Several networks were all hoping to host the Week 3 contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s no secret that the NFL calendar holds one game that’s more exciting than any other—at least from the perspective of last season’s success. The Week 3 game scheduled between the Kansas City Chiefs and the host Baltimore Ravens is a true early season battle, one that could help decide AFC supremacy.
In his latest column, reporter Peter King wrote that several network were, in fact, all hoping for the chance to broadcast the game. However, per King, the NFL gave it to ESPN for its Monday Night Football slate as a gift in return for offseason coverage. “Giving the best game of the year to ESPN was a back-pat from the league,” he writes. Here’s more:
"Those in the TV business are convinced it’s because ESPN has come up so big for the NFL in the last two months—treating free agency as a big-league sport in the opening days of the coronavirus, then choreographing the most popular draft in NFL history by seamlessly merging with NFL Network and turning the glitzy draft into the feel-good sports story of the pandemic—from the ESPN studios in Connecticut."
The league’s new schedule is filled with plenty of must-see games, and fans will be clamoring to see how Bill Belichick performs without Tom Brady in New England (and how the quarterback handles his new digs in Tampa Bay). Great storylines abound in every division—the arrivals of Tua and Joe, Rivers to the Colts, Kyler’s second season, the Niners hope to return to the SB, a reloaded Cowboys team, Big Ben’s back—but nothing quite matches the level of talent (and ensuing excitement) around both the Ravens and the Chiefs.
Of course, what fuels this matchup more than anything else is the showcase of superstars at the game’s most important position: quarterback. Both Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will lead all MVP favorites in NFL preseason odds and the chance to watch them matching up during the regular season will feel like a postseason game. While the Super Bowl will feature the best from each conference, the Chiefs-Ravens in Week 3 might be the NFL’s two best teams playing each other.
Despite CBS and NBC also wanting to broadcast the game, ESPN was given the gift of an early showdown that will be hyped for weeks. The game is currently set for Sunday, September 28th at 7:15 p.m. C.T.