Wednesday’s Ravens vs. Steelers Matchup Will Actually Help the NFL Do Something It’s Never Done
The 2020 NFL season has certainly been unlike any other in the history of the league. But that same kind of statement could be made for just about every other sport or really just about anything in general. COVID-19 has forced numerous games to be moved on the schedule, including Wednesday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens as Baltimore has been dealing with one of the biggest coronavirus outbreaks of the season.
While there are still plenty of folks out there that don’t want this Steelers-Ravens matchup to take place, this rare Wednesday game is happening and it’s actually going to help the NFL make history, even if it’s history the league probably never wanted to make.
During a normal NFL season, fans are used to seeing games on Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays with some Saturday games sprinkled in at the end of the year when the college football regular season ends. That’s the way it’s been for years. But 2020 obviously hasn’t been a normal year.
This season, we’ve already seen a game on a Tuesday (with another one coming next week), the Ravens and Steelers are playing on a Wednesday, and there’s one game on the schedule for Christmas Day, which just happens to fall on a Friday this year. So that means the NFL will have played at least one game on every day of the week over the course of the 2020 campaign, something that’s never happened in the 101-year history of the league.
The Bills and Titans played on a Tuesday in Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season
In Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, both of whom were undefeated at the time, were forced to play a rare Tuesday NFL game after the Titans suffered a COVID-19 outbreak. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday but was pushed back to give the Titans ample time to prepare, which obviously worked as Tennessee crushed Buffalo, 42-16.
And with the Ravens’ schedule being adjusted this week, we’ll see a second Tuesday game when Baltimore takes on the Dallas Cowboys next Tuesday, a game that was originally scheduled for tomorrow night.
The Steelers-Ravens game was pushed back several times
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have seen their Week 12 matchup pushed back several times due to the Ravens’ COVID-19 outbreak. The AFC North battle was originally set to be the night game on Thanksgiving but was then moved to Sunday.
The day after Thanksgiving, the NFL announced that the game would be played on Tuesday as the Ravens and Steelers both reported additional cases. On Monday morning, the NFL stopped Baltimore from practicing and then announced that night that the game had been been moved to Wednesday.
There has been just one NFL game played on a Wednesday in the Super Bowl era, which occurred in 2012 when the league’s season opener between the Giants and Cowboys was moved from Thursday to Wednesday as the NFL didn’t want to compete against President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.
The NFL has one game scheduled for Christmas Day, which falls on a Friday
Friday NFL games are a bit more common than Tuesday or Wednesday matchups as the league has had three Friday games since 2000 and 10 since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
This year will see the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings lock horns on Friday, December 25, which actually means fans will get four straight days of football in Week 16. Yes, there is the chance that the Saints-Vikings matchup could get postponed in either of the teams has a COVID-19 outbreak but if the game is played as schedule, as mentioned, it will be the first time in the 101-year history of the NFL that at least one game will have been played every day of the week in a single season.
Stats and schedules courtesy of NFL.com