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2024 NFL schedule: League’s 2024 schedule guru explains why Chiefs, Texans, Jets are featured, more

2024 NFL schedule: League's 2024 schedule guru explains why Chiefs, Texans, Jets are featured, more

Mike North, the NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning, explaining the schedule-making process to me like this on Thursday afternoon. He said he and his group treat the schedule like we all did college papers – there’s never a reason to turn it in early.

So they took all the time they could. And the 2024 NFL regular-season schedule that was released moments ago popped into the league’s database at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, May 12. The computers had hummed all week long to spit this schedule out, which then got human eyes on it Sunday morning. Then it was passed around to various people in the league
office in the afternoon. And then a four-hour Zoom was held Sunday night before it was sent to commissioner Roger Goodell around midnight.

Goodell signed off on the schedule Monday afternoon and the race was on.

Last year, North and I spoke ahead of the official schedule release, and we decided to keep the tradition going this year. Below is an edited transcription of our nearly half-hour talk about how the schedule came to be and why certain decisions were made. Enjoy.

I think many of us were expecting the schedule last week. Maybe we should not have expected it last week, but I think a lot of people with that expectation said, ‘Well, what took so long?’ Why did it take longer than it has in previous years? If that’s true, why is that?

“Yeah, I’m not sure that’s really true. I mean, last year it was May 11th and here we are on May 15th. So yeah, I guess it’s a few days later, but it’s still in that same sort of first couple weeks in May. Part of it is wanting to be able to react to what we see in the draft. You’ll notice when the schedule comes out, some of these teams are drafted young quarterbacks, whether it’s Washington or New England or obviously Chicago, some kind of early in-the-season, national television exposure. Didn’t want to maybe commit to that until we knew exactly what they were going to do with their draft capital. And again, the solution space of potential NFL schedules is truly infinite. So yes, I know everybody’s waiting on us but man, I kind of wish we had another month. My wife would hate it.”

Well hey you mentioned the rookie quarterbacks. I think it was interesting to see the three London games featuring three of the rookie quarterbacks. Is that just total coincidence with Chicago, New England and Minnesota?

“The “home teams” were known. Designated…

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