The 2022 NFL regular season runs through Jan. 8, with Super Bowl LVII set for Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo
May 12 (UPI) -- The NFL will open its 2022 regular season inside Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium, as the defending Super Bowl champion Rams will host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8.
The Bills-Rams showdown features an elite quarterback matchup between Matthew Stafford and Josh Allen, who has led the Bills to back-to-back playoff appearances. NBC will broadcast the highly anticipated game.
The game highlights the Rams' challenging schedule for the upcoming season. Los Angeles' opponents have the league's highest combined winning percentage (56.7%) from last year.
ESPN's Monday Night Football opener, meanwhile, provides viewers with an interesting storyline -- Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson making his Denver Broncos debut against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, at Lumen Field. Wilson guided Seattle to two Super Bowl appearances and nine winning seasons over the past 10 years.
The Seahawks traded Wilson to the Broncos in March for a package of players and draft picks. The Broncos-Seahawks showdown will air Sept. 12 on ESPN.
Other key Week 1 matchups set for Sept. 11 include: the Tampa Buccaneers at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night; the New Orleans Saints at the Atlanta Falcons; the Cincinnati Bengals at the Pittsburgh Steelers; and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Arizona Cardinals.
Meanwhile, there will be three marquee NFL games for fans to watch on Christmas Day this season. It will be the first Christmas tripleheader in league history.
The three Week 16 games will include four playoff teams from the 2021 season, including each of the past two Super Bowl winners. The Buccaneers will play at the Cardinals, while the Rams will face the Broncos. In the final matchup, the Green Bay Packers will travel to take on the Miami Dolphins.
The NFL's annual Thanksgiving Day tripleheader also will return for the 2022 campaign and features three playoff squads from last year. The Bills are set to play at the Detroit Lions, and the New York Giants will visit the Cowboys.
In the final Week 12 Thanksgiving game, the New England Patriots will play at the Minnesota Vikings.
The NFL's yearly international games were previously announced, with the Bucs and Seahawks to participate in the first regular-season NFL game on Nov. 13 in Germany. Green Bay, meanwhile, will face the Giants on Oct. 9 at the home of Premier League soccer team Tottenham in London.
The same site also will host the Vikings and Saints the previous week. Other international contests include the Broncos vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 30 at Wembley Stadium, and the San Francisco 49ers playing the Cardinals on Nov. 21 in Mexico City.
Teams have known their respective opponents since the end of last season, but the NFL announces the order, kick-off times and broadcast networks for all 272 games each May. This will be the NFL's second season that features a 17-game schedule.
The 2022 regular season runs through Jan. 8, with Super Bowl LVII set for Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.