I’ll have more on the NFL schedule over the next few days, but here are some early thoughts on the 2021 schedule:
— NFL teams will play 17 games this season for the first time; exhibition games have been reduced to three. AFC teams get the extra home game this season.
— Regular season ends January 9th, with games in Buffalo and Cleveland. Have fun!!!
— Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to Carolina this winter; the wise guys who create the schedule created an interesting Week 1 matchup, Jets @ Carolina. Go figure, a coincidence I’m sure.
— Christmas is on a Saturday, Halloween is a Sunday this year; there are two Christmas games. Browns-Packers, Colts-Cardinals. Which casino will I be watching those games in?
— This has nothing to do with football, but Halloween weekend in Las Vegas is tremendous, take my word on that.
— Cowboys-Buccaneers is the Week 1 Thursday game, where the defending champ traditionally opens the next season at home. Home team is 15-3 SU in this game the last 18 years, 11-3-4 against the spread.
— Don’t think the NFL foresees Aaron Rodgers being traded to Denver; Broncos have one game on in prime-time, Green Bay has five.
— NFL doesn’t think much of the Patriots; only three primetime games, one of which is Tom Brady’s return to Foxboro in Week 4.
— Thanksgiving Day slate:
Bears @ Detroit, Raiders @ Dallas, Bills @ New Orleans
— Non-schedule news; Green Bay signed backup QB Blake Bortles, re-uniting him with OC Nathaniel Hackett- they worked together in Jacksonville from 2015-18.
— Division rivals Carolina/Tampa Bay have their two meetings in weeks 16/18.
— I’m totally befuddled that Rams-Lions isn’t a primetime game. Detroit got one game on in primetime, at Green Bay in Week 2. Very surprised by this, seeing how the teams swapped quarterbacks this winter. ESPN obviously didn’t want the game.
Every team got at least one primetime game; eight teams got just one.
— Four teams have the earliest byes, Week 6— Falcons, Saints, Jets, 49ers.
— Four teams have the latest byes, Week 14— Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles.
— Nine teams got the maximum five primetime games.
— Cardinals/Chargers have three prime-time games, all at home, which is odd. Giants got three primetime games, all on the road— they can’t be real happy about that.
I’ll have some notes for each team’s schedule over the next week or so; season doesn’t start until September 9, so there is plenty of time.