Eagles-Falcons to kick off 2018 National Football League season

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman left holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as he celebrates with head coach Doug Pederson center and owner Jeffrey Lurie after the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday

This is one of the best AFC vs. NFC matchups of the year. There was the wild back-and-forth scoring of course, and who can forget about the impact it had on the eventual Super Bowl champions with Carson Wentz' devastating knee injury.

The team's 2018 schedule was released Thursday.

There isn't going to be any Super Bowl rematch throughout the regular year, as the Eagles are not in lineup to play teams against the A.F.C. This should once again be a determining factor in home-field advantage in the conference and you never know if this might be one of the last times we get to see Tom Brady (above, right) take on Big Ben.

Bryan Broaddus: Two seasons ago, the Cowboys didn't lose a game to a team from the NFC and AFC North on their way to a 13-win season - a feat at the time I believed was almost impossible.

"We want the Rams favored". If he couldn't start, the line would be much higher. In all, 12 franchises are home for three straight weeks, and Baltimore and Indianapolis have a bye in there, meaning neither club will leave home for a month.

If the Eagles and Jaguars maintain their form from last season, this could be a potential Super Bowl preview.

Early reports out of Philadelphia had the Vikings opening the 2018 season in the building where they lost the NFC title game in January. They couldn't have drawn up it any better in drawing the AFC East and NFC East in the divisional schedule rotation.

Speaking of shootouts, the Los Angeles Rams featured in two memorable ones a year ago and will renew acquaintances with the Eagles and Saints in contests again likely to be high-powered offensive duels. The pair played a thriller in 2014 during their only other meeting so hopefully this mid-season tilt brings the goods. Finally, the fans in London can feast on a savory matchup.

Here is the most exciting game on the schedule as it stands in mid-April. The Titans have three games scheduled for prime time: Monday contests against the Cowboys on November 5 in Dallas and against the Texans in Houston on November 26, plus a Thursday test against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on December 6.

That's one of four worldwide games this season. You maybe even confidently marked a "W" next to that team on your team's schedule!

- Other openers of note include: a matchup of quarterbacks who this year signed new contracts worth just $3.5 million short of a combined quarter-billion dollars: Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers at Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings; Buffalo at Baltimore for the second time in three years; and Pittsburgh at the Cleveland Browns (losers of 17 straight and 38 of their, gulp, last 40) for the second season in a row.

- Playoffs will be held January 5-6 (four wild-card games), January 12-13 (four divisional-round games), January 20 (conference championships) and February 3 (with Super Bowl LIII at Atlanta's year-old Mercedes-Benz Stadium).

Congrats Jags, you know you're turning the corner when you're starting to appear on these kinds of lists.



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