NFL schedule release Thursday, with all teams no longer guaranteed prime-time games

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The NFL schedule release has become a big deal, mostly because everything to do with the NFL becomes a big deal.

Scheduling release scheduling is also a big deal. The news came Monday morning that while the league may not be ready to release the schedule on Thursday, it will be. NFL said The schedule will be released on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

There will be some notable changes as per the schedule NBC Sports' Peter King And ESPN's Adam Schefter,

There will be more flexibility the afternoon games. For many years, AFC games were on CBS and NFC games were on Fox (for interconference games, the road team determined the network), but now networks with late afternoon games can air games from either conference, King said. told. This will lead to better matchups in late slots.

Schefter was the first to say that there would be a “Black Friday” game the day after Thanksgiving.

Schefter said that another change, possibly to improve the quality of prime time games, would be that each NFL team would not be guaranteed one prime time game per season. This is likely related to teams allowing “Thursday Night Football” to appear twice a season instead of being limited to once. NFL owners voted to pass that rule in March.

Over the years the NFL allowed prime time games to each team. This led to some bad matchups, many of which went down on Thursday night. Rule change could lead to better prime-time matchups. It's hard to predict which teams will be good when the NFL sets the schedule in May, though, and the rule takes a big game away from a team that may not have many other in its season. Major League Baseball's national television coverage revolves around a few big-market teams, which doesn't help those markets feel mostly neglected. The NFL has always done a great job of bridging the divide between large and small markets, and the prime-time rule doesn't bode well for that.

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The NFL is messing with the schedule. We'll see if the changes are good or not. But at least we'll get to know all 272 matchups and dates on Thursday.

The Super Bowl defense of the Kansas Chiefs will lead the NFL schedule, which will be announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)