Important Things to Know About the 2024 NFL Schedule

The schedule for the upcoming NFL season is out and there are a lot of questions.
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

1. When the NFL schedule was released on Wednesday, a few things stood out right away:

• The Chiefs are the money team. Kansas City will appear in prime time five times, plus, it will have a standalone game on Black Friday when it hosts the Raiders. In addition, the Chiefs are slotted for five 4:25 p.m. national games.

• The Texans and C.J. Stroud are the new darlings. Houston will play in four prime-time games plus one of the two Christmas Day games. The Texans will play in three straight prime-time games in Weeks 9–11, with appearances on Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football.

• The NFL better pray that the Achilles of a 40-year-old quarterback who is now known for conspiracy theories more than football holds up because the Jets are on prime time SIX times in the first 11 weeks of the season. Plus, they will play a standalone international game at 9:30 a.m ET in October.

With the schedule release comes questions and I will tackle some of those now.

When will we hear Tom Brady call a Patriots game?

Fox has Seattle at New England at 1 p.m. ET in Week 2. However, I’d expect Fox to send Brady and Kevin Burkhardt to Dallas to call the Saints-Cowboys game.

My prediction is that Brady will call his first Patriots game in Week 4 when Fox has New England at San Francisco at 4:05 p.m. ET.

What is the Monday Night Football doubleheader situation this season?

ESPN and ABC will again go with staggered start times as opposed to a traditional doubleheader for five weeks during the season.

Week 3
Jacksonville at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Washington at Cincinnati at 8:15 p.m., ABC

Week 4
Tennessee at Miami, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Seattle at Detroit, 8:15 p.m., ABC

Week 7
Baltimore at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona, 9 p.m., ESPN+

Week 15
Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m., ABC
Atlanta at Las Vegas, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

There will be a doubleheader in Week 18, but all those details are TBD.

What happened to doubleheaders for both CBS and Fox in Week 1?

After three years, the NFL scrapped its opening week doubleheader, which gave fans four games (two at 1 p.m. and two a 4:25 p.m.). However, there will be doubleheader for each network in Week 15.

Who will produce and call the Christmas Day games on Netflix?

Here is what NFL VP of Broadcast Planning, Mike North, told me on the SI Media Podcast (more on that in item No. 2) when I asked him that question: “The honest answer is, TBD.” North later added, “There’s a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross. They obviously acknowledge they’re gonna need somebody to produce and direct it and point the cameras to the field and get it on television. But I wouldn’t doubt for a second when we get to Dec. 25, it’s going to look and sound like an NFL football game and they’re probably gonna end up working with existing NFL crews and existing NFL talent.”

North said while he expects CBS and Fox crews to produce the games, who calls them could be something different.

“You might hire the producer and the director and the AD and the camera guys and the sound guys, but the talent, you could probably go in a lot of different directions,” said North. “I’m sure you’re gonna have some regular names that we’re used to seeing, whether it’s NFL Network talent or former players. Maybe there’ some guys coming out of retirement, other broadcast network booths, maybe it’s guys we haven’t heard of. Maybe you do it like Nickelodeon does it where they find some of their talent. Maybe you get some Netflix folks behind the mic. I’m sure there’s time to figure that out, but I would feel pretty confident as we sit here today that’s it’s gonna look and sound like an NFL game by the time we get there.”

How does playing games on a Wednesday (Christmas Day) affect the schedule?

Because the two Christmas Day games on Netflix in Week 17 will be Chiefs at Steelers and Ravens at Texans, those four teams needed to match up in Week 16 because of the short-rest issue.

So in Week 16, the Texans visit the Chiefs and the Steelers visit the Ravens. Both games take place on Saturday, Dec. 21, to give those four clubs an extra day of rest before the Wednesday games.

How many networks and streaming services will I need to watch the NFL in 2024?

CBS
Fox
NBC
ABC
ESPN
ESPN+
NFL Network
Amazon
Netflix
Peacock

And don’t forget about the hundreds of dollars you need to couch up if you’d like to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube.

2. North talks about the challenges in putting together the 2024 schedule, why the league decided to play on Christmas Day (which takes place on a Wednesday), how the Christmas games affected the rest of the schedule, who will produce and broadcast the two Christmas games on Netflix, why the NFL went all in on the Texans, whether the Chiefs have replaced the Cowboys as America's team, how flex scheduling will work, why there won't be a national doubleheader in Week 1 and much more.

Following North, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include Aaron Rodgers's eye-opening admission, Tom Brady's backpedal on his Netflix roast and a shady move by a restaurant. I also read recent Apple reviews for the SI Media With Jimmy Traina.

You can also listen to the SI Media With Jimmy Traina below or on Apple and Spotify.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated‘s YouTube channel.

3. The best thing about the schedule release was Joe Buck’s appearance on ESPN2 during which he basically had a therapy session about getting older and going to Disney World. The worst thing about the schedule release was ESPN2’s studio crew constantly talking over Joe Buck and not letting him cook.

4. Radio host Doug Gottlieb taking a college basketball head-coaching job while saying he will continue to host his DAILY radio show might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in sports media. Gottlieb tried to explain how he was going to coach Wisconsin-Green Bay while also yakking away for three hours a day on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, but Patrick clearly wasn’t buying what Gottlieb was selling and rightfully so.

5. The Caitlin Clark Ratings Effect doesn’t seem to just be a college basketball thing. ESPN2 drew 2.1 million viewers for Clark’s WNBA debut on Tuesday.

That night’s Bruins-Panthers game on ESPN drew 1.9 million viewers.

6. This story made me legitimately sad.

Over the weekend, ring announcer Dan Hennessey announced the wrong winner of a boxing match. Naturally, people relentlessly mocked Hennessey for his flub.

Now, Hennessey says he has to step away from his job because the backlash is too much for him to handle. “Unfortunately the worldwide backlash is absolutely incredible and it's effecting my mental health to a degree where I will have 1 more show ever," Hennessey wrote in a post on Facebook. "... No longer the world's punching bag. I'm out.”

I hope someone in the boxing world who has some power sees this and gives Hennessey a job.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I think I posted this a few years ago, but I ended up seeing it again while recently scrolling through TikTok and had to post it again. This is the single-worst gimmick in WWE history that ended up becoming a must-watch thanks to the commentary by Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.


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Jimmy Traina

JIMMY TRAINA

Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.