September 21, 2017

Grading the 2017 Primetime NFL Schedule

Editor’s Note: Our good friend, Andrew Hammond stopped by The Tailgate Society to review the 2017 primetime NFL slate. Give him a follow on Twitter and take a gander at his work over at GoPowerCat and FanSided. With a quick investigation, you’ll quickly see that Andrew wrote this and definitely not Ted. Thanks for stopping by, Andrew!

On Thursday, the National Football League released their 2017 NFL Schedule to the public that has been football thirsty ever since the Atlanta Falcons gave up a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl. The most important parts of the schedule are the primetime showcase games on the various networks. I’ve taken it upon myself to grade the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night schedules for the upcoming season. You know, just in case you need to figure out what games you can chose to ignore your family.

Let’s start with the always talked about Thursday Night Football Schedule.

Thursday Night Football

Week 1: Kansas City at New England (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 2: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (7:25 CST NFL Network)
Week 3: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (7:25 CST NFL Network)
Week 4: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (7:25 CST CBS/NFL Network)
Week 5: New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7:25 CST CBS/NFL Network)
Week 6: Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (7:25 CST CBS/NFL Network)
Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (7:25 CST CBS/NFL Network)
Week 8: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (7:25 CST CBS/NFL Network)
Week 9: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (7:25 CST NFL Network)
Week 10: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (7:25 CST NBC/NFL Network)
Week 11: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (7:25 CST NBC/NFL Network)
Week 12: New York Giants at Washington Redskins (7:25 CST NBC)
Week 13: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (7:25 CST NBC/NFL Network)
Week 14: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (7:25 CST NBC/NFL Network)
Week 15: Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (7:25 CST NBC/NFL Network)

Overall Grade: B-

I’d give the Thursday Night Football schedule a solid B-, the NFL has strayed away from division centered games and featuring every team. One of my big things regarding Thursday night is we have the chance to see some of the rising stars in the league like Marcus Mariota of the Titans and James Winston of the Bucs. Although we still have some divisional games, for a majority they are ones that actually matter and have some impact. Especially starting with Week 10. All in all, well done for Thursday night, now for Sunday…

Sunday Night Football

Week 1: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 2: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 3: Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 4: Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 6: New York Giants at Denver Broncos (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 8: Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 9: Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 10: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 11: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 12: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 14: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 15: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 16: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (7:30 CST NBC)
Week 17: Flexed Game (7:30 EST NBC)

Overall Grade: B

I usually tend to hammer the NFL’s Sunday Night Schedule because they usually pick very safe games that have little impact on the weekend, and feature the same boring teams. While we have a bit of the redundancy when it comes to some of the teams, you’ve got good balance on who actually does play on Sunday night. Yes, you have your New England, Dallas and New York Giants, but you’ve also got games like Oakland at Washington and Green Bay at Pittsburgh. Those are games that reach the average football fan and the diehard football fan. As for the final Sunday night game of the season, I’m going to guess that Dallas at Philadelphia will be the Week 17 game on Sunday Night Football. Now last but not least, it’s Monday Night Football.

Monday Night Football

Week 1: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (6:30 CST ESPN) & Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (10:15 CST ESPN)
Week 2: Detroit Lions at New York Giants (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 3: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 4: Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 5: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 6: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 7: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 8: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 9: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 10: Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 11: Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 12: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 13: Pittsburg Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 14: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 15: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7:30 CST ESPN)
Week 16: Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles (7:30 CST ESPN)

Overall Grade: B-

Another B-. I actually had very low expectations before I looked at the 2017 Monday Night Football schedule. In past seasons they’ve had “potentially” big games looming that turned out to be duds. While some of that still lingers, there are some fascinating showdowns that await in 2017. Washington going to Arrowhead is one of them along with the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots each getting one MNF game on the road and that’s it. Monday night in 2017 has a good chance of regaining its ‘must see TV’ status for the first time since being featured on ESPN.

Tom Danielson 65 Articles
Managing Editor

Every family needs an adult figure. That's Tom's job on this ship. After graduating from Iowa State University, Tom headed down the ‘failed professional golfer' career path before heading back to his calling as an engineer in the great white north (Minnesota). He got his start in blogging, and continues to contribute at the critically acclaimed site, Wide Right & Natty Lite.  A student of the ‘you can't fail if you don't try' philosophy, there's no better way to describe Tom than a 'Jack of all trades, master of none'.

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