NFL Prime-Time Schedule 2020: List of Monday, Thursday and Sunday Night Games

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tyrann Mathieu celebrate after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game in Miami Gardens, Fla. After leading the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl championship in five decades, Mahomes is finally eligible to sign a contract extension this off-season. Both sides are eager to come to terms on what could be a record-setting deal. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

It's just different under the lights.

Thursday nights during the NFL season provide the appetizer to whet one's appetite for an entire weekend's worth of games. Full Sunday slates often build toward one marquee matchup between playoff contenders and high-profile franchises on Sunday nights, and Monday Night Football is a storied institution of its own.

Every team's fans look forward to the schedule release to see when the rivalry clashes are, if their squad can navigate its way to the playoffs and when the much-needed bye week arrives. They also check to see when the rest of the nation can join them in watching their favorite players during the prime-time games. 

Here is a look at the full slate of 2020 night games, per NFL.com, which features Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing a franchise-record five primetime contests. 


2020 NFL Prime-Time Schedule

Week 1

  • Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Sept. 10
  • Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 13
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants on Monday, Sept. 14
  • Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos on Monday, Sept. 14


Week 2

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Sept. 17
  • New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Sept. 20
  • New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, Sept. 21


Week 3

  • Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, Sept. 24
  • Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Sept. 27
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens on Monday, Sept. 28


Week 4

  • Denver Broncos at New York Jets on Thursday, Oct. 1
  • Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Oct. 4
  • Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers on Monday, Oct. 5


Week 5

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears on Thursday, Oct. 8
  • Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 11
  • Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 12


Week 6

  • Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Oct. 15
  • Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Oct. 18
  • Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Oct. 19


Week 7

  • New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, Oct. 22
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Oct. 25
  • Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams on Monday, Oct. 26


Week 8

  • Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers on Thursday, Oct. 29
  • Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants on Monday, Nov. 2


Week 9

  • Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, Nov. 5
  • New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Nov. 8
  • New England Patriots at New York Jets on Monday, Nov. 9


Week 10

  • Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans on Thursday, Nov. 12
  • Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 15
  • Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears on Monday, Nov. 16


Week 11

  • Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, Nov. 19
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 22
  • Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, Nov. 23


Week 12

  • Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Nov. 26
  • Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Nov. 29
  • Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, Nov. 30


Week 13

  • Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Dec. 3
  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 6
  • Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers on Monday, Dec. 7


Week 14

  • New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, Dec. 10
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Dec. 13
  • Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns on Monday, Dec. 14


Week 15

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday, Dec. 17
  • San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Dec. 20
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 21


Week 16

  • Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints on Friday, Dec. 25
  • Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Dec. 27
  • Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots on Monday, Dec. 28


Games to Watch

Week 1: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs

As if an entire offseason to think about their team's playoff collapse wasn't enough for Houston Texans fans, now they have to be reminded about it during the buildup for the first game of the 2020 campaign.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Texans in the NFL's annual Thursday night kickoff game. It is no surprise the Chiefs will be playing in this time slot, considering John Breech of CBS Sports noted the defending champions have hosted the Thursday night opener in 14 of the last 16 seasons.

Kansas City's run to the Lombardi Trophy was filled with a number of memorable moments, but perhaps none was as stunning as its comeback against the Texans in the AFC Divisional Round.

Houston seemed in complete control when it jumped out to a commanding 24-0 lead, only for Patrick Mahomes and Co. to rip off 41 unanswered points en route to a 51-31 victory. Mahomes threw for 321 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions, further cementing his brilliance.

The Chiefs offense was so explosive the stadium didn't have the fireworks supply to keep up:

Aaron Reiss @aaronjreiss

Oh my god the Chiefs ran out of TD fireworks https://t.co/Q8nMvmmkQJ

This game will also give NFL fans the chance to watch Mahomes and Deshaun Watson face each other again in a quarterback matchup that could define the AFC for years to come, given their status as two of the brightest young superstars in the league.

The two-time Pro Bowlers from the 2017 draft class are on the shortlist of the most talented quarterbacks in the league, but Watson may be jealous of Mahomes' targets in this one.

While Mahomes is throwing to familiar faces such as Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson, Watson will be settling into an offense that no longer features DeAndre Hopkins after the Texans traded away the four-time Pro Bowler this offseason.

Additions Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb are talented, but they aren't Hopkins.


Week 9: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Speaking of marquee quarterback matchups, it doesn't get much better than the Week 9 showdown between Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Drew Brees' New Orleans Saints.

While any game featuring the two legendary future Hall of Famers would be of national interest, this one takes on even more importance after Brady joined the Buccaneers this offseason. After all, it is a divisional clash with massive implications on the postseason and NFC South race.

Brees and Brady are far from the only attractions.

Fantasy football players will have plenty to watch with Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook lining up for the Saints, while Tampa Bay counters with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Ronald Jones II.

Expect plenty of points in this showdown under the lights that will serve as a litmus test for Brady's Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay has lost three straight to the Saints and is an ugly 4-13 in head-to-head showdowns dating back to November 2011. The only way Brady is going to be able to lead the Bucs to their first division crown since the 2007 campaign is having more success against the Saints.

This is an opportunity to find some on the national stage.