When Is The First NFL Regular-Season Game?

The first NFL regular-season game is Thursday, September 10, 2020.


The first NFL regular-season game is typically held the Thursday following Labor Day. However, the schedule can vary from year to year. For example, in 2018, the first NFL regular-season game was held on Thursday, September 6. The game featured the defending Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, hosting the Atlanta Falcons.

The First NFL Regular Season Game

The first NFL regular season game is usually held in early September. This year, the first regular season game will be held on September 8, 2021. The game will be between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Preseason Games

Preseason games are exhibitions and don’t count in the standings. The preseason is used to help coaches make roster decisions and give players a chance to compete for a spot on the team. Preseason games are typically played in August.

The NFL regular season starts the week after Labor Day in September (the exact date varies each year) and ends in December or early January. There are 16 regular-season games played over 17 weeks, with one bye week for each team.

The Regular Season

The National Football League (NFL) regular season begins on the weekend following the last Monday of September (i.e., the weekend after Labor Day in the United States). Each team plays 16 games during the regular season, which runs for 17 weeks, from September to December. During the first week of the regular season, most teams will play one game against a divisional opponent; for example, two teams from the NFC East division will play each other, as will two teams from the AFC West division. The other 14 weeks of the regular season are spent playing against opponents from across the league on a rotating basis.


So, when is the first NFL regular-season game? The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends. The NFL typically releases its full regular-season schedule in April, but the exact date of the first game changes from year to year. In 2019, the first game is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th. However, in 2020, the first game is currently scheduled for Thursday, September 10th. So, if you’re a football fan looking to plan ahead, be sure to check back in April to see when the first NFL regular-season game will be!

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