games.

Super Bowl 51
The 51st Super Bowl will be played on February 5, 2017. The game will take place in Houston’s NRG Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by Fox.

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