Following COVID outbreaks and positive tests for several NFL teams, the NFL announced some major changes to the upcoming schedule today.
Following the changes, we decided to take a look at things and see who the biggest winners and losers are from the amended schedule.
FOX: What a bonus for FOX to get to broadcast Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills on Monday night in Week 6 instead of Thursday night. The average ratings for Monday night games are higher than Thursday night plus they have the clear marquee game of the night on a national station before the second game, which typically does worse than the second game in Monday night doubleheaders. ESPN broadcasts Cardinals at Cowboys in the second telecast.
Titans: Somehow, the Titans had no further changes to their schedule despite having the biggest outbreak of any team thus far. Yes, they have to play every week for the rest of the season (provided no further outbreaks), but to not have other changes is a win for them.
Patriots: Don't say the NFL hates the Patriots today. Their bye week moves up from Week 6 to 5 and their game against the Broncos just gets pushed back a week, which makes it easy for them to roll their game plan from one week into the next. No big deal either way. Interesting considering they were the team with a COVID outbreak.
Broncos: Somehow a team that didn't have a single COVID positive test got the short end of the stick. Not only do they have to play 11 straight weeks to finish the season because their game against the Pats was postponed this week, they now have to face the Patriots and Chiefs in back-to-back weeks instead of Pats-Dolphins. They're 1-3 right now and will likely be 1-5 at the end of that stretch with their season all but over.
Chargers: Another team that didn't have a COVID outbreak, the Chargers bye week is now Week 6 instead of Week 10. That means they now have to play 10 straight weeks to finish the season. The biggest positive is they play the Dolphins and Jets in consecutive weeks.
ESPN: Not only does ESPN not get to broadcast a Monday Night Football doubleheader this week, which it was schedule to do before the Patriots-Broncos game got postponed, it now has to compete against FOX in Week 6. As mentioned before, they also have the worse game (Cardinals-Cowboys vs. FOX's Chiefs-Bills) and are the second game that night, which typically has lower ratings.