NFL Kickoff 2016 on Thursday, Sept. 8, features Super Bowl rematch as Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and champion Denver Broncos host NFL MVP Cam Newton and Carolina Panthers
NBC, the only network with two primetime NFL packages - featuring "Sunday Night Football," America's No. 1 primetime television show for five consecutive years, and, for the first time "Thursday Night Football" - will broadcast 24 NFL games during the 2016 regular season.
NBC's schedule kicks off with a blockbuster "Kickoff Weekend" featuring all four teams from last season's AFC and NFC championship games.
First, in "NFL Kickoff 2016" on Thursday, Sept. 8, it's a Super Bowl 50 rematch as Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and the champion Denver Broncos host NFL MVP Cam Newton and the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Panthers-Broncos marks the first Week 1 Super Bowl rematch since 1970 (Vikings beat Chiefs 27-10 in Minnesota eight months after a 23-7 loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl IV).
In the "Sunday Night Football" opener on Sept. 11, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots return to University of Phoenix Stadium - site of their February 2015 Super Bowl victory - to face Carson Palmer and the NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots return to NBC on Sunday, Nov. 13, to host Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in a rematch of their Super Bowl XLIX thriller, which was televised by NBC and is the most-watched show in U.S. television history (114.4 million viewers).
Later that week, NBC kicks off its "Thursday Night Football" slate on Nov. 17 as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. The Nov. 17 matchup is the start of NBC's six consecutive Thursdays with primetime NFL games and is followed by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving night; the Tony Romo-led Dallas Cowboys at Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 1; and wraps up with Eli Manning and the New York Giants visiting Sam Bradford and the division rival Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 22.
In addition to kicking off the 2016 NFL season, NBC will broadcast a Divisional Playoff game on the weekend of Jan. 14-15, 2017, and a Wild Card Playoff game on the Jan. 7-8 weekend.