By Brad Tuttle
September 20, 2018

“Thursday Night Football” tonight features the New York Jets vs. the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET, and the game is being broadcast on TV by the NFL Network.

Led by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, the Jets pulled off a surprisingly dominant 48-17 win over the Detroit Lions in week one of the 2018 season. The Jets are now 1-1 after losing to their AFC East rival Miami Dolphins last Sunday. The “Thursday Night Football” betting odds say the Browns are 3-point favorites to win tonight.

The Cleveland Browns were 0-16 last season, and they have yet to win a game during the 2018 season as well. The Browns wound up in a 21-21 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season’s first game, and lost 18-21 to the New Orleans Saints last weekend.

Even though the Jets vs. Browns game is airing on the NFL Network — a pay TV channel — there are ways to watch “Thursday Night Football” for free, regardless if you have cable or not. Here are all the details.

How to Live Stream ‘Thursday Night Football’ Games for Free

As we have previously reported, the 2018 season marks the first time that fans can live stream NFL games on their phones — for free, without having a specific wireless provider, and without being asked to log in with a pay TV account and password.

Both the Yahoo Sports app and the NFL App let fans live stream locally broadcast Sunday games (including your area’s teams), as well as nationally broadcast primetime games, including NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” and “Thursday Night Football,” which is broadcast on a mix of Fox and the NFL Network.

There are some restrictions for watching NFL games via these apps — the big one being that you can only use them on your phone, not a TV. Another complication is specific to “Thursday Night Football” games like the Jets vs. Browns tonight. In an earlier story on how to watch NFL games online, we explained that you might not be able to use the apps for live streaming if you’re connected to wifi:

For the apps to function properly, you must download the latest version. If you have an older version, you may be asked for a pay TV log-in. And while you can live stream most of the games available on the NFL App or Yahoo Sports app while connected to wifi, it seems there are some games that can only be streamed if wifi is turned off. Specifically, it appears as if the “Thursday Night Football” games airing exclusively on the NFL Network can be live streamed with either app only if you’re using data, not wifi. Obviously, that data use has the potential to make “free” streaming a bit more costly, depending on your wireless plan.

How to Watch the Jets vs. Browns Online for Free — on TV or a Laptop

The other way to watch “Thursday Night Football” for free is to sign up for a free trial of a streaming TV package that includes the NFL Network. Streaming TV services that offer the NFL Network in packages include Fubo TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV.

(Note: A couple of other well-known streaming TV services, Hulu Live and YouTube TV, do not offer the NFL Network in any of their packages.)

All streaming TV packages are available to new subscribers with free trial periods of five to seven days. You can use one with the NFL Network to watch the Jets and Browns play on “Thursday Night Football” tonight, and you can watch on any kind of screen you like — phone, laptop, tablet, or connected TV.

Just remember to cancel the service before the free trial period ends, or you’ll be charged the full monthly rate. Streaming packages with the NFL Network cost between $25 and $50 per month, and include dozens of other channels.

Does Amazon Prime Live Stream NFL Games?

Amazon and the NFL signed a contract for the 2018 season allowing some “Thursday Night Football” games to be live streamed for free on Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, tonight’s Jets-Browns game is not one of the games you can watch at Amazon.

The “Thursday Night Football” games being broadcast on TV by the NFL Network — including the Jets-Browns tonight — are not being live streamed by Amazon. However, there are 11 “Thursday Night Football” games being broadcast on Fox this season, and all of them are also being live streamed by Amazon. The season’s first “Thursday Night Football” matchup airing on Fox (and simultaneously available for free live stream at Amazon Prime Video) is the Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings next Thursday, September 27.

To live stream the Rams vs. Vikings game on Amazon Prime, as well as future “Thursday Night Football” action, simply head to Amazon Prime Video on the night of the game. Amazon’s NFL live streams are available only for members of Amazon Prime, the service that includes two-day shipping on most Amazon purchases and unlimited viewing of certain Amazon video and music. Amazon Prime subscriptions cost $119 per year or $12.99 per month, after a 30-day free trial period.

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