The release of the 2023 NFL schedule included a Saturday surprise: For the first time in more than 40 years, the league will be holding games on four different Saturdays this year.
During the upcoming season, there will be at least one Saturday game in Weeks 15 thru 18, marking the first time since 1978 that the NFL has scheduled at least one game for four different Saturdays.
The NFL has been playing Saturday games for years, so the fact there are some Saturday games on the schedule this year wasn't all that shocking. The surprising part is that they're spread out over four weeks.
Here's a look at how this year's slate of Saturday games will break down.Week 15 (Saturday, Dec. 16)
The NFL will be playing three games on Saturday, Dec. 16, and although we don't know which teams will be playing in those games, we do know that the NFL will be picking three games from the following five options:
The NFL will make a decision at some point during the 2023 season. The games that aren't selected will be played on Sunday, Dec. 17.Week 16 (Saturday, Dec. 23)
This is where things get really interesting. With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, it appears NBC decided to give up its Sunday night game on Dec. 24 (Patriots at Broncos) and hand it over to NFL Network. Instead of airing a Sunday game, NBC will be airing a Saturday afternoon game at 4:30 p.m. ET. After that, NBC's streaming network, Peacock, will be exclusively showing a game at 8 p.m. ET
Here's a look at the Saturday schedule for Week 16:Steelers at Bengals, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC) Bills at Chargers, 8 p.m. ET (Peacock)
Peacock is getting an exclusive game thanks to the NFL's new media deal that went into effect this year. As part of the new contract, NBC's streaming service will get to exclusively show one game per yer from 2023 thru 2028.
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Since the NFL schedule moved to 17 games in 2021, the final Monday night game of the season has been played in Week 17, but that won't be the case this year. Instead, the NFL has scrapped the Week 17 Monday game and given ESPN/ABC a Saturday game.
Here's a look at the Saturday schedule for Week 17:Lions at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)
It's unclear why the NFL got rid of the Week 17 Monday game, but it's definitely gone for at least this year.Week 18 (Saturday, January 6)
In 2021, the NFL introduced a new Saturday doubleheader that will be sticking around for