The wait for the NFL season continues to rumble on, but fans will be given another reason to get excited for the new campaign this week.
While the NFL season is only five months long, the league still managesto dominate headlines all year long.
And last month, it was the NFL draft that commanded attention, with the 32 teams selecting which college stars would become professional players.
This week, it’s time for the schedule release, when each team will learn which order they will play their games.
here is all you need to know about the event.
When is the schedule release?
The 2022 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 12 in the United States, or Friday, May 13 in UK time.
It will kick off at 8pm Eastern in the US, which is 1pm in the UK.
Is it on TV?
The Schedule release will be shown on NFL Network, which requires a subscription.
There are no plans to show it on TV in the UK, with Sky Sports not setting any time aside for the schedule release.
Sky Sports News will likely show some of the schedule, given Sky Sports will broadcast coverage of the season itself.
All NFL clubs will put the fixtures across their digital channels, in any case.
As part of a teaser, we already know some of the games for the upcoming season.
In week one, we know the Kansas City Chiefs and LA Chargers will be primetime on Thursday night, while The Buffalo Bills against the Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings will be the TV games on the first Sunday night.
In week three, the New Orleans Saints will face the Vikings at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Week four will see Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers face the New York Giants in London
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Denver Broncos, who are now armed with Russell Wilson, will play in London on October 30.
On November 13, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Seattle Seahawks at Germany’s Allianz Arena, and the Arizona Cardinals will face the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City on Novmber 22.
How does it work?
Six NFL executives are charged with the task of putting the schedule together.
Hundreds of computers are used to put together the order of the 272-game season.
The executives are charged with choosing which games are shown in prime time, on Sunday night, which are chosen for Thursday nights and so on.
According to reports, the schedule for this year was all-but ripped up when Tom Brady came out of retirement.
Brady is the ultimate prime time quarterback, attracting plenty of viewers, and his return will likely see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get far more airtime than they otherwise would have.
How do the fixtures work?
Each team plays home and away against the three other teams in their division every year.
Beyond that, each team plays the four teams from another division from the same conference, with two games home and two games away.
That division is changed every year and operates on a three-year rotation.
Each team also faces one team from each of the remaining divisions in their conference, and those teams will have finished in a similar position the previous season. One of those games will be home, and the other away.
Teams will also play once against each of the four teams from a predetermined division in the other conference, with two at home and two away.
This part of the scheduling operates on a four-year rotation. So, the AFC East, for example, will play against teams from the NFC West once every four years, playing against the teams from each of the other divisions in the other conference in between.
Finally, there is one game against a team from a pre-determined division of the other conference that finished in a similar position. This operates on a four-year rotation and can be either home or away.
As of 2021, each team plays 17 regular-season games after the schedule was increased by one game.
Each team also has a bye week built into the schedule, between weeks six and 14, making the schedule 18 weeks in total.