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Steelers-Ravens kicks off the CBS-NFLN Thursday night slate

Tomlin AP

The NFL has two reasons to assign great games to the Thursday night package to be simulcast on CBS and NFL Network.  First, great games deliver major audiences on broadcast TV.  Second, the package lasts only one year; great games will create great ratings and in turn more money for the games in 2015 and beyond.

The games may not all be great on paper, but the seven-game CBS-NFLN Thursday night slate features divisional games exclusively.

The new venture launches with a renewal of one of the NFL’s best rivalries:  Steelers at Ravens.  Multiple cameras surely will be trained to Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, who may want to consider coaching that game from the press box after last year’s walkabout into the field of play.

For Week Three, the new-look Buccaneers visit the suddenly desperate Falcons in a key early-season NFC South game.  This one could be an unexpectedly good game.

For Week Four, the Giants travel to D.C.  With a pair of major markets, the ratings should be very strong, even if the game isn’t.

In Week Five, the divisional trend continues, as the Vikings visit the Packers.  Again, not a sizzler but a potentially potent contest, especially if the Vikings get off to a strong start it could be intriguing.

In Week Six, it’s the Colts at the Texans.  Yes, the 2-14 Texans.  But they can’t be as bad this year, can they?

In Week Seven, it’s Jets-Patriots.  We’ll see how much the gap has closed between the two teams.

And for the last of the CBS-NFLN Thursday night games, the Chargers visit the Broncos.  San Diego won in Denver on a Thursday night last year.

Every division is covered by the seven-week package with the exception of the best one:  The NFC West.  So while the slate of games is solid, it’s hard to call all of them marquee games.

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13 Responses to “Steelers-Ravens kicks off the CBS-NFLN Thursday night slate”
  1. shaggymarrs says: Apr 23, 2014 8:26 PM

    Glad to see some games of importance on Thursday night. If they have to play on Thursday, it might as well be a good game.

  2. natijim235 says: Apr 23, 2014 8:26 PM

    none of the teams like to play on Thursday so if your team not on schedule for thursday game consider yourself lucky

  3. baltimoresnativeson says: Apr 23, 2014 8:28 PM

    both rosters will need to ice up son

  4. sorosbolshevism says: Apr 23, 2014 10:32 PM

    There will be blood!

  5. classyjacklambert says: Apr 23, 2014 11:27 PM

    Glad to see the Steelers have an easy start

  6. blackngold4life says: Apr 23, 2014 11:54 PM

    Best rivalry in sports! Let’s get it

  7. pftaddict says: Apr 24, 2014 12:12 AM

    Considering teams usually play poorly on Thursdays, I am disappointed to see a game like Steelers-Ravens on a Thursday.

  8. reed20fence says: Apr 24, 2014 12:25 AM

    Double chinstrap game to kick it off. I like it.

  9. sjoyner59 says: Apr 24, 2014 4:26 AM

    The need to do away with the Thursday night games ,the players hate them and I dont feel it gives the athletes enough rest in between and that has led to some bad football at times

  10. lanman11 says: Apr 24, 2014 4:35 AM

    It’s kind of hard to get excited about this one. Sorry. Division games are meaningful, but generally kind of boring because the teams are so familiar. The only way this works is if the coach of one of the teams is a blowhard that is fanning the flames a bit, and the other team is their Daddy. Can anyone think of a situation like that? Anyone?

  11. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 24, 2014 10:39 AM

    The Steelers will have so many new faces, this “rivalry” might take a while to regain its intensity and luster…

  12. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 24, 2014 2:39 PM

    You sir, do not understand the meaning of rivalry.

  13. Canton Bulldogs says: Apr 24, 2014 3:02 PM

    So the Ravens start with Cincy in week 1 then turn around and play the Steelers on Thursday. Steelers can pretty much count the Browns in week 1 as a fifth preseason game. Awesome.

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