NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) — Think of it as a double-header separated by seven months.
The National Football League released its 2016 regular season schedule late Thursday, which includes a rematch of Super Bowl 50, Denver vs. Carolina, as the league’s Thursday night “kickoff game” opener.
The NFL typically has the Super Bowl champion play in the first game of the following season, but 2016 will mark just the second time since the AFL-NFL merger that both teams from the Super Bowl will play in the game.
“2016 will begin the way 2015 ended!” the Denver Broncos tweeted Tuesday night.
“Week 1. Rematch,” the Panthers tweeted.
The Broncos won the NFL championship in February, 24-10 over the Panthers in what turned out to be quarterback Peyton Manning’s final game.
The 2016 opening game will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, at 8:30 p.m. EDT, and will be broadcast by NBC.
The newly-minted Los Angeles Rams, which also acquired the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft Thursday, play their first game representing L.A. as the second part of week 1’s Monday night double-header, at San Francisco.
Every team’s schedule can be seen on the NFL’s website.