The National Football League released its 2020 regular-season schedule, which has turned into a huge day for sports fans. Sportsbooks across the United States are also celebrating as they can now start to offer bets on win totals and future matchups.
One of the biggest questions for football fans was who would be the first opponent that Tom Brady will face with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That question was answered on Thursday night as the league revealed that Brady and the Bucs will face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. This will be a huge NFC South matchup, but it will also feature two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
The Buccaneers are scheduled for five prime-time games in 2020, which is the maximum amount that a team is allowed to play. Tampa Bay will play three straight prime-time games in Weeks 7-9.
The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans on Sept. 10 to kick off the regular season. The Chiefs also have five prime-time games, including a huge Week 3 showdown with the Baltimore Ravens.
The league also announced that a Friday afternoon game will take place on Christmas Day. The New Orleans Saints will host the Minnesota Vikings in the first Friday afternoon game since 2009. It is just the 10th regularly-scheduled Friday game since the merger in 1970.
The NFL has once again scheduled a tripleheader on Thanksgiving Day as has been the norm over the last few years. The Detroit Lions host the traditional early game, and the Houston Texans will be in town for that game.
The Dallas Cowboys will host the rival Washington Redskins in the second game on Thanksgiving Day. Baltimore will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in the third and final matchup of the day.
Fans in Las Vegas will have to wait until Week 2 before the Raiders kick off their first season at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders will host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football in what should be an incredible environment.
Commissioner Roger Goodell did release a statement on Thursday night, along with the release of the schedule. Goodell stated that the league will continue working with health officials, and the start of the 2020 season could be delayed.
Super Bowl Could Be Pushed Back
The NFL is planning to kick off the regular season on Sept. 10, but they created some safeguards in case there is a delay. According to league sources, the Super Bowl can be pushed back a few weeks or even months if needed.
Goodell sent a memo to team presidents on Wednesday, telling them not to engage in any hypothetical situations regarding the schedule. The league is intending to hold Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
League sources have indicated, though, that the NFL has already created an agreement with the stadium if the Super Bowl needs to be pushed back.
This will give the league several different options that it can take advantage of if the start of the season has to be delayed. The league could simply add on the postponed games to the end of the schedule and push the playing of the Super Bowl back.
The NFL has also indicated that the Pro Bowl could be eliminated in 2020 if there is a need to make up a week at the end of the season. The league has also scheduled the same bye week for each Week 2 opponent in an effort to create some more flexibility.