There will be plenty of intrigue when the NFL releases its schedule for the 2017 regular season Thursday at 5 p.m. There will be no surprises in the matchups; we’ve known those for months.
The league will announce on NFL Network its game dates and times, and which matchups will be featured on national television.
Key questions for Raiders fans include finding out when they’ll play the world champion New England Patriots in Mexico City, and when will they play their first game in Los Angeles since 1994? Perhaps lost in the Raiders-to-Vegas saga is the Chargers’ move to L.A. this season.
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Meanwhile, 49ers fans are wondering when the Cowboys will play at Levi’s Stadium, and when will San Francisco play in Washington against Kirk Cousins, who could be behind center for the 49ers in 2018?
Also, since Jerry Jones’ Cowboys will play at Levi’s and the Coliseum this season, would the NFL arrange for those games to be back-to-back? The cynic in us thinks that it’s probably up to Jones.
It’s also conceivable the New York Giants, who also will visit Oakland and Santa Clara, could get an extended Bay Area stay.
Here’s a look at the 2017 opponents for both the Raiders and 49ers (division opponents are marked with an asterisk):
Home: Denver Broncos*, Kansas City Chiefs*, Los Angeles Chargers*, New England Patriots (in Mexico City), New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens.
Away: Denver Broncos*, Kansas City Chiefs*, Los Angeles Chargers*, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans.
Home: Arizona Cardinals*, Los Angeles Rams*, Seattle Seahawks*, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers.
Away: Arizona Cardinals*, Los Angeles Rams*, Seattle Seahawks*, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears.
The Bee Sports staff contributed to this report.