The NFL schedule for the 2020-2021 season was released Thursday night. The nationally televised games were a part of that and there are some good matchups, bad matchups and a whole lot of Tom Brady. Tampa Tom and the Buccaneers will be on primetime five times this season. SI’s media columnist Jimmy Traina tells Robin Lundberg some of the matchups that stood out to him on the schedule.
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Robin Lundberg: Brady and the Tampa Bay Gronkaneers, were the story of the NFL schedule release. And for more, I'm joined by our Jimmy Traina who has analyzed the entire thing. Jimmy, let's start with Tampa.
Were you surprised or did you expect what you got with their schedule?
Jimmy Traina: Thought you might have gotten maybe one more primetime game and then they got five. But Fox and CBS, they're going to fight hard to keep the Bucs in that Sunday 4:25 spot all year. But the five numbers is not surprising to me with five primetime games. You're going to see them, you know, twelve other times 4:25 on Sunday basically. You know, you've got a couple of one o'clock games but they're going to be a staple like at 4:25 on Sundays.
Robin Lundberg: You know I actually like when they're the big games are on Sunday afternoon. But meanwhile Monday Night Football has been a talking point for a while. Given the quality of games. What did you grade their schedule.
Jimmy Traina: Give them a B. It's better than it's been in years. A lot better actually. And they got very lucky. Week three, they get Ravens, Chiefs, which is obviously, as everyone knows, Lamar Jackson against Patrick Mahomes so big, big, big rating there in week three for ESPN coming.
Robin Lundberg: Are there clear top teams as far as interest in your mind? You just mentioned the Chiefs, the Ravens, the Buccaneers, and then, of course, the Cowboys.
Jimmy Traina: Well, in terms of interests, I think it's the Bucs more than anyone this year. But in terms of what's always going to deliver a rating, there's nobody better than the Cowboys. No matter what they do, they generate the big ratings Chiefs, you know, Saints, you know, offensive teams. The Patriots are an interesting one this year because I think there's interest in what they're going to do. I'm not sure, though, that people are going to watch Jarrett Stidham two, three and a half hours every Sunday. So the Patriots are going to be a fascinating one from that standpoint. But the money teams for ratings this year. Cowboys, as always. Chiefs, saints, Bucs and I guess the Ravens as well. That gets into football stuff if you go, that one is a little dicey because I'm not sure you're going to have this same exact season out of Lamar Jackson, you got that. So that one's an interesting one to keep an eye on. And then, you know, the big, you know, New York markets, Chicago markets always deliver as well.
Robin Lundberg: We'll see if that holds because as of now, the NFL is on schedule. Jimmy, appreciate your time, as always.
Jimmy Traina: Anytime.
Analysis from Luke Easterling of AllBucs: This loaded prime-time slate for the Bucs was set in stone as soon as Tom Brady signed back in March. He's must-see TV, and adding Rob Gronkowski only cements Tampa Bay's place in the national NFL conversation even more. More importantly, the Bucs will finally get to show a larger audience how many good players they've had for quite a while. We'll see if they can live up to the hype, but the Bucs are finally getting that bright spotlight, something they haven't had since they won the Super Bowl nearly two decades ago.
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