2013 NFL Schedule: The Primetime Games: Broncos, Falcons, 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Redskins Have Five Games Each

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Here is the list of all the primetime games scheduled for the 2013 NFL season.

Commentary to follow… Actually, I’ll get the back-patting out of the way early: I called the Ravens/Broncos opener on September 5, and I called the Washington Redskins getting five primetime games this season, up from just one last year.

And here are the games:

Thursday, September 5 – Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, September 8 – New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 9 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – 7:10 PM ET – ESPN

Monday, September 9 –  Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers – 10:20 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 12 – New York Jets @ New England Patriots – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 15 – San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 19 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 22 – Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 23 – Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 26 – San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 29 – New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcoms – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 30 – Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 3 – Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 6 – Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 7 – New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 10 – New York Giants @ Chicago Bears – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 13 – Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 14 – Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 17 – Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 20 – Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 21 – Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 24 – Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 27 – Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 28 – Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 31 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 3 – Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 4 – Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 7 – Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 11 – Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 14 –Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 17 – Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 18 – New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 21 – New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 24 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 25 – San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving) – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:20 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, December 1 – New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 2 – New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 5 – Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 8 – Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 9 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 12 – San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 15 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 16 – Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 22 – New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 23 – Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 29 – [Teams to be determined following Week 16] – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

TEAMS WITH FIVE PRIMETIME GAMES: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins.

TEAMS WITH FOUR PRIMETIME GAMES: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

TEAMS WITH THREE PRIMETIME GAMES: Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers.

TEAMS WITH TWO PRIMETIME GAMES: Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

TEAMS WITH ONE PRIMETIME GAME: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans.

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OBSERVATIONS: So, let me get this straight: The Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl, yet the runner-up gets one more primetime game in the ensuing season than the World Champions? Explain that to me.

Also, explain to me how the NFL didn’t greenlight the Denver Broncos going to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. This was a given when the AFC opponents for the Cowboys were released at the top of the year. Or so I thought. Now, it’s going to be a chance to pass out with tryptophan in between another Packers/Lions matinee and the Ravens hosting another Thanksgiving night game, this time against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

I wonder if Peyton Manning not getting a Thanksgiving date with Tony Romo was a byproduct of the Broncos actually hosting the NFL kickoff game.

Predictably, the Eagles/Chiefs game with Andy Reid bringing a new squad into Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia is an NFL Network Thursday night affair.

Predictably, that’s the Chiefs’ lone primetime game. The Jaguars’ sole primetime tilt in 2013 is also on NFLN, as was the case last year. Ditto for the Browns and the Bills, who actually play each other on an NFLN game; the Bills and the Dolphins killed two birds with one Thursday night primetime stone last season.

Thr Dolphins improve from one primetime game last year to three this year. Same with the Vikings. The Colts go from one primetime game last season to four this season. And I’ve already told you about the Redskins’ maxing out at five games, up from one last year.

Further proof NBC loves the NFC East: The Cowboys and Giants open the “Sunday Night Football” 2013 campaign. The Cowboys will appear on “SNF” three times this year, as will the Giants. Two of the Redskins’ five night contests are on NBC; two of them will air on ESPN. Eagles? Nowhere to be found on NBC’s initial schedule. Of course, the latter half of the season allows flex scheduling, so if the Eagles are actually a good team, they’ll likely see more than just the two games (down from five last year() they’ve been scheduled this year. In other words: the Cowboys/Eagles game that was not flexed out late last season might be the last time in awhile you’ll hear Al Michaels working an Eagles game.

And for the first time in recent memory, there are no Saturday games scheduled. The Bay City Rollers will now have to find alternate ways to be preoccupied this year.

Cowboys/Redskins An Early Favorite For "Sunday Night Football" In Week 17 (Update: It's Official)

The rematch of Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins’ Thanksgiving Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 could be flexed into primetime on NBC. It would be the second straight year that an NFC East showdown in the final week of the regular season would be rescheduled to “Sunday Night Football.”

It’s hard to believe just two more weeks of the NFL regular season remain.

And that means we draw ever closer to the inevitable – okay, besides going to the mall to return that unwanted sweater you got for Christmas. Week 17, which for the third season in a row under Commissioner Roger Goodell, will consist entirely of matchups between division rivals – with the one possessing the greatest impact on the playoff picture being flexed into primetime on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” In Week 17 in 2010, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams, and in the final week of the regular season last year, the New York Giants eliminated the Dallas Cowboys; both of these teams would win subsequent playoff games televised on NBC (the Seahawks in the Wild Card round, and the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI).

The divisions represented by these teams have a great shot at making their second appearance on “SNF” in Week 17 under the new format.

First, let’s eliminate the divisions where the leaders are so far ahead, it should not make much of a difference what they do in Week 17: AFC East (New England Patriots); AFC South (Houston Texans); AFC West (Denver Broncos); and NFC South (New Orleans Saints).

True, a first-round playoff bye may be on the line between the Patriots, Texans and Broncos, but consider this: the Patriots are hosting the Miami Dolphins, and they’ve been so dominant at home in primetime, and in primetime in general this season (need we remind you what they did in New Jersey on Thanksgiving night?) that the chances of the game being out of reach early are high. Also, the Texans hosted the Indianapolis Colts today for what will be a home-and-home over a 15-day period, and had the Colts upset the Texans in Houston, the Week 17 rematch might have been a shoo-in for primetime, but the Texans win pretty much puts a cushion betweem the two teams; of course, if the Colts find themselves in a “win and you’re in” scenario, it’s still possible that Andrew Luck might bring the Colts back to “SNF” for the first time in the post-Peyton Manning era. And as for Manning’s current team, the Broncos, well, they’re playing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are not only execrable this season, but are 0-3 on NBC in the Fred Gaudelli era. Nuff said.

The NFC North also appears to be all but conquered by the Green Bay Packers, but the team they face in Week 17 is the Minnesota Vikings – a team that’s nipping at the Packers’ heels in the division, and has a running back in Adrian Peterson who’s on pace to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards, and he needs just shy of 300 yards in two games to do it. But the Vikings’ next opponent, the Houston Texans, has a stingy run defense, so it’s too soon to determine what happens with the Packers/Vikings game until Peterson plays another sixty minutes. Remember, the league reconfigured the Week 17 Sunday night game to feature teams that are playing a game that will essentially name the winner of that division. Of course, when given the choice between watching a dynamic athlete break a record that has stood for nearly three decades, or a Rams/Seahawks game, I think the answer is easy. So based on the potential of history being made, with one of the biggest names in the game, I wouldn’t rule this one out yet, even if the Packers have long clinched the NFC North. Stay tuned.

So, we’re down to three divisions, and we’ll start with the AFC North. You have the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have made the fifth-most appearances on NBC since 2006 with fifteen, hosting the Cleveland Browns, and you have the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Baltimore Ravens, who have won six out of their nine appearances on NBC’s air. By the way, since 2006, Ohio has been 0-for-6 on NBC, including five Bengals games, two of them in the postseason. Realizing the Bengals’ dubious record on NBC, coupled with their penchant for having games blacked out due to low ticket sales, plus add to the mix the fact that they’re hosting the Ravens, who have abruptly switched offensive coordinators and have already lost their first game under their new one, the prospect of putting that game in primetime probably isn’t making the league and NBC suits’ mouths water. Nor is the possibility of a Steelers team playing the cellar-dwelling Browns. So in my view, you won’t be seeing the Steelers make their fourth “SNF” appearance of the season, nor a Ravens trifecta on NBC this year. But as always, I could be wrong.

Anyway, that leaves two divisions in the NFC where the top spot is up for grabs. First, the NFC West situation: the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are fighting for first place. But keep in mind that the 49ers will be playing two Sunday night games in a row, including one that’s been flexed into primetime in Week 16 – and that game is in Seattle. Fast forward to Week 17, and you’ve got the Seahawks hosting the Rams, and the 49ers hosting the Cardinals. Given how bad the Cardinals have been since October (oh, they beat the Lions by four touchdowns after losing by nearly sixty points the previous week – big whoop), you can count out the latter matchup, and the possibility of a team appearing on “SNF” for three consecutive weeks. Which means that for the second time in three weeks, a Rams/Seahawks game in Seattle in Week 17 could be moved into primetime. The Rams, despite being a shade under .500, are amazingly undefeated (4-0-1) against opponents in the division. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are undefeated at home, and depending on how the 49ers fare in Centurylink Field on “SNF” in Week 16, the NFC West division may as well be decided in primetime that week.

And that leaves the NFC East, a division where three out of its four teams have made the most appearances on NBC since 2006 – most recently a matchup between two teams both under .500, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 17, both of these teams will be on the road: the Eagles at the New York Giants, and the Cowboys at the Washington Redskins. This division is literally a three-team race going down the stretch, but only one thing matters: the RG3 factor. Robert Griffin III is having an outstanding rookie campaign – yet he only has one primetime game to show for it (in Week 13 vs. the Giants on “Monday Night Football” on ESPN). Of course, there was the game on Thanksgiving Day that gave Griffin his first national exposure – in Jerry World, a game in which he led the Redskins to four touchdowns in the first half.

The Redskins, 2-0 in these games, currently share a lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys, well, they haven’t made the most appearances on “Sunday Night Football” for nothing (the Eagles/Cowboys tilt back in Week 13 was their twenty-first).

Regardless of the results of the Week 16 games between the Giants and the Ravens, the Cowboys and the Saints, and the Eagles and the Redskins, I am confident that the Cowboys/Redskins rematch in Week 17 will be flexed into primetime.

An equation of “America’s Team” and RG3 (provided he’s healthy) with the division on the line adds up to an enticing matchup.

So if you’re going to that game on December 30, I’d reschedule my plans for that evening if I were you.

UPDATE, 12.18.12: WIP Radio in Philadelphia reported today that the Cowboys/Redskins game on December 30 has been moved to a start time of… 4:25 PM. There’s nothing to back this up, I was just going by what I heard on the radio. Halfway to primetime. But it’s still a candidate to be moved to “Sunday Night Football”: based on how teams with their own playoff implications on the line perform in Week 16, the league will obviously move a game with “win or go home” potential into primetime. Or if the NFC East, NFC West and AFC North are suddenly all decided, and Adrian Peterson runs for over 150 yards against the Texans, the Vikings’ (regular?) season finale against the Packers could see itself being moved to NBC, as I speculated earlier – but of course, that’s a huge longshot as long as the NFC East, at the very least, has not been decided by Christmas.

So the Cowboys/Redskins game won’t be starting at 1 PM. That much, I was right about. And now the NFL is delaying the inevitable – which, by the way, will officially be announced on Monday.

UPDATE, 12.23.12, 11:39 PM ET: And now, it’s official: With the Redskins winning and the Cowboys and Giants losing, the rematch between the Redskins and the Cowboys in Week 17 will, as projected, be flexed into Sunday night on NBC. The news was announced during the Week 16 presentation of “Sunday Night Football.” This will be the first time since Week 7 in 2010 that the Redskins were featured on “Sunday Night Football.” Since that matchup with the Colts, there have been fifteen games on NBC (sixteen if you count the Super Bowl) in which there was at least one NFC East team – eight of them games between two NFC East teams. So it’s safe to say the Redskins are long overdue.

Rush Limbaugh: "I Mistakenly Liked The People" At ESPN's NFL Pregame Show

While discussing Rob Parker’s comments on ESPN about Robert Griffin III, Rush Limbaugh admitted that during his own stint at the network, he “mistakenly liked” his “Sunday NFL Countdown” colleagues. “It was misplaced affection.”

It appears everybody related to sports media has a reaction to Rob Parker’s infamous “cornball brother” inquisition of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on ESPN2’s “First Take” – even those no longer affiliated with sports media.

Like Rush Limbaugh.

You may recall his brief stint as an analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” in 2003, which came to an abrupt end after his stance that “the media is very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” Those remarks were made regarding former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Once ESPN denounced those comments, Limbaugh resigned from the program.

Of course, Limbaugh has been hosting the top talk radio program for 25 years. So even though he’s nine years removed from his short tenure at ESPN, he still feels the need to use his radio show as a forum to chime in on sports media controversies, especially those that involve his former employer.

Limbaugh dubbed Parker “a buffoon” and “a full-fledged separatist,” but that wasn’t all. While recalling what would be his final appearance at the Worldwide Leader, he seized the opportunity to throw his former “Sunday NFL Countdown” comrades – Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Steve Young and Michael Irvin – under the bus.

“I really liked that pregame show,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “I mistakenly liked the people on it. It was misplaced affection.”

Gee, Rush. Was it misplaced affection when Dave Checketts and his pals purged you from the group making a bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams?

Anyway, you can watch Rush lob a verbal grenade at his ex-ESPN colleagues at the 3:00 mark. And as a bonus, later in this clip, he shares his thoughts on Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin, the Washington-based sports radio hosts that were suspended for mocking a transgender basketball player. Coupled with Parker’s attack on RGIII, Limbaugh reaches the conclusion that “ESPN has become a racist place.”

Jason Whitlock Rips "Right-Wing Idiots" After Rush Limbaugh Reads His Column

Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock appeared to be angry on Twitter when his article about a black quarterback “information bubble” was read by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. “He doesn’t have football expertise,” Whitlock said of Limbaugh on radio today.

You may remember when Rush Limbaugh was part of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” program for all of a month before leaving after his infamous comments regarding then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (and current free agent) Donovan McNabb.

You may recall he attempted to purchase a portion of the St. Louis Rams.

In other words, he’s a football fan, just like you and me.

Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear Limbaugh rap about the NFL on his nationally-syndicated radio show, even during a busy election season.

On this particular day, Limbaugh decided to comment on a recent Jason Whitlock piece in which he described what he calls the black quarterback “information bubble.” Meaning quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, who’s impressing in his rookie season thus far, and Cam Newton, who’s been anything but in his sophomore year, “can do no wrong, and any criticism of them is rooted in racism.”

“What? W-w-what?,” responded Limbaugh. “There’s a bubble of media types that protects black quarterbacks? … Hmm! Who knew?”

The fact that Limbaugh was divulging a Jason Whitlock column on the air was enough to grind the author’s gears. The first thing he did is tweet out a link to an ESPN.com “Page 2” column that he wrote following the dismissal of his former Worldwide Leader colleague.

Then, he tweeted this: “Limbaugh talks race daily. He’s earned [hundreds] of millions doing it. [You] never hear right-wing idiots complaining Rush talks [too] much race. #think”

He again wondered about the lack of complaints about Limbaugh “talking race too much” on his show as he shared a link to the transcript of the portion of Limbaugh’s show in which he was “using my Cam column to talk race.”

I take it Whitlock is not very honored to have his works being read on a popular radio program. I’m sure he would, as long as it wasn’t one hosted by Limbaugh.

“He’s saying here,” Limbaugh commented, “that there’s a group of people in the media that… don’t want criticism/truth said about black quarterbacks because it’s racist and it’s unfair, so there’s a protective bubble around them that might result in them being overrated and certainly not being able to learn to deal with adversity. Because when helpful critique doesn’t happen because the person fears being called a racist and therefore shuts up, then there’s no progress.”

Meanwhile, Whitlock appeared on Mike Missanelli’s radio show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (click here for audio), and Whitlock explained that the “bubble” he writes of does not parallel Limbaugh’s McNabb comments nine years ago.

“Rush Limbaugh talked about… the sports media is desirous of Donovan McNabb having all the success. As a fan, did I want to see Donovan McNabb have some success? Yes. As a journalist? I could care less… I don’t think the sports media was bending over backwards hoping for Donovan McNabb to have some success… I thought [Rush] really, really overreached, and that format that he’s on TV, trying to blurt that out there, isn’t the proper place… And just to be quite honest, Rush Limbaugh is not qualified to make these comments, and it’s not because he’s white, it’s because he is in no way, in my opinion, trying to be thoughtful on these issues, if you just look at his track record, and I don’t think he’s given it a whole lot of thought… He doesn’t have football expertise… I’m sure he watches the NFL somewhat, but for the most part, he follows politics around the clock. It just wasn’t his place, and so, I didn’t have a problem with what ESPN did to him, and he’s certainly no victim because, you know, he makes a boatload of money talking about these issues and race.”

Whitlock mentioned the fact that Limbaugh “read my column today on his show, and talked about it extensively, and agreed with it, and tried to subtly use it as, ‘Hey, look, I was trying to say this in 2003, but…'” Yet Limbaugh didn’t even utter McNabb’s name during the segment in which he read Whitlock’s column.

But Jason Whitlock did give credit where it’s due. “I’m not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, and his perspective, but the guy is a great radio broadcaster, and he’s an entertainer and all that, but I don’t really respect his perspective… I’m not gonna – he has the right to talk about my column.”

And he looks forward to the day that “right-wing idiots” complain about Limbaugh reading a Whitlock piece.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 4

Last year, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers combined for 76 points in the season kickoff game. Now, a ticked-off Packers squad could send the Saints to an 0-4 start in what could easily be the most-watched game this weekend.

Nantz embraces the Broncos, while Buck crossed Bays. And will a dire prediction about one team from one of their own former players come true this weekend? It’s a Fox doubleheader weekend.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Every single one of the three early window matchups that the Eyeball Network will be broadcasting is a divisional tilt. First, we find Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf in Buffalo – why this crew after Spero Dedes was assigned to cover Bills games the previous two weeks? Probably because they’re playing the New England Patriots, who are currently on a two-game losing streak. You may recall last season, both teams combined for 65 points in Orchard Park, with the Patriots on the short end of the stick. Bill “Tickle Me Replacement Ref” Belichick can’t afford to drop another one here: in the Tom Brady era, no Patriots team has ever lost three games in the month of September – and yes, this includes the 2008 season where Matt Cassel relieved Brady midway through the first game of the year, and the 2001 season where the Week 2 game was redirected to after New Year’s Day following the September 11th attacks; the Patriots won that rescheduled game and so had it been played on its original date, they’d be 2-2 in September of that month. Next, we head to Houston, where the undefeated Texans host the Tennessee Titans, with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts on the play-by-play. And the San Diego Chargers square off against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead (Surprised This Hasn’t Been Replaced By A Corporate Sponsor Yet) Stadium, where Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be situated for the game.

FOX: The New York Jets are featured on Fox for the first time this season as the San Francisco 49ers travel to New Jersey – but apparently, it won’t be a Joe Buck game since it is not yet “Tebow Time” for Gang Green. Still, it’s always fun when Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa get the call: they called Fox’s only Jets game from last season, their Christmas Eve contest against the crosstown New York Giants (you may recall the other NFC visitor that year, the Dallas Cowboys, opened up the season on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”). The next Jets game scheduled for Fox is against the Arizona Cardinals in December – and provided they’re still as competitive as they are at the moment, that could be a Buck game, Tebow Time or not. Meanwhile, the remainder of Fox’s early games will consist of divisional matchups: there’s the Detroit Lions hosting the Minnesota Vikings, with Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick in the booth; the Carolina Panthers claw their way to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons, which will be handled by Dick Stockton and John Lynch; and Ron Pitts and Mike Martz will work the Seattle Seahawks/St. Louis Rams game from Missouri.

LATE GAMES

CBS: If you read this space last week, you’ll know that it’s been a very long time since Jim Nantz called a game involving Peyton Manning. And while his drought ended in Week 3, the result was a loss to the Houston Texans. Perhaps Nantz, along with Phil Simms, are hoping for a different result for the Denver Broncos as they host the Oakland Raiders. Let’s hope he’s not in the midst of a jinx similar to the one he had with Tim Tebow late last season. Also, the undefeated Arizona Cardinals are looking for a fish fry to go with a 4-0 start as they entertain the Miami Dolphins, and Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker plan on entertaining the viewers with their play-by-play. And for a change, Marv Albert won’t be calling a game at the same time his brother Kenny is: he and Rich Gannon will be in Jacksonville as the Jaguars get into a dogfight with the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s noteworthy that all three Florida NFL franchises will be active in the late game window this week – but the CBS games will be televised in their territories as planned…

FOX: That’s right, once again, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with their new 85% sellout threshold, still were not able to sell enough tickets to avert a blackout in the Tampa area. I bet Captain Fear was crying when he heard the news. Local fans who weren’t fired up enough to watch the Bucs vs. Cam Newton and the Panthers in the season opener – a game they won – apparently don’t care less about RGIII, either. It’ll be the Washington Redskins vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Chris Myers and Tim Ryan calling the game for those in areas except Tampa. The good news is the Buccaneers don’t have to worry about a game being blacked out next week – it’s their bye week. But they return with two more home games at Raymond James Stadium, with less than appetizing opponents in the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints, the latter of which could still be winless by then. And that leads us to the marquee matchup of Week 4, which finds the Saints, still with a semi-skeleton crew coaching staff as Sean Payton and others are currently serving suspensions, playing the Green Bay Packers, fresh off their loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a game that ended with the controversial touchdown that all but led to the league striking a new deal with the original referee staff. It will be a Lambeau Field full of pissed off Packers fans and players. Adding Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to the formula could lead to ratings gold. And if the Saints are indeed defrocked on the frozen tundra, the prediction by former Saints safety and current NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper that the team would go 0-4 in September will come into full fruition. And should the game get out of hand early, I’d browse NFLN just to see if Sharper comments about it on the “NFL GameDay Scoreboard” show. That is, unless he isn’t doing appearances with The Amazing Kreskin by then.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

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.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 2

Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams will play the Washington Redskins in Week 2. The Redskins used the Rams’ second overall draft pick from the Rams to draft Robert Griffin III, who had a remarkable debut last week.

This week, CBS has its first doubleheader of the season, and both networks’ No. 1 teams will be calling games involving teams representing the No. 1 media market.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will be at Lincoln Financial Field for what is sure to be a real bird bash, as the Baltimore Ravens fly to Philadelphia for the Eagles’ home opener; it’s the Eagles’ second AFC North opponent in as many weeks. Speaking of that division, the state rivals known as the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals square off in the Queen City, with Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker working that one. And there’ll be another divisional matchup as the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Houston Texans, in a game that will be called by the great Marv Albert, along with Rich Gannon. Meanwhile in Miami, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will watch the Dolphins shoot fish in a barrel against the Oakland Raiders. And in upstate New York, a tilt between the Bills and the Chiefs might qualify for punishment for Spero Dedes, who will be working alongside Steve Beuerlein.

FOX: One day after calling a late season game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, Joe Buck, assisted by Troy Aikman, will call an early season game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. It will be Bucs coach Greg Schiano’s return to the New York metropolitan area, where he had previously been head coach of Rutgers’ football program. Fox’s A-team may have been in New England to call a rare Patriots game for the network; unfortunately, the Patriots’ opponent this week is the Arizona Cardinals, which means dirty work for Dick Stockton and John Lynch. Also, Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick will be in Indianapolis, where Andrew Luck will play his first Colts home game against the Minnesota Vikings. And the Carolina Panthers host the division rival New Orleans Saints, with Ron Pitts and Mike Martz calling the plays.

LATE GAMES

CBS: Nearly four-fifths of the country will watch the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home opener against the New York Jets, as will Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. It’s Gang Green’s first trip to Heinz Field since their loss in their last appearance in the AFC Championship Game. Others will see the Tennessee Titans take on the Chargers – others including San Diego, which had averted a blackout after selling enough tickets; they needed to be granted an extension in order to sell more seats. This game, which will be handled by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, will also be seen in most of the states of Kansas and Missouri.

FOX: The Eastern part of Missouri – that is, St. Louis – will watch their Rams host the Washington Redskins in another game that barely staved off a local television blackout. The backstory to this contest: the Rams, which held the second overall draft pick this spring, traded it to the Redskins, who used the pick to draft Robert Griffin III. You’d think such a game would have more appeal, that it would have been seen by more than 20% of the country. Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will call the Redskins/Rams tilt. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys travel to Seattle for the Seahawks’ hope opener, in a game that will be worked by Fox’s resident trio of Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.