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The 2023 NFL schedule is officially here, with the league announcing Thursday all 272 of its upcoming regular-season matchups. There are lots of premium showdowns to be found, from a Bills-Jets opener on "Monday Night Football" and a divisional-themed Thanksgiving tripleheader to all kinds of potential Super Bowl previews in prime time. In short, good games await.

With that in mind, it's not too early to crown some winners from the 2023 schedule release. But when there are winners, of course, there are also losers. So here are our initial assessments:

Winner: Bears

Chicago was already set to play a bottom-half schedule, matched up with the 15th-easiest slate in terms of opponents' 2022 win percentage, but all of a sudden they're also prime-time darlings, too! Just months after finishing 3-14, dead last in the NFL to earn the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Bears are scheduled for at least four night games in front of a national audience, including a midseason trip to face Justin Herbert and the Chargers. The NFL must be buying into Justin Fields' new supporting cast.

Loser: Giants

Only three teams enter 2023 with a tougher schedule in terms of opponents' 2022 win percentage, but on top of that, the G-Men will open the year with six of their first 10 games coming on the road. This of course allows them to finish the year with four of six at home, but if the early goings prove too daunting, that late home stretch won't matter. The first six weeks in particular are a slog: vs. Cowboys, at Cardinals, at 49ers on a short week, vs. Seahawks, at Dolphins on a short week, then at the Bills. Even as a contender, escaping that stretch at 3-3 may feel like a big win.

Winner: New York market

OK, so maybe the Giants didn't fare so well, with the NFL betting on them as the ultimate road warriors out of the gate. But that doesn't mean the folks in and around New Jersey aren't living the dream, knowing that not one but both of their franchises are getting major attention this year. The Giants are fresh off their first playoff run in a half-decade, and Aaron Rodgers has yet to take a snap as the Jets' new quarterback, but the two teams are booked for a combined 11 prime-time appearances in 2023. Things change quickly in the NFL, and suddenly it's hot to represent the Big Apple again.

Loser: Eagles

There's a big NFC East thread going now. After advancing to the Super Bowl, Philly was destined to get a rough slate, entering with the toughest rundown of opponents based on 2022 success. And yet, laid out week to week, it's even clearer that Jalen Hurts and Co. will need their "A" game to retain the No. 1 seed, even in a seemingly open conference. Consider this six-game stretch immediately following their Week 10 bye: at Chiefs, vs. Bills on a short week, vs. 49ers, at Cowboys, vs. Seahawks, vs. Giants. It reads like a list of probable playoff and Super Bowl previews, with all of those clubs poised to stay competitive.

Winner: 'Thursday Night Football'

Few NFL staples have drawn more criticism, from both fans and players, than the Thursday night slot, which often requires teams to turn around on a short week, and has sometimes been associated with second-rate matchups. Kicking off its new media deal, however, the league stuffed this year's Thursday slate with marquee games. Here's a sampling of Amazon's Prime Video lineup: Vikings at Eagles, a second annual Week 2 meeting between NFC contenders; Lions at Packers, a Week 4 preview of a Thanksgiving clash between rivals; and Dolphins at Jets, another Aaron Rodgers spotlight for Week 13.

Loser: Patriots

Like the Eagles and Giants, they had their work cut out for them facing a tough opposing win percentage based on last year's results. But the sight of their week-to-week matchups confirms the tall task ahead. The opening four-game stretch alone is no joke: vs. Eagles, vs. Dolphins, at Jets, at Cowboys. An 0-4 start, while unlikely, isn't out of the realm of possibility. Then look at what awaits after their Week 11 bye: at Giants, vs. Chargers, at Steelers on a short week, vs. Chiefs, at Broncos, at Bills, then home vs. the Jets to close the year. They'd better hope Bill O'Brien is chiseling Mac Jones close to Tom Brady form.

Winner: International Jaguars fans

We know they exist, considering how often Jacksonville has substituted, well, Jacksonville for London over the last 15 years. But now, this year, the NFL is really hinting to the overseas faithful that a particular AFC South franchise belongs to them (and, perhaps someday, in more of a literal sense). The Jags will play not one but two games on "neutral" London grass in October, and get this: they're back-to-back, meaning Trevor Lawrence and Co. will play the Falcons and Bills before an international audience in successive weeks. How soon before the UK flag is a permanent fixture on Jags jerseys?

Loser: Cardinals

Sometimes all you have to do to forecast a rough season is look at a team's roster. Sometimes all you have to do is look at the schedule. In the case of Arizona, well, you can do either, or you can do both, and nothing is overly promising. The new regime may have a long-term vision, but with Kyler Murray coming off injury and the rest of the lineup in transition, it's tough to envision immediate success under coach Jonathan Gannon. The Cards start and finish with tough sledding; after opening on the road, they have the Giants, Cowboys, 49ers and Bengals from Weeks 2-5, then close with the 49ers, Bears, Eagles and Seahawks from Weeks 15-18. There's a reason they aren't set for any prime-time appearances.

Winner: Football

It's coming back before you know it. Buckle your seat belts.