Are three night primetime TV games each week plus a doubleheader game or two each Sunday afternoon too much of a good thing?
With ratings going up, the format seems to be working for the NFL. The problem is that some weeks, they don’t have enough good attractions for the primetime slots.
This seems to be one of those weeks.
The byes started this week with four teams having their bye week so the NFL has 14 games instead of 16.
The prime time scheduled started Thursday night with Tampa Bay going to Philadelphia. The Bucs won 28-22, but the game wasn’t as good as the final score. The Bucs had a 28-7 lead midway through the third period.
The Sunday night game is Seattle at Pittsburgh, which looked like a good attraction until Russell Wilson was sidelined with a finger injury last week, so Geno Smith will get the start for the Seahawks.
The Monday night game will feature Buffalo at Tennessee, a game the Bills figure to dominate if they don’t have a letdown after the big win against Kansas City last week.
—The two best games – Chargers at Baltimore and unbeaten Arizona at Cleveland – won’t get national coverage. The Chargers-Baltimore is a CBS early game and the Arizona-Cleveland game is a late Fox game, but CBS has the doubleheader games this weekend. The CBS doubleheader games are Dallas at New England, which figures to be an easy Dallas win, and Las Vegas at Denver.
—The Las Vegas game will be interesting because it will be the first game since Jon Gruden stepped down after disturbing emails he wrote several years ago became public. It remains to be seen how the Raiders react to the distraction. The Broncos-Raiders is an old rivalry, but Gruden’s departure adds another element to the game.
—The Patriots are desperate for an upset victory over the Cowboys. If the Patriots lose, they will fall to 2-4 with rookie quarterback Mac Jones while Brady is 5-1 in Tampa Bay.–The Chargers-Baltimore and Arizona-Cleveland matchups will feature four young quarterbacks –Justin Herbert vs. Lamar Jackson (although he was ill during the week) and Kyler Murray vs. Baker Mayfield.
—London will host a game for the second week in a row when the 0-5 Jaguars face the 1-4 Dolphins. The NFL has yet to stage a game in London featuring two winning teams.
—The only other winless team besides Jacksonville is Detroit, which is likely to fall to 0-6 when the Lions play 3-2 Cincinnati. The other one win teams besides the Dolphins are the Jets, who have a bye, Houston and Indianapolis, who play at Indianapolis, and the Giants, who are big underdogs against the Rams.
—Kansas City is desperate for a victory and should get it over a Washington team that dealt with a lot of off the field issues. Including their decision to announce three days before the game that they were honoring the late Sean Taylor along with Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell. The late announcement was criticized for not giving fans much notice and the suggestion was they were trying to change the subject from the emails that Gruden sent to former Washington president Bruce Allen.
—Green Bay can take a two game lead in the NFC t in the NFC North. The Packers come in at 4-1 with four wins in a row while the Bears are 3-2. This will be the 201st game in this long rivalry but the Packers have dominated it the last decade, winning nine of last 10 and 18 of last 20.