Primetime Television and NFL Teams

Discussion in 'The National Football League' started by Texans Horror, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Texans Horror

    Texans Horror Hall of Fame

    Sep 11, 2005
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    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

    • NFC teams will make more appearances than AFC teams, with NFC East teams having twice as many appearances as any other division.
    • There was more discrepancy in Sunday Night Football than MNF or Thursday Night. For SNF, 9 teams will accumulate 24 primetime spots of a possible 32 spots (minus the last SNF game, which is not yet scheduled). Almost half the league (15 teams) will not appear in a SNF game, compared to only 7 teams not appearing in MNF.
    • Only the NFC West has multiple teams completely unscheduled in primetime slots: Seattle and St. Louis.
    • Of the ~90 primetime slots, almost a third (25) will go to five teams. Of the same ~90 games, 14 teams will appear in 2 or less games.

    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.

    Question Marks:
    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:
    • Somebody thinks the Redskins have little to no chance to make it to the playoffs.
    • Said person also thinks the Colts will do really well despite the coaching changes and wide receiver issues.
    • The Bears should win the NFC North. At least one playoff team will come from the NFC East.
    • Media hype has little affect on this person's attention. Despite a lot of news media (that I am seeing) liking the Texans as that team that could go from mediocre to play-offs, they are still considered on par with the Raiders, Jags, Detroit, Bengals, Chiefs, Tampa, Seattle, and the Rams.

    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.

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