Big changes for the NFL in as new rules come into play for the 2023 schedule
By Brian Miller
After a day of concern and rumors that the NFL schedule would be delayed, the league announced that the final schedule is in place and will be released on Thursday but big changes are on the way.
This year, the league will introduce more than a few changes to how the schedule will play out and this could be interesting for teams like the Miami Dolphins.
1: No more will games head to specific networks
In years past, CBS and Fox would air games from each of the two conferences. CBS would televise the AFC and FOX would air the NFC. Over the years there has been a few tweaks to this but now, there is no specific connection between the conferences and the two Sunday broadcasters.
This means that games from both conferences will be broadcast on either network allowing each of the two to provide better opportunities to telecast bigger games rather than showcasing just the best of what is left for a weekend within their assigned conference.
For the most part, this is good for the viewers, unless of course the thought of having your favorite team being broadcast by a group of hosts that you don't like.
2: Black Friday could become the next big game thing
This year, a game will be played on Black Friday as part of the Amazon package. The game will kickoff the annual shopping season and we can expect some sort of tie-in with Amazon Prime shopping to highlight the game, although this is just conjecture.
The NFL has been looking to expand but will as successful Friday night game put the NFL on a speedy trajectory to add Friday games later in the season? If the numbers turn out great, you bet they will at least consider it.
3: No team is guaranteed a primetime game
Since the Thursday night games became the norm, each team was given at least one Thursday night game. Now that is no longer the case but the question is will teams that lead the league be left out of playing on a short week or just the bad teams?
While Thursday night is the one fans will keep an eye on, all 32 teams will not be given a primetime opportunity, no matter what night that would fall on. Teams can also play more than once on Thursday night as well.
4: Christmas weekend will be huge for the NFL
There are several rumors that the NFL will make this year's Christmas weekend one of the biggest. This year, Christmas Day will fall on a Monday and there have been reports that three games will be played on Christmas Day. The league will also play on Sunday and there are a couple of rumors that are suggesting a 3 game slate on Saturday as well as the Thursday night game.
If that all turns out to be correct, we would see a Thursday night game, three Saturday games, three Monday games, equaling 7 total games outside of the Sunday schedule.
5: Finally, there have been reports that the NFL is trying to maximize their match-ups early in the season that could set up big flex opportunities late in the season. Fans should expect more playoff implication games earlier in the season so that flex scheduling will allow the league to look more at critical games later in the year. I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense because very few are really fans of flex scheduling as it is.
So much goes into travel to and from cities for football games that the NFL should be trying to cut down on the number of times they need to flex a game, especially when that flex involves changing days.