Regional Roundup: NFL Week 3

Look familiar? It’s Peyton Manning with his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, in what would be his final regular season game with the team. It was also the last game that Jim Nantz called with Manning in it. And now, Nantz’s 20 1/2-month wait is over, as he’ll call this weekend’s Broncos/Texans matchup.

Jim Nantz is so excited because, after a lengthy delay – plus a couple of nationally televised primetime games to start the Broncos’ season – he’ll be reunited with Peyton Manning – and we’ll bet it’ll sound so good. And this week, Nantz’s network, CBS, has the doubleheader.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will be at the Superdome in what should be a super pasting of the Kansas City Chiefs at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, despite their 0-2 record (and former Saints safety Darren Sharper predicted this summer on NFL Network that the Saints, whose coach is serving a suspension this year, would start 0-4… we’re holding you at your word, Darren). This game will be seen in over half of the country, mostly the midwest, as well as Los Angeles, Denver, and for some reason, Austin, TX. And it would have also been seen in San Diego but circumstances surrounding that game has led to the league moving things around a bit (more on that later in, aptly enough, the “late games” section). Meanwhile, the one and only Marv Albert will be calling another Jets contest, as he and Rich Gannon will set sail to Sun Life Stadium for a divisional joust between the Dolphins and the New York Jets, a game that staved off a blackout in the South Florida area. And there will be another divisional showdown in Indianapolis, as rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts play Blaine Gabbert (who’s expected to start despite an injury) and the Jacksonville Jaguars; Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker will have that game covered. Another rookie quarterback. Robert Griffin III. will be making his debut on CBS, as his Washington Redskins will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will call that one from the Nation’s Capital. And Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein will be calling a Bills game for the second week in a row; this time, it’s Buffalo vs. the Cleveland Browns, or as I like to call it, the eerie Erie bowl.

FOX: And for the second week in a row, Joe Buck will be calling a Buccaneers road game at the site of an NFC East team’s stadium. Last week, there was that stunning come-from-behind New York Giants victory over the Pewter Pirates; this week, the Dallas Cowboys will seek redemption for a putrid output in Seattle. as always, former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman accompanies Buck with the play-by-play. At the same time, Fox’s B-team of Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa will be in Minneapolis, as the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers will look to make it 3-0 when they meet the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, Dick Stockton and John Lynch will handle the St. Louis Rams/Chicago Bears game from Soldier Field. (If you take a look at the FOX Week 3 coverage map on the506.com, the coverage area for this game sticks out like a puzzle piece.) And the Tennessee Titans will try and pick up the pieces as they are off to an 0-2 start, and hosting the Detroit Lions with their high-powered offense may not be the best elixir – but Ron Pitts and Mike Martz are up for calling the game, anyway.

LATE GAMES

CBS: The last time Jim Nantz called a game involving Peyton Manning was the final week of the regular season in 2010, as his old team, the Colts, played the Titans to the tune of a 23-20 victory (they would be eliminated by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs in an NBC game). The last time Jim Nantz called a game in Denver was during last season’s playoffs, as the Broncos eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers with an overtime victory behind Tim Tebow. Fast forward to Week 3 in 2012: Nantz, along with Phil Simms, will once again be in the booth for a game with Manning under center for his new team, the Broncos, as they host the Houston Texans. As for the aforementioned Steelers, they’re in the “black hole” squaring off with the Oakland Raiders, in a game that will be called by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, a game for which a blackout was looming, but the Raiders sold enough tickets for the game to be televised in Northern California – in fact, it will be televised in the entire state of California. That’s because…

FOX: The San Diego Chargers, which needed an extension to sell out its home opener last weekend, were not so lucky to pull it off a second week in a row, for their next game against the Atlanta Falcons. This despite a dominant effort in a win against the Titans, and the fact that they’re one of six undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. In fact, a reported 9,200 tickets were unsold when the deadline passed. That’s a lot – especially when you consider a 2-0 team can’t sell enough tickets for their games. Maybe Los Angeles might have more luck selling out games if the Chargers moved there? Anyway, as a result of the blackout, San Diego viewers lose a game in what would have been a doubleheader on CBS (local affiliate KFMB): the previously scheduled FOX late game becomes an early game in 49ers/Vikings, which means the early game on CBS, Chiefs/Saints, won’t air there; as previously mentioned, San Diego’s late game will be Steelers/Raiders on CBS. In other words, San Diego will be able to watch action from all of the California NFL franchises but their own. As for those that will be able to watch the game at home – mostly in the South, as well as Indianapolis and Kansas City – you’ll be hearing the voices of Chris Myers and Tim Ryan. And of course, there’s the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be participating in their second straight “bird bowl,” as they flock to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals; Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick will call that one. One backstory to this matchup: Kevin Kolb, who had been the Eagles’ starting quarterback but relegated to backup duty upon Michael Vick’s resurgence, joined the Cardinals and at the start of this season, was named backup to John Skelton, who was injured in Week 1; Kolb led the Cardinals to a win in that game as well as the following one in New England – which makes them another of the six last undefeateds in the NFL. While the Eagles might be the better team on paper, I’m sure Kolb would like to remind his former team what he can do.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

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