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NFL Loads Primetime Schedule With Top Draws After Ratings Dip Last Season
Published April 21, 2017
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BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In Oakland, Jimmy Durkin notes the Raiders will play five primetime games this season, which "would be the most in franchise history." In addition to three "SNF" games, the Raiders' one "MNF" appearance comes on Christmas Day, when they travel to face the Eagles. They also have a "TNF" game Oct. 19 at home against the Chiefs (EAST BAY TIMES, 4/21). THE MMQB's Peter King writes the league "will be in a TV mess if the Raiders are not the emerging star team they appeared to be" at the end of '16 (MMQB.SI.com, 4/21). USA TODAY wrote Raiders fans, who are "having their team taken from them in the pursuit of greener -- money -- pastures," get to "show the nation how they feel about it" with two home primetime games (USATODAY.com, 4/20).
WHY STOP A GOOD THING? The Cowboys will host the Giants in Week 1 for the third consecutive season, and in Ft. Worth, Clarence Hill Jr. writes the matchup has "proved to be a ratings bonanza for the NFL." Last season, the Giants-Cowboys opener on Sunday afternoon was the "third-highest rated (15.5) game of the regular season and drew the fifth-most viewers (27.5 million)." The "SNF" matchup between the NFC East rivals is the "fifth time in the past six years the two teams have started the season against each other" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/21). USA TODAY wrote fans may be a "bit sick of Giants at Cowboys in this spot," but they have learned to "live with the league’s lack of imagination" (USATODAY.com, 4/20). Meanwhile, in Dallas, Barry Horn notes Tony Romo will call two Cowboys games this season for CBS -- when the team hosts the Chiefs on Nov. 5 and the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/21).
NOT QUITE READY: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes one day after the Buccaneers were named to be the featured team on HBO's "Hard Knocks," the NFL "gave them a harder knock." The Bucs will play in two primetime games next season. Jones: "This, as much as anything, tells you what the NFL thinks of the Bucs. Not quite ready for prime time" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/21). In N.Y., Brian Costello notes the Jets have just one primetime appearance this season, their fewest since '07, when they "had none" (N.Y. POST, 4/21).