NFL schedule coming Wednesday

Updated: April 23, 2014, 7:25 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN

The NFL schedule is going to be officially announced and released at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The games will be unveiled during ESPN2's schedule release show from 8 to 10 p.m. ET.

Annually, the release of the NFL schedule has become almost like a national holiday.

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are expected to host the annual kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 4.

The NFL's three London games are already set -- Miami at Oakland at 1 p.m. ET on Sept. 28, Detroit at Atlanta at 9:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 26 and Dallas at Jacksonville at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 9.

Among the other highlight games is a Super Bowl rematch, with the Denver Broncos at Seattle, along with San Francisco at Denver, New England at Green Bay, and Philadelphia at Indianapolis.

This is likely the final year in which 12 teams make the playoffs. Within the next year, NFL owners are expected to vote on the addition of one more playoff team per conference, allowing each conference to have seven playoff teams.

With television contracts being escalated over the next several years, adjustments are being made in the playoff broadcasts. For example, ESPN will broadcast a wild-card game for the first time. In 2015, there could be a wild-card game on a Monday night.

But that's the future. Starting Wednesday, teams can start printing out schedules and fans can start making their plans for the 2014 season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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