The NFL’s 103rd season will kick off at the same place where the last season ended – SoFi Stadium – with the Los Angeles Rams beginning defense of their Super Bowl 56 crown against the Buffalo Bills in a nationally televised showcase on Sept. 8, a person with knowledge of the schedule told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
The person did not want to be identified as the NFL has yet to announce the schedule.
The Thursday game will be broadcast on NBC, with an 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff.
Maybe it’s a preview of Super Bowl 57 as Buffalo, led by star quarterback Josh Allen, again looms as one of the heavyweight favorites in the AFC.
Of course, the Rams are still rather formidable in their own right, with star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and quarterback Matthew Stafford back as key cogs for a team that will seek to become the NFL’s first repeat Super Bowl champion since the New England Patriots in 2005.
It’s fitting that Buffalo kicks off the new season, as so many felt the Bills were robbed by an NFL rule of the opportunity to extend their last game – an overtime loss against the Kansas City Chiefs in a 42-36 thriller at Arrowhead Stadium.
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That Allen and the prolific Bills offense never had a possession in OT before losing on a Patrick Mahomes-led walk-off TD drive fueled such an outrage that the NFL tweaked its overtime rule for the playoffs to allow for both teams to have at least one possession.
L.A., on the other hand, achieved its mission in February to become just the second team to win a Super Bowl in its home stadium, the immaculate palace in Inglewood, California, and can begin the new quest at the site of so much glory.