It began with an idea in the mid-1960s and was finally put into place in 1970. Then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle envisioned a prime time weekly NFL game that would be viewed by a wide television audience. The Cleveland Browns beat the Joe Namath-led New York Jets in the very first NFL game played on Monday night. The game was broadcast by ABC, a sister network of ESPN which now broadcasts all Monday night football games.
Monday Night Football is over five decades old, but it has been reinvigorated after ESPN finally hired a dynamic announcing duo this offseason. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were signed away from FOX to replace Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese, breathing new life into the program. The quality of games has improved too, making this one of the most promising years for MNF in recent memory.
Monday Night Football Schedule
The Monday Night Football schedule simulcasted on ESPN as well as ABC:
Sept. 11th: Week 1 - Bills at Jets
Sept. 18th: Week 2 - Saints at Panthers
Sept. 18th: Week 2 - Browns at Steelers
Sept. 25th: Week 3 - Eagles at Buccaneers
Sept. 22th: Week 3 - Rams at Bengals
Oct. 2nd: Week 4 - Seahawks at Giants
Oct. 9th: Week 5 - Packers at Raiders
Oct. 16th: Week 6 - Cowboys at Chargers
Oct. 23rd: Week 7 - 49ers at Vikings
Oct. 30th: Week 8 - Raiders at Lions
Nov. 6th: Week 9 - Chargers at Jets
Nov. 13th: Week 10 - Broncos at Bills
Nov. 20th: Week 11 - Eagles at Chiefs
Nov. 27th: Week 12 - Bears at Vikings
Dec. 4th: Week 13 - Bengals at Jaguars
Dec. 11th: Week 14 - Titans at Dolphins
Dec. 11th: Week 14 - Packers at Giants
Dec. 18th: Week 15 - Chiefs at Patriots
Dec. 25th: Week 16 - Raiders at Chiefs
Dec. 25th: Week 16 - Giants at Eagles
Dec. 25th: Week 16 - Ravens at 49ers
NFL Monday Night Football Season Preview
The first game on the Monday Night Football slate is a doozy. Russell Wilson will return to Seattle to face his former team after being traded to Denver this offseason. Wilson has made the Broncos a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction he receives in the Emerald City.
There is a MNF doubleheader scheduled for Week 2 of the NFL season. The Buffalo Bills will play host to the Tennessee Titans in the first game, and the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the later game. Josh Allen is out to show that the Bills are the team to beat in the AFC, and the Titans were the best team in the conference during the regular season in 2021.
The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams will head to the Bay Area to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4. The Rams lost to the Niners in both of their regular season meetings last season, but they were able to upend their division rivals in the NFC Championship Game to make the Super Bowl. These are the top two teams in the NFC West coming into the 2022 season, and the winner of this game will be in good position to claim the division title after the first month.
Cleveland is hoping to finally win a conference title after suffering extensive heartbreak. In-state rival Cincinnati surprisingly claimed the AFC last year with Joe Burrow at the helm, so the Browns are hoping that the addition of Deshaun Watson can take them over the top. Watson was given an absurd contract considering he did not take a snap last year, but the Browns will be happy about the deal if he can take the franchise to a Super Bowl.
Carson Wentz will face his former team and return to Philadelphia on MNF in Week 10. Wentz did not have a successful sojourn in Indianapolis in 2021, and the Colts were more than happy to trade him to Washington after how the season came to an end. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is unlikely to receive a warm welcome from the Philly faithful.
Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford met plenty of times when Stafford was in Detroit with Rodgers usually having the upper hand. However, the tables have turned as Stafford is now on the better team with the Los Angeles Rams, and he would love to pick up a big win in Lambeau Field in Week 15. This game could very well determine home field advantage throughout the playoffs as the Green bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams are two of the favorites in the Western Conference.
2023 NFL Football Season