NFL likely to eliminate Week 1 MNF doubleheader

Since 2006, the NFL has concluded every Week One with a Monday night doubleheader. That tradition may come to an end in 2021.

Peter King reports in this week’s Football Morning in America that the NFL plans to scrap the doubleheader and ESPN is likely to have one Monday night game in Week One this season.

The plan is for ESPN to instead televise a Saturday doubleheader in Week 18, with the league likely to put two games with playoff implications into the Saturday slots, therefore giving two good games a nationally televised audience.

The Monday night Week One doubleheader ratings were down last season, while a Saturday doubleheader featuring two games with playoff implications is sure to generate great ratings, so ESPN is surely happy with the arrangement.

The new arrangement means Week One will have one game Thursday night, 13 games Sunday afternoon, one game Sunday night and one game Monday night, while Week 18 will have two games Saturday, 13 games Sunday afternoon and one game Sunday night.