The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the schedules for the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS (plus nearly everything else), but the NFL moved ahead with its 2020 campaign as planned. And once the World Series wraps up this week, football will be the only game in town.
After seven weeks, only one team remains with a perfect record. In a battle of unbeatens, the Steelers handed the Titans their first loss and moved to 6-0 on the season. Three games went down to the wire on Sunday. The Falcons again lost in agonizing fashion, giving up a touchdown to the Lions on the last play of the game. The Browns won the battle of Ohio against the Bengals in the final minute of the game. And the Cardinals won a wild game against the Seahawks in overtime.
Week 7 concludes tonight with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET (5:15 p.m. PT) on ESPN.
Here's how to watch tonight's action, as well as the rest of the NFL season, without cable.
How can I watch the NFL without cable?
You can stream the 2020 NFL season, no cable required, on any live-TV streaming service that carries channels with live games. Numerous such services offer broadcast networks like CBS, NBC and Fox as well as ESPN, the NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Exact channels may also vary based on where you live, but the best services for NFL fans are YouTube TV and FuboTV.
Thursday Night Football is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video (so long as you subscribe to Amazon Prime), Twitch or in the Yahoo Sports or NFL apps. Fox and the NFL Network will broadcast the game as well.
For those looking for a different experience, Fox will be streaming the game in 4K on FuboTV (as well as offering the 4K feed on certain cable and satellite providers). Amazon, meanwhile, will be adding the option to choose from a variety of different announcers in its Prime Video app, so you have options just in case Fox's Joe Buck and Troy Aikman aren't to your liking.
Offers all available NFL channels
YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes all the channels NFL fans need: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. There's also an option for RedZone for an extra $11 a month. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.
Offers all available NFL channels
FuboTV costs $65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS, Fox and NBC plus ESPN and the NFL Network. An $11-a-month Sports Plus add-on will get you into the RedZone, and FuboTV will also stream the Fox Thursday Night Football games in 4K.
Click here to see which local channels you get.
Hulu with Live TV
Offers CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN
Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. Click the "View channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. The NFL Network and RedZone aren't available from this service.
AT&T TV Now
Offers CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN
AT&T TV Now's basic, $55-a-month Plus package includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. The NFL Network and RedZone are not available.
It's complicated, but Sling offers Fox, NBC, NFL Network, RedZone and ESPN
Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $30-a-month Blue plan and $30-a-month Orange plan, which forces NFL fans into a tricky choice or encourages them to spring for both at $45 a month. Sling Blue includes the NFL Network, NBC and Fox as well as the option to add RedZone through the Sports Extra add-on for $10 per month. Sling Orange includes ESPN.
Sling TV doesn't offer CBS, but its packages are discounted by $10 for the first month. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access costs $5.99 per month and will let you watch the games being broadcast on your local CBS station on Sundays if you live in one of these 206 markets where the service offers live TV. It makes for a good add-on for Sling TV subscribers, who don't get CBS.
All of the services above offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.
As mentioned above, the NFL will also once again stream 11 games live on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch. The full list of remaining dates and games for that platform is:
- Oct. 29: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
- Nov. 5: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
- Nov. 12: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
- Nov. 19: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
- Dec. 3: Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens
- Dec. 10: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams
- Dec. 17: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
- Dec. 25: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (Note: this Christmas Day matchup is on a Friday.)
Finally, cord-cutters can receive free local CBS, Fox and NBC broadcasts using an over-the-air antenna.
When did the NFL season start?
The NFL regular season began on Thursday, Sept. 10, with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs.
Where will games be played?
The current plan is for teams to play their games as scheduled in their respective home stadiums.
Will fans be allowed in?
This is one of the big wild cards. There is no clear answer, with some teams planning to open with fans and some without.
The Chiefs, for example, hosted their home opener on Sept. 10 with 15,895 fans in attendance, 21% of Arrowhead's capacity.
Other teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears, had said that they plan to host their respective home openers without fans in the stands in Week 2. This so far seems to be a team-by-team, city-by-city situation that is subject to a lot of change throughout the season.
What happened to the preseason?
The NFL canceled the entire 2020 preseason in July, with teams focusing on doing their own training camps to prepare for the upcoming season.
CNET TVs, Streaming and Audio
Get CNET's comprehensive coverage of home entertainment tech delivered to your inbox.
Will the NFL move some Sunday games to other days?
The NFL had been rumored to be looking at moving some games to Saturday if college football was scaled back significantly this fall, but this scenario seems unlikely now that the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC conferences announced they will play truncated seasons, which reversed previous decisions to postpone their fall seasons. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have already begun their 2020 campaigns.
The NFL would potentially need to seek government approval if it did want to move games to Friday or Saturday nights due to Chapter 32 of the United States Code, which was designed to keep those nights free from September through December for high school and college football.
Which players are sitting out?
Like in other sports, a fair amount of NFL players have opted out of the 2020 season. Here are a few of the notable players not participating this year, with a larger list available at ESPN:
- Patrick Chung, S, New England Patriots
- Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots
- Marqise Lee, WR, New England Patriots
- Marquise Goodwin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Devin Funchess, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Geronimo Allison, WR, Detroit Lions
- C.J. Mosley, LB, New York Jets
- Nate Solder, OT, New York Giants
- Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs