We have been hearing and seeing it all over for months-- “mark your calendars folks! We have schedules!" (Not many people keep calendars on their refrigerators or even in their purses anymore, we need a new saying “pin your calendar!” or “send your outlook invite!” “get your group texts loaded!”)
It’s May 12th and the full NFL schedule is finally getting released. NFL team executives all have copies of their schedules which were sent to them Wednesday but ignore the leaks. This is part of the fun. The build up. The guesses. The fear if your team gets that early bye week. We live in a world that hates to wait on anything, well at least according to my instagram and every baby reveal post I come across. (we waited for the surprise, I highly recommend. So what if Mikey has pink princess blankets)
Every NFL team will release their own schedule on social media and their creative brains usually come up with great ideas/themes, so keep an eye on that.
The NFL has drip dropped a few games on the schedule over the last week or so --helping add to the build up and making every single game feel HUGE.
Tonight (Thursday) you can see the full schedule release on ESPN 2 at 8pm ET and the NFL Network.
There are so many different ways we can dissect this but now that free agency and the draft have wrapped up, here are the teams I believe deserve the most primetime eyeballs. Just a note: In 2021 the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs each played in six prime-time games -- tied for the most such contests in a single season with the 2007 New England Patriots since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, per NFL.com)
The Denver Broncos
No, I am not hopping on some wild bandwagon of the Broncos because they now have Russell Wilson under center, he just makes them so much more appealing. The change in uniform for Wilson is worthy enough for at least one primetime game! This superb defense, new weapons, and a reenergized Russ, makes the Broncos juicy again. They play in a tough division but what if....Russ pulls a Brady or Stafford ---and just needed a change of scenery to get the best version of himself. I'm in to see.
This team is a favorite to win on almost every analysts' list of teams that can win it all. What I find so incredible about this organization is how after that lost coin flip loss against the Chiefs --which potentially cost them a Super Bowl ring--they moved right on. It was a heartbreaking, a tough way to get kicked out of the tournament. How could we forget Patrick Mahomes running to find Josh Allen immediately after the game to show respect for one of the best duels we saw all year. What a game. The team moved right on too, adding to their roster and finding key pieces like corner and running back. Allen is just getting better by the year and if you have any doubts if the Bills can put on a show, just go back and watch that Wild Card game in Buffalo. The Bills SLAMMED the Patriots in a flawless performance. The Bills scored touchdowns on all seven of their offensive possessions. No punts. No attempted field goals. No turnovers. I was there that night and it will forever be one of the best games I’ve ever witnessed.
We just talked about Mahomes above and while he didn’t have his best overall season last year, Mahomes always brings the flavor, especially on the big nights. Their schedule is going to be a hard one especially since the AFC West is absolutely loaded but he always finds a way. It's why we always say he is magical. The Chiefs have new weapons since they lost Tyreek Hill, which makes them fascinating. HC Andy Reid said he doesn’t have too many concerns about the offense, so the mystery of how they will look is worth primetime action.
Think about what this team went through in a matter of weeks. Bye Tom Brady, the greatest of all time. Hi, Tom Brady, welcome back! Bye Bruce Arians, hello Todd Bowles. Talk about an emotional roller coaster for Tampa Bay fans. A healthy roster mixed with a defense that you know is going to make a statement. I made a mistake of betting against Brady 2 years ago. They won it all that year. I’m not doing it again, not until that man is sitting in a Fox booth will I ever challenge him. So yes, at 45 years old when the season begins, he deserves all the best time slots because we need to enjoy every second of his play before its all over. Well, over again. Gisele, thanks for sharing him with football again!