The NFL is set to release the 2020 regular season schedule at 8 p.m. ET this evening. The league will formally release it at that point, but in an unexpected twist, NFL teams are going to be allowed to release their individual schedules as early as 7:30 p.m. ET.
After the NFL announced an 8 p.m. release, some teams have been tweeting about a 7:30 p.m. release. League spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Big Lead teams have been approved to do that as long as they also, “prominently promot[e] the national NFL Network Schedule release show.”
Although the schedule will not be formally released until Thursday evening, the day will likely be filled with leaks about the schedule. It’s become an annual affair in which beat writers get tidbits to leak out. We’ll likely know at least one or two teams’ complete schedule before it is formally released.
The most notable rumor thus far is that the league plans on having teams play their four inter-conference games in the first four weeks of the season. There is the potential for a delay to the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The league has room to move the Super Bowl back as far as the end of February, but if there is an extended delay and weeks need to be cut, inter-conference games are viewed as the least important on the schedule.
Divisional games are always viewed as most important, and given the playoff tiebreaker set-up, intra-conference games are next on the list. There are some fun potential inter-conference matchups, but for purposes of playoff positioning, they hold the least value in the tiebreaker system.
We’ll follow along as more rumors arrive. There will be some random anonymous people on Twitter claiming to have leaked information. Some may prove right, but most will prove to be wrong. Your best bet is tracking beat writers across the 32 teams.
The rumor has now changed to some more traditional matchups to open the schedule, and then Week 2 would see the biggest run of inter-conference matchups.
#Saints schedule leaked fully:— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 7, 2020
Week 1: Bucs
2: #Raiders [MNF]
3: #Packers [SNF]
4: At #Lions
5: #Chargers [MNF]
8: At #Bears
9: At #Bucs [SNF]
12: At #Broncos
13: At #Falcons
14: At #Eagles
17: At #Panthers
Redskins will open the season at home against the Eagles, per source. NFC East battle right out of the gate in Week 1.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) May 7, 2020
Two Saints games I've been able to confirm via sources:— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) May 7, 2020
• Week 2: At Raiders on MNF
• Christmas Day vs. Vikings in Superdome
NFL SCHEDULE LEAK:— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) May 7, 2020
The Chiefs will open the season at home on Thursday Night Football against the Texans.
The Matt Rhule era in Carolina will begin at home in Week 1 vs the Las Vegas Raiders, as @VicTafur strongly suggested. This assumes of course that there is a season and it starts on time.— Joe Person (@josephperson) May 7, 2020
According to the schedule I have in front of me, the Broncos open the season at home on the second game of MNF.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 7, 2020
Again, nothing official until it's official. Not believing anything until the release tonight. https://t.co/hmRjo8hzrQ
NFL SCHEDULE LEAKS #Bears— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) May 7, 2020
Week 1: at Lions
Week 5: Brady and Bucs at home
Week 7: MNF at Rams
Week 10: MNF v Vikings
SNF after Thanksgiving at GB
Week 17: home v Green Bay
Indy— Dilla (@E_Dilla) May 7, 2020
Miami on TNF
@ Green Bay
A few AFC West scheduling notes:— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) May 7, 2020
The Chiefs play at the Ravens in Week 3, at the Buccaneers in Week 12, and at the Saints in Week 15, per source.
Then followed up with the Chiefs and Christmas Day vs. the Vikings https://t.co/SGtS9Bm4kJ— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) May 7, 2020
Bucs will host the Panthers in Week 2 for their 2020 home opener. #NFLSchedule— Luke Easterling (@LukeEasterling) May 7, 2020
A few highlights from Panthers schedule (all confirmed):— Joe Person (@josephperson) May 7, 2020
Week 1 vs Raiders.
Week 2 at Bucs.
Week 6 vs Bears.
Week 8 vs Falcons (Thurs prime time).
Week 15 at Green Bay.