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For the first time ever the NFL season will open with a Super Bowl rematch

The Denver Broncos will start the 2016 season hosting the Carolina Panthers.

Cam Newton didn't enjoy it the last time the two played.
Cam Newton didn't enjoy it the last time the two played.
Image: Charlie Riedel/AP/Press Association Images

THE CAROLINA PANTHERS and Denver Broncos will lock horns on 8 September as the 2016 National Football League season kicks off with a Super Bowl 50 rematch.

The Broncos-Panthers game at Sports Authority Field in Colorado is set to be the first Super Bowl rematch on the opening weekend of the season since a 1970 clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think it’s great,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “It’s a big challenge for our team. It gets our attention really quick.”

“We know that we’re going to have to have a really good offseason. We’ve got some changes going on with our football team, but our standard will be the same. We’ll look forward to it.”

On Thursday, the league released the 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule, which wraps up on 1 January.

Opening weekend also features a contest between conference championship game participants New England and Arizona on 11 September.

The Los Angeles Rams will play their first game in the City of Angels since moving back from St. Louis in the second week of the season. Los Angeles will square off against the Seattle Seahawks in a Sunday game.

The Minnesota Vikings, who are looking to defend their NFC North title, open their new bank-sponsored stadium in a Sunday night game during week two against the Green Bay Packers.

Thanksgiving will feature a match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington while the remainder of the holiday triple-header on 24 November will feature the Vikings against the Detroit Lions in the opener, and the Indianapolis Colts playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the nightcap.

For the first time in 10 seasons the NFL will have two games on Christmas Day with the Steelers playing the Ravens at 9.30pm (GMT) while the Kansas City Chiefs host the Broncos in the late game.

The league’s three games in London will be the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Colts on 2 October at Wembley Stadium, the Rams against the New York Giants on 23 October at Twickenham Stadium, and the Cincinnati Bengals against Washington on 30 October at Wembley.

On 21 November, the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans will travel to Mexico City for the first Monday night game to be played outside the USA.

You can read the full schedule here.

(C) AFP 2016

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