Why aren't there two 'Monday Night Football' games in Week 1 this season?

Written By Trevor Booth
Monday-Night-Football-090920-Getty-FTR
(SN Illustration)

ESPN’s Monday Night Football will debut for the 2021 season with the Ravens and Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. However, that will be the only contest we see for Week 1 on Monday. 

As a result of the NFL’s new 11-year deal with its television partners and 17-game season, the league eliminated the “Monday Night Football” doubleheader that has been a staple on the Week 1 schedule since the 2006 season. ESPN will instead have two games on Saturday, Jan. 18 as part of the Week 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m. ET involving teams with playoff implications

Monday’s game with Baltimore and Las Vegas will start at 8:15 p.m. ET. A second contest would usually begin at 10:15 p.m. ET with West Coast teams. 

MORE: NFL picks, predictions for Week 1: Steelers upset Bills; Buccaneers, Ravens, Rams roll in prime time 

ESPN’s two games for Week 18 will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17, according to the NFL. Here’s a look at the league’s full schedule for both of those weeks. 

NFL schedule Week 1 

Thursday, Sept. 9 

Game Time (ET) TV
Dallas at Tampa Bay 8:20 p.m. NBC

Sunday, Sept. 12

Game Time (ET) TV
Jacksonville at Houston 1 p.m. CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington 1 p.m. CBS
Seattle at Indiana 1 p.m. FOX
New York Jets at Carolina 1 p.m. CBS
Minnesota at Cincinnati 1 p.m. FOX
Arizona at Tennessee. 1 p.m. CBS
San Francisco at Detroit 1 p.m. FOX
Pittsburgh at Buffalo 1 p.m. CBS
Philadelphia at Atlanta 1 p.m. FOX
Cleveland at Kansas City 4:25 p.m. CBS
Green Bay at New Orleans 4:25 p.m. FOX
Denver at New York Giants 4:25 p.m. FOX
Miami at New England 4:25 p.m. CBS
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams 8:20 p.m. NBC

Monday, Sept. 13 

Game Time (ET) TV
Baltimore at Las Vegas 8:15 p.m. ESPN

NFL schedule Week 18 

Saturday, Jan. 8 

Game Time (ET) TV
TBD 4:30 p.m. ESPN
TBD 8:15 p.m. ESPN

Sunday, Jan. 9 

Game Time (ET) TV
Dallas at Philadelphia 1 p.m. FOX
Green Bay at Detroit 1 p.m. FOX
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 1 p.m. CBS
Washington at New York Giants 1 p.m. FOX
Chicago at Minnesota 1 p.m. FOX
Carolina at Tampa Bay 1 p.m. FOX
New England at Miami 1 p.m. CBS
New Orleans at Atlanta 1 p.m. FOX
Tennessee at Houston 1 p.m. CBS
Pittsburgh at Baltimore 1 p.m. CBS
New York Jets at Buffalo 1 p.m. CBS
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1 p.m. CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas 4:25 p.m. CBS
San Francisco at Los Angeles 4:25 p.m. FOX
Kansas City at Denver 4:25 p.m. CBS
Seattle at Arizona 4:25 p.m. FOX
TBD 8:20 p.m. NBC

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