Texas Tech football alums: 2020 NFL schedule tidbits for Red Raider fans

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Jakeem Grant #19 of the Miami Dolphins runs the ball during a kickoff against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Jakeem Grant #19 of the Miami Dolphins runs the ball during a kickoff against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL schedule was released on Thursday so let’s take a look at some of the games that might interest Texas Tech football fans the most.

Despite the current uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL released it’s full 2020 schedule on Thursday with no adjustment to the time frame of the season.  That should encourage Texas Tech football fans because it is hard to envision the NCAA proceeding with its football schedule if the NFL were to decide to cancel or move its season.

But what is interesting is the fact that the NFL has scheduled no division games in the first four weeks of the season.  Thus, if there has to be a shortened 12-game schedule, the integrity of the divisional races will remain.

Another coronavirus contingency is that every team that plays in week two has the same bye week as its opponent making those games easy to move should the necessity arise.  Then there is the fact that every team in the NFL will have two home and two road games in the first four weeks so that if those games are canceled, each team will still have the same number of home and away games on the schedule.

As for Texas Tech football fans, there are some intriguing games that we will want to be by the channel for.   We will begin with the defending Super Bowl Champions.

On Thursday night, September 10, Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes will open the season at home against the Houston Texans in a game that will divide the loyalties of many Texas Tech fans.  Of course, former Red Raider Keke Coutee is still on the Texans’ roster and could factor in that game unless the oft-injured inside receiver is moved this offseason as some suggest might happen.

A week later, Kansas City heads to Baltimore where the last two NFL MVPs, Mahomes and 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson, will square off.  The champs then play a second Thursday night game in the first two weeks of the season when they travel to Buffalo in week three.  In all, Mahomes will be playing in primetime five different times this season, which is great for Texas Tech fans that live in markets that don’t carry every KC game.

On the other end of that spectrum are the Arizona Cardinals of Kliff Kingsbury.  They appear in primetime only twice and one of those is a Thursday night game (week 11 at Seattle), which every team in the league is required to play.  But the Arizona game that will be of high interest to the majority of Texas Tech football fans will be the one to take them to Dallas for a Monday Night showdown with the Cowboys in week six.  Being as the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the second-largest hub in the world for Texas Tech alums, there will be tons of Double Ts in the stands that evening in Jerry World.

In week four, Kingsbury will square off with a former Big 12 rival when he takes his team to Carolina, which is now being led by head coach Matt Rhule, who was the head coach at Baylor from 2017-19.  The two faced off only twice at the college level with Kingsbury winning in 2017 and Rhule ending the Kingsbury era at Tech a year later by beating the Red Raiders in Kingsbury’s final game before being fired.

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When Kingsbury and the Cards face division rival Seattle, in weeks seven and week 11, Tech fans will be turning in to see former Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks try to stop the Cardinals’ offense, led by former Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray.  Also on the schedule for the Cardinals this year are the Detroit Lions (week 3) and former Red Raider receiver Danny Amendola as well as the Miami Dolphins (week 9) and Jakeem Grant, the all-time leading receiver for the Texas Tech football program.

With so many Tech fans also loving the Dallas Cowboys, it’s worth noting some opponents the Cowboys will face that feature former Red Raiders or Big 12 rivals.  On the first Sunday of December (week 13), the Cowboys will travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens, the team that drafted former Red Raider DT Broderick Washington in the fifth round of this year’s draft.

When Dallas plays Philadelphia in weeks 8 and 16 of the season, they will have to contend with former TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor, who was the Eagle’s first-round pick this year.  Also, Philly will have former OU quarterback Jalen Hurts on the roster as their backup after taking the 2019 Heisman Trophy runner up in the second round last month.

In week 15, the San Francisco 49ers and former Red Raider DL Kerry Hyder will be in Dallas for a Sunday Night Football broadcast on NBC.  Of course, Hyder spent last year with the Cowboys before heading to S.F. as a free agent this offseason.

Though many fans across the nation like to root against the Cowboys, it’s fair to think that in week four, most Texas Tech football fans will be hoping for the Cowboys to dominate Cleveland and QB Baker Mayfield when the former OU and Tech QB leads his team into AT&T Stadium.  The week prior, Brooks and Seattle will host the Cowboys in an early-season matchup of teams that believe they are NFC contenders.

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The biggest takeaway from all of this is the fact that the NFL plans on having a full season at this point.  Though it may look a little different this year if there are restrictions on fans and other aspects of what we’ve come to love about the NFL, the fact that we have a full schedule to examine is enough to give us hope that we will not be robbed of football this year the way we have already been robbed of so many other sporting events that we cherish.