NFL

2020 NFL schedule announced

field-goal-3The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2020, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 10, in Kansas City and concludes with 16 division games on Sunday, January 3.

“The release of the NFL schedule is something our fans eagerly anticipate every year, as they look forward with hope and optimism to the season ahead,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities. We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft.”

FULL SCHEDULES: Regular season | Preseason

The NFL’s 101st season begins with the league’s annual primetime kickoff game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10 (8:20 PM ET, NBC) in a rematch of the AFC Divisional playoffs.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with key divisional games on Sunday, September 13, featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the New Orleans Saints (4:25 PM ET) and the Arizona Cardinals visiting the San Francisco 49ers (4:25 PM ET). CBS kicks off its coverage in Week 1 with a host of rivalry games, including the Baltimore Ravens welcoming the Cleveland Browns (1:00 PM ET) and the Miami Dolphins traveling to New England to face the Patriots (1:00 PM ET).

The 2020 NFL schedule, Powered by AWS, features the debut of two world-class venues – SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Rams will meet the Dallas Cowboys on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET) on September 13 in their new home while the Los Angeles Chargers welcome the Chiefs to SoFi Stadium in Week 2 on September 20 (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Also in Week 2, the Raiders host the first-ever regular-season NFL game in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium when they face the New Orleans Saints on ESPN’s Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, with a simulcast on ABC) on the 50th anniversary of the first Monday Night Football game in 1970.

The ESPN slate begins with a Kickoff Weekend doubleheader. The New York Giants will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 14 (7:15 PM ET) in the first game, followed by the Tennessee Titans visiting the Denver Broncos in the nightcap (10:10 PM ET).

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

All 32 clubs are again scheduled for at least one nationally televised Thursday, Sunday or Monday game.

Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-4, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 5. FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) as well as the Friday, December 25, game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints (4:30 PM ET). Those FOX games are slated to be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with Tampa Bay at Chicago on October 8.

NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games – with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games – including a very special Thursday night contest on September 17. On that day, the 100th birthday of the National Football League, the Cleveland Browns will host the Cincinnati Bengals (8:20 PM ET), with the NFL Network broadcast paying tribute to the birthplace of the NFL in nearby Canton, Ohio.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially underdistributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 26. The first game will send the Texans to Detroit to face the Lions (12:30 PM ET, CBS). The late afternoon game will feature the Washington Redskins visiting the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET, FOX). The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an AFC North showdown as the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on NBC (8:20 PM ET).

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, January 3. For the 12th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 13.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 3. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.

In each of Weeks 15 and 16, up to three of five designated matchups will be played on Saturday with the remainder to be played on Sunday. Specific dates and start times for such designated Week 15 and Week 16 matchups will be determined and announced no later than four weeks prior to game day.

Beginning this year, two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6, and 7.

AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 16-17. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 24. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 7, in Super Bowl LV at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium (CBS).

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

Fans can experience exciting NFL matchups in person by visiting their favorite team’s website, http://www.nfl.com/tickets, or on any NFL licensed ticketing channel. When purchasing tickets, be sure to look for the authenticated NFL ticket logo or the NFL shield.

— NFL Communications

Categories: NFL

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