4 games to circle on the 2019 NFL schedule

The Rams and Saints play Sept. 15. The Patriots host the Chiefs in Week 14.

Saints Rams NFC Championship Pass Interference
The Rams and Saints will play a rematch of 2018's NFC Championship game Sept. 15. –The Associated Press

It won’t have nearly the same stakes, but the New Orleans Saints, still smarting from an NFC Championship game loss that hinged on a blown pass interference call, will get a shot at revenge against the Los Angeles Rams when the teams face each other in Los Angeles on Sept. 15.

That game, which will undoubtedly be the most anticipated matchup of Week 2 in the NFL, was one of 255 matchups announced by the league Wednesday as it continues to try to turn the unveiling of its schedule into a prime-time event.

The NFL had previously announced that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers would face off in the league’s season opener Sept. 5. It will be the 197th meeting of the longtime rivals, and the game will serve as the league’s nod to this being its 100th season.


Beyond the Saints-Rams rematch, there are more than a few games that seem worth circling.

— Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who came up just short against Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl-champion Patriots in the AFC Championship game, will travel to New England for a difficult test in Week 14.

— The New York Jets and their shiny new weapon, Le’Veon Bell, will get a chance to show the Pittsburgh Steelers what they are missing when they host Bell’s former team at MetLife Stadium in Week 16.

— Antonio Brown and the Oakland Raiders will call the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium home for Week 5 as they “host” the Bears. It will be the first of five international games during the 2019 season. Two will be held at Tottenham Hotspur, two at Wembley Stadium and one at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, even though poor field conditions at the stadium forced a game last year between the Rams and Chiefs to be relocated to Los Angeles.

— An unfortunate result of the complexities of NFL scheduling is that the regular season will not include some matchups that would have been intriguing. Odell Beckham Jr., newly of the Cleveland Browns, will not get a chance to face his old team, the New York Giants. He will, however, get to revisit MetLife Stadium when Cleveland plays the Jets in Week 2. Brown, whose career in Pittsburgh ended in controversy, will not get a chance to play against the Steelers. And Joe Flacco, who lost his job as the Baltimore quarterback to Lamar Jackson, will not get a chance to compete against the Ravens, because his new team, the Denver Broncos, will not play teams from the AFC North.