League's 2016 schedule opens with Super Bowl rematch

Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:58pm EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - The 2016 NFL season will kick off with a Super Bowl 50 rematch between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Sports Authority Field in Denver.

The 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule, which concludes on Jan. 1 with 16 division games, was released by the National Football League on Thursday.

The Broncos-Panthers game is the first Super Bowl rematch on the opening weekend of the season since 1970 when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings met.

"I think it's great," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. "It's a big challenge for our team. It gets our attention really quick.

"We know that we're going to have to have a really good offseason. We've got some changes going on with our football team, but our standard will be the same. We'll look forward to it."

Also on the opening weekend schedule is a clash between conference championship game participants New England and Arizona on Sunday night, Sept. 11.

The Patriots have not played the Cardinals on the road since 2004 and never at University of Phoenix Stadium, where New England has appeared twice in Super Bowls.

In Week 2, the Rams will play their first regular-season game in Los Angeles since moving back from St. Louis after last season, facing off against the Seattle Seahawks in a Sunday afternoon start.

The Minnesota Vikings open their new U.S. Bank Stadium in a Sunday night game during Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. Minnesota is seeking back-to-back NFC North titles, which was last accomplished by the Vikings in 2008-09.   Continued...

 
Mar 7, 2016; Englewood, CO, USA;  Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak  speaks during the retirement announcement press conference for quarterback Peyton Manning (not pictured) at the UCHealth Training Center. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports