The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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How Many Prime Time Games Will the Cardinals Get??

Happy NFL Schedule week!

Sure, we don't know if there will be any games or when or will there be fans or will some players be forced to the sidelines even if there are games because of pre-existing conditions that make them a greater risk (Patrick Peterson with diabetes and any fat guy on either line) or anything really.

Well, we do know there will be no international games this year in the NFL no matter what.

But for now, I'm just going to try and enjoy the NFL schedule release for the diversion that it is.

One of the most interesting things about the schedule release is the number of prime time games each team receives. Its a reflection of whether the NFL views a team as competitive, marketable, compelling or a combination of all three.

Each team gets its obligatory Thursday nighter but after that, its a test of the NFL's most watchable teams on Sunday and Monday night.

The Arizona Cardinals haven't been on Monday Night Football since week three of the 2017 season when they lost to the Cowboys in Dallas.

They haven't been on Sunday Night Football since week 7 of the 2016 season when they tied the Seattle Seahawks 6-6. That was the game they combined with the Seahawks for 15 punts, three missed field goals and a blocked punt. The NFL and SNF brass probably want to scrub this game from the record books.

That was the same year the Cardinals started the season with a devastating loss on Sunday Night Football in Week 1 to Jimmy Garoppolo and the New England Patriots in what was the most anticipated regular season game in Cardinals history.

So three years since any MNF invites and 4 years since any SNF invites but at least the Cardinals put on a show in a closer than expected loss to the 49ers in their lone prime time appearance on TNF last year. You might remember this as the Andy Isabella game. You might remember this as the ONLY Andy Isabella game ever.

So after Kyler Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Cardinals added DeAndre Hopkins and generally earned rave review for their offseason, how many primetime games will they get this year?

My guess is three.

They have a loaded division where every game they play could justifiably be nationally televised, especially in the early part of the season.

Phoenix is always a place a broadcast crew will look for any reason to visit October-December in order to take advantage of the weather.

And Kyler Murray is going to benefit from Lamar Jackson's national star turn as one of the early story lines to watch in the league.

I think the Cardinals will get one TNF, one SNF and one MNF game.

Something tells me with Kyler Murray aboard, we won't have to wait three years between prime time slots again for a very long time.

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