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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Primetime Television and NFL Teams
I have tickets to the MNF game vs. Tennessee, and that got me thinking about how much primetime the teams are getting this year. I charted out the teams for Thursday Night, SNF, and MNF. Here are the results I came up with:
Teams with 5 primetime appearances: Steelers, Giants, Cowboys, Colts, and Bears
Teams with 4 primetime appearances: Titans, Chargers, Eagles, Pats, and Fins
Teams with 3 primetime appearances: Packers, Cards, Ravens, Vikes, Panthers, Skins, Broncos, and Saints
Teams with 1 - 2 primetime appearances: Falcons, Bills, Raiders, Jets, Browns, Texans, 49ers, and Jags
Teams with 0 primetime appearances: Bengals, Chiefs, Lions, Bucs, Seattle, and Rams
Up-front, this looks like a no-brainer. If you win, you play. Play-off caliber teams and popular teams have the most games scheduled. In the head-to-head between popularity and playoff potential, popularity ruled out. Of the first six teams in the original 2009 draft rotation, only Cleveland has primetime - MNF and Thursday Night; none of the others will make an appearance.
There are a few quirks to the trending, like why do the Bears have 5 appearances slotted? Could this be the "Jay Cutler factor?"
On the other hand, drastic offseason changes/drama does not necessarily equate to primetime games. After all the drama in Tampa Bay during the offseason (new coach, Kellen Winslow trade), the Bucs have 0 primetime gigs scheduled. They are a small-market team, IIRC, but I assume the powers-that-be don't anticipate all those changes to turn them back into a play-off caliber team.
The Cinderella Story Falcons will only have 3 appearances. I guess they aren't expected to do as well, or at least not as popular as the Packers who, despire last year's abysmal season, will make more primetime appearances than the Falcons. So will the Cowboys, but there is the whole "America's Team" thing going for them.
Not that this is the way to make predictions for next season, but this is what the primetime schedule tells me somebody in the NFL scheduling/media department thinks:
Of course, all this is subject to change since late in the season the schedule can be modified at will. If by December the 49ers or the Giants are a non-factor in the play-off hunt, I am sure these games would be switched out with whatever up-and-coming team is doing well.
"It is what it is."
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