NFL can't resist leaking date of 49ers-Eagles matchup — and others — ahead of schedule release

The NFL's schedule release is its annual flex that the league dominates the American sports psyche.

The league announces dates attached to a collection of matchups that are already known and turns it into an event that fans, media and social media can't resist. This week, the league took things up a notch and released an announcement of the announcement on Monday, confirming that yes, indeed, the schedule will be announced as planned on Thursday.

It's since joined the annual leak party, with official announcements of select game dates ahead of Thursday's actual schedule release. Wednesday put a date on one of the most anticipated games of the season — a rematch of the NFC championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles cruised in last season's NFC championship. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles cruised in last season's NFC championship. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

The teams will face off again on Dec. 3 for a 4:25 p.m. ET Week 13 matchup in Philadelphia. The Eagles and 49ers released coordinated social media announcements Wednesday evening announcing the date. The Eagles, which dominated a hobbled 49ers team in last season's championship, apparently earned social media dibs and pushed their announcement roughly two minutes before San Francisco.

The Week 13 date sets up a potential high-stakes clash in the thick of the playoff race if both teams live up to what are sure to be lofty preseason expectations. It indeed has the potential to be a doozy. But it's not the only game date the league released ahead of schedule on Wednesday. Other late-season premium matchups also got the early treatment:

-Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 3 p.m. ET, Nov. 24 (Week 12)

-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles: 4:30 p.m. ET, Dec. 25 (Week 16)

-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs: 4:25 p.m. ET, Dec. 31 (Week 17)

As did five international games, with the Jacksonville Jaguars playing two games in London:

-Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (London): 9:30 a.m. ET, Oct. 1 (Week 4)

-Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills (London): 9:30 a.m. ET, Oct. 8 (Week 5)

-Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans (London): 9:30 a.m. ET, Oct. 15 (Week 6)

-Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Frankfurt, Germany): 9:30 a.m. ET, Nov. 5 (Week 9)

-Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots (Frankfurt, Germany): 9:30 a.m. ET, Nov. 12 (Week 10)