When it comes to prime time and the NFL, Sunday Night Football always comes out on top with the best schedule. That’s true once again in 2022, and it’s all about quarterbacks.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be on the Sunday-night stage three times (Week 2 against the Bears, Week 8 at the Bills and Week 12 at the Eagles).
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will get three Sunday-night games, as well (at the Cowboys in Week 1, against the Chiefs in Week 4 and at the Cardinals in Week 16 on Christmas night).
Patrick Mahomes also has three Sunday night games: Week 4 at the Bucs, Week 9 vs. the Titans and Week 14 against the Broncos.
Joe Burrow and Russell Wilson each get two Sunday-night games.
Chiefs at Bucs in Week 4 is the best game on NBC’s slate, but the matchup that may generate the best ratings is Bucs at Cowboys in Week 1. Interestingly, the defending Super Bowl champion Rams play the season-opening game against the Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8, but only appear once this upcoming season on Sunday Night Football, in Week 17, which happens to be New Year's Day, against the Chargers.
While NBC has the best schedule, Monday Night Football and ESPN have their best schedule in ages, including Russell Wilson’s highly anticipated return to Seattle to open the season in Week 1. Rams at Packers in Week 15 should be a monster game for the new booth of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. ESPN closes out its season with another strong game in Bills at Bengals, the very juicy Josh Allen–vs.–Joe Burrow matchup.
ESPN/ABC will also air a doubleheader in Week 2 with Titans at Bills kicking off on ESPN at 7:15 p.m. ET and Vikings at Eagles at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Next season, ABC/ESPN will air a doubleheader like this three times, as Albert Breer wrote about Monday.
The NFL did ESPN a solid by giving the network a string of several rivalry games, including Cowboys at Giants in Week 3, Rams at Niners in Week 4, Raiders at Chiefs in Week 5 and Broncos at Chargers in Week 6. ESPN gets Brady and the Bucs for one game in Week 13 against the Saints.
Amazon Prime is the new player in town, thanks to having the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football. Despite all the money Amazon spent for the package, and despite hiring two A-list people, Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit, to call the games, Amazon’s schedule features plenty of potential clunkers, most notably Steelers at Browns in Week 3, Eagles at Texans in Week 9 and Jaguars at Jets in Week 16. The good news for Amazon is that it does feature each team once, so it will get a crack at featuring the top quarterbacks in many games. The streaming service’s best game is Ravens at Bucs in Week 8. Other solid games include Bills at Patriots in Week 13 and Raiders at Rams in Week 14.
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