The 2018 NFL schedule has arrived, and with it we’re taking the opportunity to analyze it up and down to find ways to maximize the travel experience for football fans. The objective: to identify ways to catch two games in two stadiums over one weekend. We call it the NFL twinbill.
You can find our suggestions below. The criteria is as follows: The games must be on consecutive days (so no Thursday-Sunday suggestions — that’s two extra days of lodging and expenses), and they must be in cities within a reasonable driving distance of one another (maximum 400 miles).
Got an idea for a twinbill that we might have missed, or have a different NFL road trip in mind? Drop us a line and let us know!
Sunday, Sept. 9: Steelers at Browns, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Sept. 10: Jets at Lions, 7:10 p.m. ET
Is No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield worth the hype? You might get the chance to judge for yourself right away if he gets the call for Cleveland in the season opener at FirstEnergy Stadium against the rival Steelers. From there, head to Detroit for the first game of the opening Monday night doubleheader at Ford Field, where you might be able to see another highly touted first-round QB, the Jets’ Sam Darnold.
Distance between stadiums: 171 miles
Sunday, Sept. 16: Vikings at Packers, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Sept. 17: Seahawks at Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET
Here’s your chance to tour the NFC North before it gets too chilly out. Start on Sunday with an intradivisional game between the Vikings and Packers at Lambeau Field, then drive along Lake Michigan to Chicago and see the Bears host the Seahawks at Soldier Field.
Distance between stadiums: 211 miles
Sunday, Sept. 23: Titans at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Sept. 24: Steelers at Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Two teams on the rise, Tennessee and Jacksonville, get together in an AFC South battle at the newly christened TIAA Bank Field (formerly EverBank Field). From there, make your way across the state of Florida to the Tampa Bay region, where you can catch the Buccaneers hosting the Steelers at Raymond James Stadium.
Distance between stadiums: 202 miles
Sunday, Oct. 7: Cowboys at Texans, 8:20 p.m. ET
Monday, Oct. 8: Redskins at Saints, 8:15 p.m. ET
If you’re into prime-time games at behemoth stadiums, this trip is for you. Start in Houston, where the Texans welcome the in-state rival Cowboys to NRG Stadium, then head east to the Big Easy and watch the Monday night tilt between the Redskins and Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Distance between stadiums: 354 miles
Sunday, Oct. 14: Cardinals at Vikings, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Oct. 15: 49ers at Packers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Like the Week 2 twinbill, this is a tour through the NFC North, but with Minnesota in the mix instead of Chicago. First, see the Vikings host the Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium (which sure looked good when it hosted the Super Bowl last February), then head east to Green Bay and watch the 49ers and Packers at Lambeau Field.
Distance between stadiums: 277 miles
Sunday, Oct. 21: Texans at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Oct. 22: Giants at Falcons, 8:15 p.m. ET
Another opportunity for a Deep South football tour begins at Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Field, where the Jaguars host the Texans in a divisional game. From there, head to Atlanta’s marvel of a venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (the host stadium for Super Bowl LIII in February), and see the Falcons host the Giants in a Monday-nighter.
Distance between stadiums: 348 miles
Sunday, Nov. 11: Chargers at Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET
Monday, Nov. 12: Giants at 49ers, 8:15 p.m. ET
No real road-tripping happening here — consider it more of a football weekend in the Bay Area — but with the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas, there won’t be many chances left to do this sort of trip. This one begins with the Raiders hosting the Chargers at Oakland Coliseum, and ends with the 49ers taking on the Giants at Levi’s Stadium.
Distance between stadiums: 32 miles
Sunday, Dec. 2: Bears at Giants, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Dec. 3: Redskins at Eagles, 8:15 p.m. ET
Finally, an opportunity for a roadie along the Eastern seaboard. It begins at MetLife Stadium with the Bears and Giants on Sunday, and ends at Lincoln Financial Field, where the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles face the division rival Redskins.
(Note: You could also catch the Patriots hosting the Vikings at Gillette Stadium at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday, if you don’t mind the farther distance from Philadelphia.)
Distance between stadiums: 95 miles
Week 15 (Option #1)
Saturday, Dec. 15: Texans at Jets, 4:30 p.m. ET OR 8 p.m. ET
Sunday, Dec. 16: Buccaneers at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET
Potentially a quick turnaround here (the NFL says it will determine the start times of its two Dec. 15 games after Week 8), but Amtrak and I-95 at least should make the trip relatively simple. It starts with the Jets hosting the Texans at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, then ends with the Ravens and Buccaneers at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Distance between stadiums: 189 miles
Week 15 (Option #2)
Sunday, Dec. 16: Cardinals at Falcons, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, Dec. 17: Saints at Panthers, 8:15 p.m. ET
This one is an NFC South tour that begins at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the Falcons and Cards. From there, take I-85 to Charlotte and catch the Panthers in a Monday-nighter against the division rival Saints at Bank of America Stadium.
Distance between stadiums: 241 miles
Sunday, Dec. 23: Bears at 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET
Monday, Dec. 24: Broncos at Raiders, 8:15 p.m. ET
How does spending your Christmas in the Bay Area sound? You can with this trip, which much like Week 10, involves 49ers and Raiders home games. This time it’s the 49ers playing on Sunday, hosting the Bears at Levi’s Stadium, and the Raiders on Monday night taking on the Browns at Oakland Coliseum.
Distance between stadiums: 32 miles