The Pittsburgh Steelers will be playing the New York Jets in the NFL East divisional round this coming Sunday, February 4th. The game will be held at 1 p.m. ET at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and will be nationally televised. The teams are both coming off big wins in their respective games, with the Jets shutting out the Cincinnati Bengals and the Steelers beating the Baltimore Ravens.
The normal start time for NFL games is late Sunday afternoon or evening, but with the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang happening this year, a lot of NFL teams are playing early starts on Saturday to give the athletes a good chance to practise and get some rest before the games.
According to ESPN, the league decided to move the Dolphins-Buccaneers game up to 1 p.m. ET this coming Saturday, in order to give the gold medalists in the 20km biathlon a decent chance to rest and get ready for the cross country skiing events that will start on Sunday morning. The defending champs, the New England Patriots, will be playing the Minnesota Vikings at 4:30 p.m. ET this coming Saturday, and the kickoff for that game is also moved up to 1 p.m. ET, so the two teams can have an extra day of rest before their showdown.
NFL’s Decision To Give Some Games Earlier Starts Is A Good One
The NFL made the right call when they decided to move the start time for this weekend’s games up, and the early starts will give athletes a better chance at winning gold and setting some personal bests.
While the Olympics are an event that everyone watches from around the world, the NFL is a league that a lot of people follow mainly in the US. The decision to move up the start times for the Dolphins-Buccaneers and Patriots-Vikings games is a good one, and gives those teams a chance to rest and prepare for the playoffs, which will begin after the Winter Olympics.
Even the Houston Texans, who are currently in first place in their division, will be fighting for their playoff lives this coming weekend, so they may not have the luxury of resting players ahead of their vital game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
What About The Winter Olympics?
The Winter Olympics are an event that everyone will be talking about from now until the games end in April, but for those who are focused on the sports aspect of the event, the NFL will be far from over.
The NFL schedule will start overlapping with the Winter Olympics in a few weeks, so there will be a lot of games on at the same time. This coming Saturday, the Patriots play the Dolphins at 1 p.m., while the Winter Olympics start at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT. At this point, it’s not clear whether or not the NFL will try to overlap the start times as much as possible or if they will leave some room for the games to start at different times.
The overlap is a good thing for those who want to see more NFL games during the Winter Olympics. The final week of the regular season will have the Steelers playing the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. ET and the New England Patriots playing the Miami Dolphins at 4:30 p.m. ET, both on Saturday. The following Sunday, the AFC and NFC championship games will be played at 1 p.m. ET and 4:30 p.m. ET respectively.
What About The Royal Wedding?
The wedding of Prince Harry, the future King of England, took place on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, and it was one of the most memorable and exciting events of the year. The Steelers will be playing their home games at Heinz Field this coming season, so it would be fitting if Prince Harry watched his cousin’s team play on Saturday just a few days after the wedding.
The teams meet this coming Saturday in the middle of the day, so it’s not clear if or when Harry might make it over to Heinz Field. One thing is for sure, the atmosphere at the game will be electric as the nation watches the wedding of the year. The game starts at 1 p.m. ET, so it will be interesting to see if Harry can find a good spot in the middle of the field to watch the game.
Harry was joined at the wedding by his wife, Meghan, who is a Duchess of Sussex, the daughter of the Queen. The couple announced their engagement in late 2017 and were crowned King and Queen of England earlier this year. The two were joined at the wedding of their daughter, Princess Eilemma, by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.