The National Football League released its 2013 Schedule at 8 PM last night. The NFL’s media website has the complete information set on this news. Here’s the basic info from the league, but first some notes of my own:
1) The Washington Redskins v. Philadelphia Eagles opening day game is the showcase contest presenting the future of the NFL. That was smart marketing by the league, as the contest pits the Redskins’ version of the Read-Option Offense, and whatever modifications Mike Shanahan has made to it, against new Eagles Coach Chip Kelly’s NFL version of the vaunted Oregon Read-Option Offense. It promises to be an exciting game to say the least.
2) The Oakland Raiders do not have a single Monday Night Football Game at the Oakland Coliseum. Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t help the organization sell tickets. I think the NFL needs to reconsider the apparent policy of not awarding teams with poor record from the year before with prime-time games. A team’s popularity is not always tied to its won-loss record, but most important, a shared-market organization like the Raiders needs that kind of sales advantage.
Here’s the NFL:
2013 NFL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
— 2013 Schedules Available on NFL.com and NFL Mobile From Verizon —
The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2013, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 5 and concludes on Sunday, December 29 with 16 division games.
The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 5 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will feature the defending-champion Baltimore Ravens visiting the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in a rematch of last year’s double-overtime AFC Divisional Playoff Game.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football will get underway on September 8 when the Dallas Cowboys host the division-rival New York Giants (8:30 PM ET).
Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 9 with a doubleheader on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The Washington Redskins will host the Philadelphia Eagles (7:10 PM ET) in the first game followed by the Houston Texans visiting the San Diego Chargers (10:20 PM ET).
ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.
The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 29. For the fourth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games at the end of the season with playoff ramifications.
The season concludes on Sunday, February 2 with Super Bowl XLVIII, the historic New York/New Jersey Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (FOX).
Thanksgiving will feature an NFL tripleheader on Thursday, November 28. The first game will send the Green Bay Packers to Detroit to face the Lions (12:30 PM ET, FOX) in an NFC North showdown. The late afternoon game will feature the Oakland Raiders visiting Dallas (4:30 PM ET, CBS). The holiday concludes with an AFC North matchup as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Baltimore on NBC (8:30 PM ET).
The NFL will again play beyond the borders of the United States in 2013. This season, the league will take an historic step in its international development with two regular-season games being played in the United Kingdom at London’s Wembley Stadium. On September 29, the Minnesota Vikings will host Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET, CBS). One month later, on October 27, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Then on December 1, the Buffalo Bills will venture north to Canada for the sixth consecutive season when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto at the Rogers Centre (4:05 PM ET, FOX).
NFL Network will feature 13 games – all on Thursday nights – from Weeks 2-15 (excluding Week 13 on Thanksgiving night). The NFL Network slate will start on Thursday, September 12 (8:25 PM ET) with an AFC East contest featuring the New England Patriots hosting the New York Jets.
“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 29. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.
The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 12.
The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.
Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 11-12. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 2 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
FOX will present the NFC, the NFC playoffs, the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XLVIII. CBS will carry AFC games, the AFC playoffs and the AFC Championship Game. The 64 AFC-NFC interconference games (excluding primetime) are carried by CBS when the AFC team is the visitor and by FOX when the NFC team is on the road. All postseason games are televised nationally. In addition to its regular-season package, NBC will televise a Wild Card playoff doubleheader on Saturday, January 4, and the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 26.
By NFL policy, ESPN and NFL Network games also will be carried on free, over-the-air television in the city of the visiting team and, if it is sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff, in the city where the game is played.
The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television.
Dial Global Radio will broadcast all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.