NFL schedule 2018. Those words alone get football fans excited about the future. On Thursday (April 19), the 2018 NFL schedule had some key components revealed, including the season-opener. The Philadelphia Eagles will host the Atlanta Falcons on September 6, marking the first Thursday night game of the campaign.

The Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champions, taking down Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to bring an end to the 2017 NFL season.

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Now the Eagles will begin their title defense in Week 1 against the Falcons. This is a great game to kick off the 2018 NFL schedule, giving football fans something to look forward to all summer.

First Monday night football game

As revealed in a press release by the NFL, the first presentation of “Monday Night Football” will take place on September 10. The New York Jets will host the Detroit Lions, pitting two rebuilding teams against each other right out of the gate. On paper, it might not be a very exciting matchup, but it will help bring an end to the first week of fantasy football. That guarantees some good numbers in the television ratings.

The full 2018 NFL schedule comes out later on Thursday, but there are some really nice tidbits that the league has already announced. It includes the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City on November 19. That should be a very interesting matchup between a playoff team from each conference. It is just one of several games taking place outside of the United States, as the NFL also has three London games this year.

Full NFL schedule analysis

There is going to be a two-hour special hosted by ESPN on April 19 to go over the entire 2018 NFL schedule. It will be during “SportsCenter” as the anchors break down what they feel are the best games coming up this year. It all begins at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET and should be a very interesting show for fans. It will also give some early tips on what players fantasy football owners should target in upcoming drafts.

A lot of football excitement is coming up, including the 2018 NFL Draft, where the future of the New England Patriots could be shaped. [VIDEO] Will they target a new quarterback to replace Tom Brady behind center? Has age finally caught up with him [VIDEO]? Taking the Patriots all the way to the Super Bowl last season suggests he still has some fire left in him, but did the Eagles steal the mantle for the 2018 NFL season? Or can the Eagles repeat as Super Bowl champions?