NFL: brief history and overview of upcoming season

Darrius Frazier, Distribution Manager/Archivist

The National Football League will celebrate its 98th season this year. The exhibition season begins on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. with the Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The stadium is adjacent to the NFL Hall of Fame. The participants for this year’s match-up will be the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys’ most recent appearance in the Hall of Fame Game was in 2010 when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 16-7.  The Cardinals’ last appearance in Canton was in 2012, when they lost to the New Orleans Saints, 17-10.
The NFL’s regular season will begin Sept. 7, when the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions, will host the Kansas City Chiefs at 7:30 p.m. The first Sunday Night Game on NBC will be on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. when the Dallas Cowboys host their NFC East rivals, the New York Giants, in Arlington, Texas.  Since 2006, ESPN hosts a Monday Night Football double-header only for Week 1.  The first game of the double-header will be the Minnesota Vikings hosting the New Orleans Saints at 6 p.m., and the second game will be the Denver Broncos hosting the Los Angeles Chargers at 9:15 p.m.
The New England Patriots will host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football on NBC on Oct. 22 in Week 7.  The most recent match-up between these two teams was Super Bowl 51 in Houston, when the Patriots engineered the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying from a 28-3 deficit to force overtime and won on a touchdown run on their first possession in overtime, 34-28. Additionally, the overtime game marked the first time that a Super Bowl went into overtime. The first meeting between the two teams was Sept. 24, 1972, when the host Patriots squeaked by the Falcons, 21-20. The most recent regular season meeting between the two ball clubs was on Sunday Night Football on NBC when the Patriots defeated the host Atlanta Falcons, 30-23 at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 29, 2013.
After not having an NFL team in the Los Angeles area from 1995-2015, Los Angeles now has two NFL teams sharing the market: the Rams and the Chargers. This will be the Rams’ second season in Los Angeles after spending the previous 21 seasons (1995-2015) in St. Louis. The Rams played in Los Angeles from 1946-1994 after starting in Cleveland from 1937-45. The Rams are currently playing in the Memorial Coliseum, where they will be playing on a temporary basis until their new stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, is scheduled to open for the 2019 season. The Rams will share the new stadium with the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers began as the original American Football League (AFL) team. After winning the inaugural AFL Championship Game in 1960, the Chargers moved south to San Diego, where they were known as the San Diego Chargers until last year. After unsatisfactory progress of getting a new football stadium to replace Qualcomm Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium which the Chargers played in from 1967-2016 and shared with the MLB’s San Diego Padres from 1969-2003, the Chargers moved back to the Los Angeles metro area. The Chargers’ temporary stadium is Carson Stadium, in Carson, California, south of Los Angeles.
The Las Vegas Raiders used to corner the Los Angeles market, playing at the Memorial Coliseum from 1982-94. They were originally slated to share the Los Angeles market with the Chargers with the provision that either of them would move to the NFC in exchange for the Seattle Seahawks moving back to the AFC. However, current Rams’ owner, Stan Kroenke, beat both teams to the punch by purchasing land and eventually breaking ground to build a new stadium in Inglewood, as well as moving the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Mark Davis, Raiders owner since 2011 and son of late original owner, Al Davis, was unwilling to share Levi Stadium in Santa Clara with the San Francisco 49ers. After failed stadium negotiations to replace or renovate the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, which the Raiders shared with the MLB’s Oakland Athletics from 1968-81 and 1995-2016, Mark Davis decided to move the Raiders Las Vegas to share the new stadium with the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) Runnin’ Rebels football, which is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Since the Rams left St. Louis to Los Angeles last season, there are three NFL teams left that are popular in this region, the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts. Below are the 2017-18 schedules for the three teams.  Also, beginning on Oct. 8, all Sunday game times will have the potential of being rescheduled with 12 days notice.

Chicago Cubs

9/10  vs. Falcons  NOON

9/17 @ Buccaneers  NOON

9/24 vs. Steelers  NOON

9/28 @ Packers  7:25 PM

10/9 vs. Vikings  7:30 PM

10/15 @ Ravens  NOON

10/22  vs. Panthers  NOON

10/29 @ Saints  NOON

11/12 vs. Packers  NOON

11/19 vs. Lions  NOON

11/26 @ Eagles  NOON

12/3 vs. 49ers  NOON

12/10 @ Bengals  NOON

12/16 @ Lions  3:30 PM

12/24 vs. Browns  NOON

12/31 @ Vikings  NOON

 Green Bay Packers

9/10 vs. Seahawks  3:25 PM

9/17 @ Falcons  7:30 PM

9/24 vs. Bengals  3:25 PM

9/28 vs. Bears  7:25 PM

10/8 @ Cowboys  3:25 PM

10/15 @ Vikings  NOON

10/22 vs. Saints  NOON

11/6 vs. Lions  7:30 PM

11/12 @ Bears  NOON

11/19 vs. Ravens  NOON

11/26  @ Steelers  7:30 PM

12/3 vs. Buccaneers  NOON

12/10 @ Browns  NOON

12/17 @ Panthers  NOON

12/23 vs. Vikings  7:30 PM

12/31 @ Lions  NOON

Indianapolis Colts

9/10 @ Rams  3:05 PM

9/17 vs. Cardinals  NOON

9/24 vs. Browns  NOON

10/1 @ Seahawks  7:30 PM

10/8 vs. 49ers  NOON

10/16 @ Titans  7:30 PM

10/22 vs. Jaguars  NOON

10/29 @ Bengals  NOON

11/5 @ Texans  NOON

11/12 vs. Steelers  NOON

11/26 vs. Titans  NOON

12/3 @ Jaguars  NOON

12/10 @ Bills  NOON

12/14 vs. Broncos  7:25 PM

12/23 @ Ravens  NOON

12/31 vs. Texans  NOON

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