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2024 NFL schedule release: Ranking 10 must-see games, including Jets-49ers opener, Harbaugh Bowl

Jets open Aaron Rodgers' practice window, starting clock on potential return from Achilles injury


The 2024 NFL schedule is here, with the league on Wednesday unveiling every single contest of the upcoming regular season. There is, of course, no shortage of dramatic storylines littered from September into January. But which of the newly announced games stand out as must-see TV?

Here are 10 of our favorite matchups, each of which warrants ample anticipation:

Date: Sunday, Dec. 8 | Time: 1 p.m. ET | TV: Fox

Kirk Cousins left Minnesota for Atlanta, only to find himself in an unexpected, albeit mild, quarterback controversy, with the Falcons quickly spending a top-10 pick on Michael Penix Jr. Presuming Cousins is still under center in Week 14, he’ll be returning to his old stomping grounds, where the Vikings may or may not have rookie J.J. McCarthy guiding their own playoff aspirations.

Date: Monday, Nov. 25 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN  

More than a decade after their two teams met in the Super Bowl, Jim and John Harbaugh will clash on the NFL stage once again, with Jim’s Chargers likely resembling more of an old-school, run-first contender around Justin Herbert, and John’s Ravens looking to get over the hump after an AFC title-game bid.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 22 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET | TV: CBS

San Francisco is well-positioned for another Super Bowl bid thanks to a complete roster and the steady strategy of Kyle Shanahan. Here, days before Christmas, Shanahan will meet his old pupil, Mike McDaniel, and what figures to be another high-octane Dolphins offense littered with elite speed.

Date: Sunday, Oct. 27 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET | TV: CBS

Hijinks tend to unfold when these two teams meet; they’ve tied twice (!) in their last four matchups. Besides, we’ve yet to see Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts go head to head since their arrival as part of the 2020 quarterback class. It’s very possible this could end up being a Super Bowl preview.

Date: Thursday, Oct. 31 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | TV: Prime Video

Few teams are drawing more hype going into 2024 than the Texans and Jets. One club has maybe the top up-and-coming gunslinger in C.J. Stroud. The other has maybe the most mysterious all-time great in Aaron Rodgers, who’s looking to make up for lost time after an injury-marred New York debut. Throwing these two together on Halloween Night feels like a recipe for prime-time drama.

5. Lions at 49ers

Date: Monday, Dec. 30 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN, ABC

Rematches may be…

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