The 2018 season for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football has just kicked off, which means its time to start tracking your favorite teams and getting into the season. Find the best sports betting sites to bet on your top teams. Its gearing up to be an exciting season with plenty of action.
For once, the season will be quite unforgettable due to the absence and alleged ouster of former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which took place after his 2016 decision of taking a knee during the national anthem in protest for racial injustice. The development was then followed by Kaepernick’s subsequent lawsuit against the NFL for colluding to not hire him, and then a recent Nike 30th anniversary ad involving Kaepernick that sparked national controversy once again.
While fans were wrapping their heads around these developments, the ad premiered during the kickoff game as well, enraging those against Kaepernick while pleasing the groups who support the athlete during this time.
But the Show Must Go On
While these off the field developments keep going on, the NFL lineup also continues without interruption. The kickoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons took place and aired live over NBC on Thursday, September 6. However, fans who will be tuning in to the network for the start of the proper Thursday Night Football next week might not find it there from September 13, 2018.
That is correct, if were not aware, the Thursday Night Football package has found its new home at Fox, where it will run through the 2022 season.
As part of the $3 billion deal, Fox has earned the rights to air 11 Thursday Night Football games in 2018, where 2 games will be aired on the NFL Network exclusively (with the Thanksgiving one going to another network).
How the Schedule Looks Like for Thursday Night Football
According to the schedule that has been released, the NFL is going to kick off the Thursday Night Football package with a game of Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, which will air on the usual timing of 8:20 PM ET, but exclusively on the NFL Network.
This will be followed by a Week 3 game of New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, once again aired on the same timing and on the NFL Network.
Fox will officially welcome the season to its network only from Week 4 onward, where it will air the game of Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams on September 27. In addition to being aired on Fox, this game will also air on the NFL Network and mark the beginning of the simulcast until the end of the Thursday Night Football package.
But here’s the kicker for Fox: while it will still air the late afternoon game on Thanksgiving for Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 PM ET, the early game of Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions will be aired by CBS at 12:30 PM ET.
Whereas, Thanksgiving night’s game will go to NBC, which will air the game of Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints at 8:20 PM ET.
From there, Fox will resume its Thursday Night Football lineup from Week 13 with a game of New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys. This lineup will continue uninterrupted until Week 15, after which the remaining games will be aired on the NFL Network.
You can see the schedule for the traditional Thursday Night Football in its entirety here.
While the schedule remains mind boggling, it is actually not that difficult to follow if you happen to be a true fan of the sport and could remember to switch channels when you suspect a change. All in all, the season looks great and exciting to say the least.