The NFL’s 2020 regular-season schedule is officially set … seemingly in quicksand, the league hoping it can play a full slate even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Here are some winners and losers from Thursday’s reveal of this year’s 256-game lineup:
Brady-Brees: The new rivalry between NFC South OG Drew Brees and the guy coming for the Saints’ divisional throne and Brees’ passing records, Tom Brady, gets an early start when New Orleans hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on opening weekend. The rematch in Tampa comes on the “Sunday Night Football” stage in Week 9.
Brady 2.0: As you’d expect, TB12, now in “Tompa Bay,” and his Bucs will be featured in five prime-time games. And his quarterback adversaries are quite a murderers’ row, with two matchups apiece against Brees and former MVP Matt Ryan and two others against the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, league MVPs themselves.
Patriots: Brady is gone from New England, but the league apparently believes Bill Belichick’s perennial AFC East champs will remain a strong draw given they’re again scheduled to play in prime time five times. Worth noting – four of those contests occur after Week 8, meaning the Pats could more easily be flexed away if Jarrett Stidham bombs.