The Luck of the draw. It’s a CBS doubleheader weekend. No blackouts, though the Raiders barely avoided one this week, and the Thursday night home sellout streak was jeopardized in Buffalo, but it continues.
CBS: Two of CBS’ four early games take place in NFC territory. First, Cowboys Stadium, a site that likely needs its own zip code, has the Cleveland Browns on the pre-Thanksgiving menu for the Dallas Cowboys, who will host the Washington Redskins on Thursday afternoon on Fox. But on this day, Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf serve up the Sunday matinee. And in St. Louis, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will be all over the New York Jets (which shouldn’t be too much of a problem) as they take on the Rams, coming off a tie vs. the San Francisco 49ers last week. There’s also a divisional battle between the AFC South leading Houston Texans, and the AFC South bottomfeeding Jacksonville Jaguars, which will be worked by Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker. And the Cincinnati Bengals, coming off a giant victory against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, will play a team of midgets in the Kansas City Chiefs, and what this game lacks in competition is made up by the fact that the great Marv Albert, along with Rich Gannon, will deliver game details to viewers.
FOX: With the exception of the newly-defeated Atlanta Falcons hosting the Arizona Cardinals, and Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa presiding, all of the games in Fox’s early game window are divisional matchups. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be in Detroit – not necessarily on Thanksgiving Day, but a few days prior – working the Green Bay Packers/Detroit Lions game. You’ll see Joe and Troy again in Dallas on Turkey Day for the Cowboys/Redskins game. But first, the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles, in a battle of rookie quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III and the (subbing for the injured Michael Vick) Nick Foles; that game will be called by Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick. And Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will be in Charlotte for an NFC South hoedown between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
CBS: There’s two late games on CBS: the Indianapolis Colts, behind rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, taking on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, which will be shown in roughly one-third of the country; and the Denver Broncos hosting the San Diego Chargers, which will be seen in a majority of the country. You would think with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling several Broncos games, they’d be in Denver again, especially with the game being cleared in over half of the country. But instead, CBS’ A-team will be in Foxboro once again, where they’ve witnessed many a battle between the Patriots and the Colts, when Peyton Manning was under center for Indianapolis. As for the game involving Manning’s current team, that game will be worked by Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots.
FOX: Just one Fox late game, and it involves Drew Brees leading his New Orleans Saints into the Black Hole to face the Oakland Raiders, in a contest that will be called by Dick Stockton and John Lynch.
A small addendum for observations of market activity: The Austin, TX Fox affiliate switched from the Saints/Raiders game to the Eagles/Redskins game, which means that station’s audience will see Baylor product RGIII, while San Antonio’s Fox affiliate did the reverse. And the Memphis market was cracked up this weekend, as the CBS station there switched late games from Chargers/Broncos to Colts/Patriots, and the Fox affiliate went from the Eagles/Redskins game in the early window to the late Saints/Raiders game, back to the early window with Packers/Lions.
Information from the506.com was used in this post.