The best part of the off-season is getting ready for the actual season in September.
The free agency buzz is over, sure teams will still make a signing here and there, but the big-name players are already off the board. The draft is the next thing to look forward to, but that is still about a week away. The next thing truly is the schedule release for the entire league.
Sure, we know the teams that our favorite football teams will be playing come the 2017 NFL season, but we don’t know when the games are and how late in the season will the division rivals be playing each other.
As is the normal, the defending Super Bowl Champions will host a team on the opening Thursday night in September. A rematch of Super Bowl 51 might be the starting point being that the Atlanta Falcons come to New England in 2017 to play the Patriots.
The status of Cam Newton to start the year is not known just yet, but the hope is that he is ready to go come week one to put 2016 behind them and move on from a down year. The official schedule will come out on Thursday and the Panthers have some intriguing matchups throughout the year. Carolina has the AFC East and NFC North this year, along with the Eagles and 49ers to go along with their six division games in 2017.
Carolina could start the year off in New England on opening night on Thursday night against Tom Brady and the defending champions. They could host the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers that opening weekend. Another option is to take on one of their division rivals to kick off the 2017 season.
Home matchups: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Road matchups: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers.
Who do you want in week one to kick off the 2017 season, or will you just be happy to have football back that weekend?