The 2019 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday, and there are some definite winners and losers. There are also some serious surprises.

New England Patriots
Defending Super Bowl Champions New England have the second easiest schedule according to the NFL, which released the 2019 season on Wednesday. (Image: Getty)

One game that is a bit of a shock is the NFL Kickoff Game. The opening game usually features the Super Bowl Champion at home, but this year it will be the Green Bay Packers traveling to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. The line has been set by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook at 3.5 in favor of the home team.

The NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary and instead of having the New England Patriots get the first game, they went with the Packers vs. Bears, which is the oldest rivalry in the league, going back to 1921.

Several Significant Match Ups

The Green Bay-Chicago contest is just one of several marquee games the league put on the schedule. In Week 2 the Monday Night Football game will feature Cleveland and the New York Jets. The game was the first one ever televised on MNF. On Sept. 21, 1970, the Browns won 31-21.

On Oct. 10 a rematch of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI will feature New England traveling to the Meadowlands to face the New York Giants. The Giants won both of those title games.

In Week 8 a rematch of the first-ever Super Bowl will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers. The week before the Packers will play Oakland, which was the second Super Bowl. Both games were won by Green Bay.

International Games Return

The NFL will again invade the international market with five games, four in in London and one in Mexico City.

Chicago and Oakland will kick off the London games on Oct. 6 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It will be the first game that former-Raider Khalil Mack will face his old team. He was traded to the Bears last year.

The following week Carolina faces Tampa Bay at Tottenham. The games then shift to iconic Wembley Stadium. The Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 3.

The league will try and hold another game in Mexico City after last year’s fiasco. The game between Los Angeles and Kansas City there had to be cancelled because the field conditions were deemed to dangerous to play on. The game was moved to

This season the Chiefs will once again face a Los Angeles team, but this time it will the Chargers. The two are scheduled to play at Estadio Azteca on Monday night, Nov. 18.

Strength of Schedule

Two AFC West teams get the dubious honor of having the toughest schedule this season. The Oakland Raiders were ranked tops by the NFL, based on their 2019 opponents’ win percentage from last season. Some of the Oakland’s opponents are division rival Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City twice, as well as Chicago.

The Denver Broncos were ranked second and they too will face the Chiefs and Chargers twice. They also will face the Bears, Vikings and Packers.

The team with the easiest schedule is the Washington Redskins. Next to them is defending Super Bowl Champion New England.

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