Every year when the NFL schedule is released, it’s interesting see which teams get the most and least love from the networks by counting how often everybody is scheduled to play on national television. Here’s the breakdown for 2016…
6: Giants, Cowboys
You can’t deny the New York market, the power of the Cowboys and the NFC East in general. Neither team made the playoffs last season, but you’ll see more of these two than anyone else in football.
5: Patriots, Jets, Steelers, Broncos, Redskins, Vikings, Packers, Panthers, Seahawks
Every team was in the playoffs last year, except the Jets. But New York is New York, and Gang Green was still 10-6 in 2015.
4: Bengals, Colts, Texans, Eagles, Bears, Cardinals
Three more 2015 playoff teams, plus the Colts, Eagles and Bears. Indy is a big draw with Andrew Luck back at it, while Philadelphia and Chicago are major markets with plenty of viewers.
3: Ravens, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams
Kansas City is the only reigning playoff team with fewer than four nationally-televised games, but the Chiefs don’t possess a lot of sex appeal. The Rams are intriguing in Los Angeles, especially if they have a top pick at quarterback. And Oakland and Baltimore are solid teams with strong fanbases.
2: Dolphins, Bills, Jaguars, Lions, Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, 49ers
Expected a little more love for the Dolphins, Saints and Bucs. Miami has a huge following and should at least be in contention most of the year. The Saints still have Drew Brees and a high-flying offense. And the young Bucs, of course, have Jameis Winston. It’s a shame we’re slated to see those teams just twice each on national TV.
1: Browns, Titans, Chargers
Not a ton of interest in these teams, and none are likely to be very good. That said, I figured we might get a couple prime-time looks at Marcus Mariota.