The NFL shield. Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; A NFL shield logo at midield of Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The release of the 2023 NFL schedule brought plenty of winners, plenty of losers, and plenty of entities somewhere in the middle.

Here are our picks for the winners and losers of this year’s NFL schedule release.

WINNER: New York football
The Jets have five primetime games and the inaugural Black Friday slot (along with several other late Sunday afternoon games). The Giants match the Jets with five primetime games and will play on Christmas Day. Upstate, the Bills *also* have five primetime games and a game in London. Given how dark football has been at MetLife in recent years, it’s jarring to see the Giants and Jets featured so much on national TV. It’s less surprising to see the exciting, contending Bills in primetime, but never a bad thing.

LOSER: Rookie quarterbacks
The three quarterbacks taken in the top four of April’s NFL Draft won’t be seen in primetime that often. In fact, Anthony Richardson’s Colts and CJ Stroud’s Texans were completely shut out from the primetime schedule. Bryce Young’s Panthers are featured just twice – a Week 2 Monday Night Football game with the Saints, and a Week 10 Thursday Night Football matchup with the Bears. If you want to watch these guys this season, keep your Sunday afternoons free.

WINNER: Amazon
Prime Video gets a much better schedule of games in its second season. Highlights include Vikings-Eagles in Week 2, Giants-49ers in Week 3, Bengals-Ravens in Week 11, and Patriots-Steelers in Week 14. The streamer also snags the NFL’s first Black Friday game, Dolphins-Jets in Week 12. It’s not the best schedule of any NFL media partner, but it has far fewer duds than last year.

LOSER: The Tom Brady-free Bucs
During Tom Brady’s three years with Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers were a popular TV option for networks. In year one of the post-Brady era, the Bucs are no longer a top draw. The team has just two primetime games (Week 3 against the Eagles on Monday Night Football and Week 8 with the Bills on Thursday Night Football) and only two more late afternoon starts. Those 1 PM ET starts were tough to come by over the last three seasons, but the Bucs will be a regular fixture there this season.

CBS got a pretty strong draw from the NFL. The network drew the Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, 49ers, and Packers twice apiece (including Dallas on Thanksgiving), and almost all of those games are in doubleheader weeks. Throw in the usual array of strong AFC teams in both current and traditional terms, and you’ve got the makings of a positive overall schedule. CBS will also air the Super Bowl in February, and none of the NFL’s TV partners would ever complain about that.

I won’t break it down week by week, but I feel like Fox didn’t get a great shake here. The network has just one Chiefs game – Week 3 against the Bears. It has three Steelers games, all of which are in singleheader weeks. It will feature the Bills just once, a Week 15 Game of the Week showdown with the Cowboys. The Jets will be featured twice, once in a Week 6 Game of the Week against the Eagles. Brady’s departure from the Bucs also deprives Fox of the Bucs as a strong draw in the late afternoon window. For all of the talk about AFC teams appearing on Fox more and NFC teams on CBS, we didn’t see that very much with the AFC’s best and most popular teams on Fox. The network will still be fine, given the sheer tonnage of NFC East games, but they could have received more love from the AFC.

Disney’s broadcast network will air 11 games this season – four exclusive games and seven simulcasts, including a pair of playoff games. That’s a huge boost for the network and Disney as a whole, and while it won’t guarantee higher viewership, it’s reasonable to believe we’ll be seeing a bunch of year over year increases for Monday Night Football this season.

LOSER: anti-technology fans and/or fans on a budget
This season, NFL games will be airing on the following platforms: ABC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, ESPN+, NBC, NFL Network, Peacock, and Prime Video. This doesn’t even take simulcasts into account, which will air on ESPN2 and Nickelodeon. If you don’t live in your team’s local market, throw in Sunday Ticket on YouTube. Even if you don’t watch every game on all of those platforms, you’re probably going to need juggle between various services and networks to watch all of your team’s games. That’s a lot of effort, especially if your team seems to be playing every other game on a different network.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.