Those who have Monday Night Football permanently etched into their weekly routine were undoubtedly looking forward to October 19, 2020.
For the second time in three weeks, there will be two games on Monday night. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to face Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in the first game.
The second game features Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals against an injury-ravished Dallas Cowboys team. But why does the league have two Monday games again?
There are two Week 6 football games on Monday night
For years, there was only one Monday Night Football game per week.
Since the event moved to ESPN in 2006, Monday Night Football always had two Week 1 games: an East Coast game; and a later game hosted by a team in the AFC or NFC West Division.
Week 1 this year had the Steelers and Giants kick off at 7 p.m. ET. A few hours later, the Titans and Broncos kicked off from Denver.
2020, as it has done in seemingly every other category, has thrown normalcy into the wind. Now, the idea of two games to close the week of football is becoming a regular occurrence.
Look no further than Week 4. The New England Patriots played at Kansas City in an early Monday game, while Green Bay hosted the Atlanta Falcons in the traditional Monday Night Football game that night.
Arizona and Dallas play in the traditional ‘MNF’ game
Although there are two Monday Night Football games in Week 6, only one of those outings is on ESPN.
The new-look booth of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick will call the Cardinals-Cowboys game from Dallas. This is the Cowboys’ first game since star quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a severe ankle injury in a Week 5 victory over the rival Giants.
At 3-2, Arizona hopes to build off last week’s dominant victory over the New York Jets. Dallas sits at 2-3, but is comfortably in first place with how bad the Eagles, Giants, and Washington Football Team have been.
Why are there two Monday Night Football games in Week 6?
The COVID-19 pandemic’s unyielding wrath has greatly affected the NFL’s schedule in recent weeks.
Originally, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills were supposed to play on last week’s Thursday Night Football game. It is a marquee matchup between two 4-1 teams, one of which is the reigning Super Bowl champion.
Then, a rash of rescheduled games pushed that game back. Kansas City played the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, October 13, in a game originally intended to be played two days earlier.
Because the NFL could not have a team play two games in three days, they moved the Chiefs-Bills game to Monday night. The game will still air on Fox and the NFL Network because, technically speaking, it is a Thursday Night Football production.
That game had no impact on the previously-scheduled Monday Night Football game. ESPN and the NFL elected to keep the latter game at its regular kickoff time.
The Chiefs and Bills will kick off at 5 p.m. EST. Kickoff for the Cardinals-Cowboys game is slated for 8:15 p.m.