By Richard Deitch, Zach Rosenblatt, Charlotte Carroll, and Zach Berman
The NFL will kick off the holiday season with some divisional rivalry games, including a meeting between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in the first Black Friday game. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Jets and quarterback Aaron Rodgers will host Miami in an AFC East showdown on Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. ET.
- The holiday action continues on Christmas Day when the Eagles and New York Giants meet for an NFC East matchup in Philadelphia at 4:30 p.m.
- To ring in 2024, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals on New Year’s Day at 4:25 PM ET.
Amazon Key Matchup
The NFL’s Black Friday game has a built-in cachet because it’s a new media franchise for the league. So interest-seekers are always tuning in – especially on days off from work for many. But the NFL actually took care of its big-money partner — at least on paper — by giving the Jets and Dolphins to Amazon.
Rodgers is on a short list of the most popular players in the league – he’s polarizing and that always draws audiences. The Dolphins are expected to be playoff contenders. So you have two significant media markets and two teams with playoff potential in a divisional game that could have real meaning. The 3:00 pm and Friday opening has nothing to compare to historically viewership-wise, but I think Amazon will do better here. Don’t be surprised if the number of visitors is a wow number. — German
The Jets were no surprise on Black Friday
It’s no surprise that the Jets will feature in one of the NFL’s newest holiday games — but that’s what happens when Rodgers is your quarterback. The Jets and Dolphins should clinch the AFC East title before this game.
It was around this time last year that the Jets began their slump, which knocked them out of the playoffs, so they’ll be hoping it doesn’t happen again this time around. As an extra note: MetLife Stadium is located next to a mall, which should be packed on Black Friday. Prepare accordingly. — Rosenblatt
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Section competition on Christmas
If you don’t get Giants vs. Jets this offseason, a matchup with the Eagles is the next best thing. The Eagles won all three meetings this past season — including a sweep in the divisional round — and the contests were expected rivalry games.
The NFL offers a heck of a lot to two major markets and fans. Now, it’s up to the Giants to deliver their first series win in the Brian Dabold era. — Carol
Giants-Eagles may be important
You can count on the Philadelphia crowd to be in the Christmas spirit when the Giants visit. This rivalry has tilted in Philadelphia’s direction in recent seasons; The Eagles have won 16 of their last 20 games, and the Giants haven’t won at Lincoln Financial Field since 2013.
As the defending NFC champions and one of the favorites to play in the Super Bowl again, it would be disappointing if the Eagles didn’t have a winning record at this point in the season. Fans believe this season has something in common with the last time the Eagles played a game on Christmas: when they beat the Raiders on a cold night in 2017 en route to their only Lombardi Trophy. — Berman
A Black Friday game has been added after the NFL and Prime Video partnered to make Amazon the new home of “Thursday Night Football” for the 2022 season. Under their deal, Prime Video will carry 15 “TNF” games annually through the 2032 season.
The NFL has announced its slate of international games, including a Week 9 meeting between the Chiefs and Dolphins at Frankfurt Stadium in Germany. The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
(Photo: Sam Navarro / USA Today)