Did the NFL just pull a fast one on the Super Bowl champions? When the 2024 schedule dropped, jaws hit the floor as Patrick MahomesChiefs found themselves playing second fiddle in the prime-time spotlight. Despite securing back-to-back Super Bowl wins and boasting the league’s hottest gunslinger, Kansas City snagged only five prime-time slots. Meanwhile, 49ers, led by Brock Purdy, and two iconic franchises – the Cowboys and Jets – each nabbed plenty more games than Chiefs under the bright lights.

The defending champs ain’t strangers to carrying the NFL’s torch, breaking records left and right with Mahomes’ heroics central to their success. But this season, it seems like they’ve been overshadowed by the hype trains of other teams. Sure, the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl, and the Jets finally found their groove with A-Rod, but are they more prime time-worthy than the Chiefs’ juggernaut?

Kansas City Chiefs have been handed two Monday Night games and two fixtures on the Sunday Night Football schedule and a solitary game on Thursday. Comparatively, last year Chiefs had six games in the prime-time slot. The new season will see the Chiefs travel to Ravens on September 5  Thursday in week 1. For Monday Night Football, the defending champions will face the Saints and the Bucs on October 7 and November 9, respectively. Mahomes and co. will take on the Falcons and Chargers on September 22 and December 8 respectively as part of the Sunday Night Football lineup.


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The Chiefs prime-time schedule will also see them play on six different days this year. The last time a team was able to achieve this feat was in 1927, when New York Yankees played on every day except for Monday. On the other hand, 49ers, the Cowboys and the Jets have been allotted six prime-time games each. While the 49ers were in the Super Bowl showdown, the Cowboys exited in the Wild Card round and the Jets finished third in the AFC East.

Still, the Cowboys and Jets are massive NFL franchises with large fanbases and allotting them six games on prime-time may be justified. The Jets will play their 6 prime-time games in a stretch of the first 11 weeks- marking the first time this has happened in NFL history.

But the Chiefs having one less game in the prime-time slot is surprising given how well their matches did last year in terms of viewership. In fact, five of the top 10 most watched prime-time telecasts were games with Chiefs taking center stage. The Chiefs also played in the highest-rated NFL games on prime time on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday in 2023, making NFL’s decision a little more baffling.

Their Sunday Night Football clash against the Jets last season drew 25.02 million viewers on October 1, while their MNF game against The Eagles had 23.81 million people tuned in on December 3. The Broncos vs Chiefs game also did 14.07 million views on Amazon Prime on October 12 as part of Thursday’s football lineup.

Analysts suggest that this could be a strategic move by the NFL to distribute the spotlight more evenly across teams, potentially to maintain a sense of balance and unpredictability in the league. Mahomes, known for his resilience and performance under pressure, is likely to use this as motivation. His ability to perform against the blitz is particularly notable, with a PFF passing grade against the blitz ranking fourth among quarterbacks blitzed at least 800 times since 2006.

This statistic underscores his capability to shine, regardless of the time slot his team is playing in. It could be a strategic move to keep the Chiefs hungry. Mahomes and Co. have been there, and done that, and perhaps the league wants to see if they can rise to the challenge once again, even when the spotlight isn’t as bright.

It could also be a chance of providing other franchises the limelight amidst the Chiefs already fairing well on that front with the introduction of pop icon Taylor Swift into their fan base. Talking about Swift, did NFL plan out some of Chiefs games keeping her Eras Tour in mind?

Well, it turns out they might have. “We certainly considered the tour dates that hit NFL stadiums. I think she’s in Miami, maybe New Orleans, Indy. We certainly considered those,” said NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning Mike North.

A total of three NFL stadiums will host the final nine US shows of Swift’s Eras tour. Coincidently, the teams (Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts) who could have been affected by this are all scheduled to be on the road when the Eras Tour comes around to their cities. Interestingly, Travis Kelce’s Chiefs will play at the Buffalo Bills on November 17. The venue is just 111 miles from Toronto’s Rogers Centre, where Swift will be performing six shows between Nov. 14 and 23 but conveniently not on Nov. 17.

The NFL 2024 schedule does have some marquee matches lined up. From the Jets-Bills showdown to the Cowboys-49ers clash, it’s understandable that the schedule makers had to make some tough calls. With the spotlight on Purdy’s 49ers will they be able to go one step better this time around?


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Are Purdy’s 49ers rising challengers or overhyped frontrunners to Patrick Mahomes’ 3-peat glory?

Speaking of the 49ers, their six prime-time games have fans buzzing about Brock Purdy‘s meteoric rise. The rookie sensation of 2022 turned heads last season, leading San Francisco’s charge to the Super Bowl. But now, with the spotlight firmly on him, the question remains: is Purdy the real deal, or is the hype train about to derail?

His poise and decision-making earned him comparisons to legends like Joe Cool himself. With a stacked supporting cast and Kyle Shanahan’s genius playcalling, Purdy could very well cement his status as the next big thing. Purdy’s rise is backed by predictions that place him at the top of the NFC quarterback rankings by the end of the 2024 season, with expectations of exceeding 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.


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However, Purdy’s true test will come as he faces the pressure of living up to the hype in his second full season as a starter. One thing’s for sure – those prime-time matchups against heavyweights like the Cowboys, Bills, and Chiefs will be a baptism by fire for Purdy. If he can slay those giants, the hype might just be justified.