Regional Roundup: NFL Week 1

The Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and the Colts’ Andrew Luck are two of five rookie quarterbacks making their first career starts this weekend. And while three of the five rookies are on AFC teams, FOX will be carrying most of the games, including Redskins/Saints.

With four nationally-televised games on the opening weekend of the 2012 NFL season, that leaves a dozen regional games on Sunday afternoon, with the majority of them going to Fox, which has the doubleheader this week, as is usual in Week 1 of the NFL due to CBS’ commitment to US Open Tennis coverage. As such, all five of CBS’ games this week will be in the early window and have 1 PM (ET) starts.


CBS: The Eyeball Network’s A-Team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be in Nashville as the Tennessee Titans host the New England Patriots, while in the Windy City, Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will witness the first start in the league by this year’s first overall draft pick, Andrew Luck, as the Indianapolis Colts battle the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Meanwhile, another rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, will have his first league licks as the Miami Dolphins gravitate toward the Space City to take on the Houston Texans; Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will call that one. As for the New York Jets’ home opener against the Buffalo Bills, you would think that all of the hype and coverage Gang Green received in the offseason would warrant this to be a Nantz/Simms game – I’m sure they’ll eventually have their share of Jets games as the season progresses, especially if Tim Tebow summons the starting quarterback job. In the meantime, we’ll just have to enjoy the play-by-play prowess of Marv Albert, only one of the greatest sportscasters of our time; he’ll be joined by Rich Gannon. Finally, the Minnesota Vikings play the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a showdown of teams with big-name running backs that are expected to have less-than-average production due to offseason recovery from injury or offseason holdout activity. Hopefully, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will more than make up for what’s happening on the field.

FOX: Even though three of the five rookie quarterbacks starting games this weekend are for AFC teams, FOX, the traditional NFC network, will be broadcasting three of these five games. Second overall draft pick Robert Griffin III will make his first start for the Washington Redskins as they face the New Orleans Saints; Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa will all be in the Bayou to cover that one. And Brandon Weeden will be under center for the first time as his Cleveland Browns, who may or may not be mourning the passing of the owner of the original Browns franchise, Art Modell, will host the Philadelphia Eagles; that game will be called by Dick Stockton and John Lynch. Meanwhile, Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick will be in Kansas City as the Chiefs play the Atlanta Falcons. And in Detroit, Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will witness the Lions tandem of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson welcoming Jeff Fisher back into the NFL for his first game as head coach of the St. Louis Rams.


FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be in Lambeau Field as the high-powered Green Bay Packers offense looks to dominate the high-powered San Francisco 49ers defense, in a game that will be seen by over 75% of the country. And that includes Tampa Bay. Yes, despite the Buccaneers agreeing to a lower attendance threshold to constitute a sellout, their home opener against the Carolina Panthers will still be blacked out, as there were not enough tickets sold to reach the new minimum of 85%. For the benefit of those who will be watching the game in the Carolinas, New Orleans, Birmingham and the Florida market of Fort Myers (which I thought was part of that 75-mile radius but apparently not), Ron Pitts will be calling that game alongside Mike Martz, who is replacing Jim Mora, now with UCLA. As for the fifth and final rookie quarterback start of the week, Russell Wilson and his Seattle Seahawks will flock to the desert to play the Arizona Cardinals, in a game that will be called by Sam Rosen and – unless he’s too worked up by the Jets losing a game in which Tim Tebow did not start Heath Evans, who, like Martz, will also be providing color commentary for his first FOX game.

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