Why aren’t there two ‘Monday Night Football’ games in Week 1 this season?

ESPN’s Monday Night Football will debut for the 2021 season with the Ravens and Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. However, that will be the only contest we see for Week 1 on Monday. 

As a result of the NFL’s new 11-year deal with its television partners and 17-game season, the league eliminated the “Monday Night Football” doubleheader that has been a staple on the Week 1 schedule since the 2006 season. ESPN will instead have two games on Saturday, Jan. 18 as part of the Week 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET and 8:15 p.m. ET involving teams with playoff implications. 

Monday’s game with Baltimore and Las Vegas will start at 8:15 p.m. ET. A second contest would usually begin at 10:15 p.m. ET with West Coast teams. 

ESPN’s two games for Week 18 will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17, according to the NFL. Here’s a look at the league’s full schedule for both of those weeks. 

NFL schedule Week 1 

Thursday, Sept. 9 

Sunday, Sept. 12

Monday, Sept. 13 

NFL schedule Week 18 

Saturday, Jan. 8 

Sunday, Jan. 9 

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