How Many Times Can a Team Play in Prime Time?

With the NFL having so many stand-alone games throughout the season, just how many times can a team play on prime time? Let's take a look.

When the NFL schedule comes out in the spring, NFL fans across the league flock to it to see when and where their favorite team is going to play. They want to see if the schedule is going to be favorable, when their bye week is taking place, and how the final stretch of the season is going to play out as they hope for a playoff birth.

Another huge factor fans are intrigued by is just how many prime-time games their team is going to play. If you are a fan of the Dallas Cowboys or the Kansas City Chiefs, you are probably happy to see your team is going to be nationally televised about as much as they possibly can.

However, with the way the schedule makers organize these matchups together, one may wonder just how prime-time games get divided up between the teams in the league and how many times a team can play on a national stage.

Is There a Limit on a Team’s Prime-Time Games?

The maximum number of prime-time games an NFL team is allowed to play in a season is six. The NFL works to make the product a good one, and while doing so, they do not want to have a team or storyline run stale and have fans turned off by a situation. Hence, the reason for putting a maximum amount of times a team can play in prime-time slots.

MORE: Why Does the NFL Play in Germany?

Prime-time games are defined as stand-alone games such as Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football. The team does not set a minimum, meaning that not every team gets the pleasure of playing in a prime-time game every season, and you oftentimes see several of the more popular teams in the league given the maximum amount of games each year.

Which Teams Get the Maximum Prime-Time Games?

With six being the maximum amount of games allotted this season, three of the names feel like easy answers, while one happens to be a peculiar pick. The four teams who are scheduled for six prime-time games in 2023 are the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Following those four, there are seven teams tied with five prime-time matchups on the season, followed by another seven who are scheduled for four. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Washington Commanders are only slotted for one prime-time game for the season, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams all only receiving two.

Four teams — the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts — were left out of the slots and did not receive any prime-time games for the 2023 season.

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles