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NFL schedule 2019: Release date news; home, away opponents for each team

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The NFL schedule for 2019 will be released soon. Though the NFL's exact schedule release date has fluctuated in recent years, the one constant is that the league prefers to release its schedule a week before the draft, which in 2019 begins April 25. The NFL recently announced that its schedule release date for 2019 will be Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. ET.

The regular-season NFL schedule, including the individual schedules for all 32 teams, is typically released soon after after the preseason schedule, which was announced last week. Though NFL teams will not know the details of their schedules until all are released, they at least know their opponents for 2019. Those opponents are listed below.

MORE: Full schedule for 2019 NFL Draft

At the NFL's annual meeting last month, commissioner Roger Goodell hinted at the 2019 NFL schedule release date when he said the league was on pace to release its schedules in "mid-April," just as it has done for the last 15 or so years. The last two schedule release dates fell on Thursdays (April 19 last year; April 20 in 2017).

The NFL claims it will not force its schedule release if all the slates are not ready come the week before the draft — it is, after all, a complicated process (more on that later). Yet we all know the league likes to make spring splashes whenever it can, and it likes to spread out those splashes if possible. That's why the NFL refuses to release its regular-season schedule on the same week of the draft.

Below is all you need to know about the NFL's schedule release in 2019, including how the schedules are made.

When will the NFL schedule be released?

The NFL recently announced that its schedule release date for 2019 will be Wednesday, April 17. The full schedule will be revealed with a special on NFL Network starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The NFL was aiming to release its 2019 schedule in mid-April. Over the last couple years, the NFL schedule release date has fallen on the Thursday prior to the draft.

MORE: What we already know about the 2019 NFL schedule

Though NFL teams will not know the specifics of their schedules until all are released, they do know the opponents for which they can prepare in 2019. Below is the list of 2019 opponents for each NFL team.

AFC East

    New England Patriots

    Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

      Miami Dolphins

      Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

      Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers

        Buffalo Bills

        Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

        Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

          New York Jets

          Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers

          Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

          AFC North

            Baltimore Ravens

            Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

            Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks

              Pittsburgh Steelers

              Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks

              Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers​

                Cleveland Browns

                Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

                Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

                  Cincinnati Bengals

                  Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

                  Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks

                  AFC South

                    Houston Texans

                    Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders

                    Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                      Indianapolis Colts

                      Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders

                      Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                        Tennessee Titans

                        Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                        Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

                          Jacksonville Jaguars

                          Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                          Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

                          AFC West

                            Kansas City Chiefs

                            Home: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings

                            Away: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans

                              Los Angeles Chargers

                              Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers

                              Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans

                                Denver Broncos

                                Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

                                Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings

                                  Oakland Raiders

                                  Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

                                  Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets

                                  NFC East

                                    Dallas Cowboys

                                    Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings

                                    Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets

                                      Philadelphia Eagles

                                      Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks

                                      Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings

                                        Washington Redskins

                                        Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

                                        Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings

                                          New York Giants

                                          Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings

                                          Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                                          NFC North

                                            Chicago Bears

                                            Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants

                                            Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

                                              Minnesota Vikings

                                              Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

                                              Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks

                                                Green Bay Packers

                                                Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

                                                Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers

                                                  Detroit Lions

                                                  Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kanas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                                                  Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

                                                  NFC South

                                                    New Orleans Saints

                                                    Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers

                                                    Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

                                                      Atlanta Falcons

                                                      Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

                                                      Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers

                                                        Carolina Panthers

                                                        Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

                                                        Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers

                                                          Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                                                          Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers

                                                          Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

                                                          NFC West

                                                            Los Angeles Rams

                                                            Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                                                            Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers

                                                              Seattle Seahawks

                                                              Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

                                                              Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers

                                                                San Francisco 49ers

                                                                Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers

                                                                Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins

                                                                  Arizona Cardinals

                                                                  Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers

                                                                  Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers​

                                                                  How is the NFL schedule made?

                                                                  Each year, the NFL schedule is released after months (not days or weeks) of work. The league begins collecting info from teams in January about any events — concerts, other sporting events, etc. — that could create scheduling conflicts.

                                                                  After the previous season's Super Bowl, Goodell is briefed on the targets for which the NFL schedule-makers are aiming. For example, Goodell likely was told early in the process that the league would look to open the 2019 season with a historically relevant game like Packers at Bears, not the tradition of the Super Bowl champions hosting the Thursday-night season opener, as the NFL celebrates its 100th season.

                                                                  The leaders of the schedule-making process are NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz, senior director of broadcasting Blake Jones, senior manager of broadcasting Charlotte Carey and senior director of broadcasting Michael North. The common denominator in those titles — "broadcasting" — is key, because nationally televised, primetime games are more or less the starting point for each NFL schedule.

                                                                  Two years ago, upon the release of that year's NFL schedule, North was a guest on ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter's podcast. North detailed the NFL's schedule-making process, beginning with an analogy.

                                                                  Here is North's explanation of the process, via The Adam Schefter Podcast:

                                                                  "I liken it to a beach, with billions of grains of sand on that beach. And we’re looking for the best grain of sand. The best thing you can do is put as many people as you can on that beach, all looking in slightly different places on that beach, for something that resembles this supposed perfect, mythical, magical grain of sand. And if somebody’s getting close, then maybe that guy says to all his buddies, ‘Hey, I think I’m close. I’m in the right spot. Let’s get some more people over here.' And so then you're pulling people off of the spot on the beach where they don’t think they’re making any progress, and let’s all look over here for a little while, and maybe dig a little deeper.

                                                                  "The more computers we have, the more schedules we find, and we try to look through as many of them as we can. Some of them die a quick death. You look at it and you see a three-game road trip for a team and you say to yourself, ‘Absolutely not. I refuse to call that owner with that schedule.’ Throw it in the garbage. Or, ‘I don’t like that particular Monday Night Football game in that stadium on that week. So don’t show that to me again.’ And, ‘That team really asked for something specific in Weeks 3-4-5, and this schedule doesn’t give it to them, and I’d like to try to accommodate that, so let’s see if we can’t do that.

                                                                  "And so every day we come in in the morning, evaluate the schedules that the computers churned out overnight, find six or eight or 10 decent schedules, and then look through them, top to bottom, right to left, as though we were the general manager of each of the 32 teams, and as though we were the president of each of our five television networks. Try to find the things that are the worst things about the schedule, and then write rules to prevent those things from happening in the next run — basically re-defining that grain of sand you’re now looking for, and then re-deploy all your people out on the beach again, now with new marching orders. 'This is now the grain of sand you’re looking for. Go.'

                                                                  "Because the solution space is so large, you can’t solve the puzzle from a blank piece of paper. You can’t say to the computer, ‘Here’s zero games locked in — go.' That will take all the computers in the world and all the years of our lifetimes to find the mythical, magical, perfect schedule.

                                                                  "What we do is we build partial schedules, generally built around the primetime schedule. Those are our most constrained games. They’re our most-watched games. And so what we do is we build partial schedules. Here's a Sunday night schedule plus a Thursday night schedule. Here’s a Sunday night schedule plus a Monday night schedule. Here’s the Fox and CBS double-headers, plus the second-half Thursday night schedule, plus the first-half Monday night schedule. Stuff like that.

                                                                  "So you build 30-, 40-, 50-game partial schedules, and you kind of evaluate those first. ‘If this schedule can finish, would we play it?’ We surely build millions of those partial schedules, not all of them finished. You lay in 50, you don’t know if you can lay in the other 206 until you actually start searching, so we literally build millions of these partial schedules.

                                                                  "As far as finished, completed, legal, playable NFL schedules? Somewhere probably north of about 50,000. And then of those, maybe 500 advance to the stage where, ‘Hey let’s print it out on a piece of paper; let’s hang it on the wall, and let’s give it a thorough look.’ And it’s not, ‘Are we going to play this schedule,’ than, ‘What about this schedule do we want to fix as we move forward?’"

                                                                  For more information from the NFL on its schedule-making process, including factors like flex scheduling and international games, an explainer is available here.