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.

Joe Flacco Is A Platonic NFL Playoff Quarterback, Says Shaun O'Hara

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara compares Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to "that girl... stuck in the 'friends' category [that] wants to be in the 'girlfriend' mode" when it comes to performing in the playoffs.

NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara compares Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to “that girl… stuck in the ‘friends’ category [that] wants to be in the ‘girlfriend’ mode” when it comes to performing in the playoffs.

Meet the opponents for this year’s AFC Championship Game.

Same as last year’s opponents for the AFC Championship Game.

And yet, Shaun O’Hara claims that when it comes to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the postseason, everyone says they won’t get fooled again.

That was the NFL Network analyst’s stance on Friday’s edition of “NFL Total Access.” During a roundtable segment that featured guest analyst, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (who I will be the first to say has a very bright future as a football analyst once his playing days are over) discussing whether or not Flacco will have a better game than Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, as they did during Week 3 of the regular season this year, the former New York Giants center argued that, while the potential for an upset in Foxboro exists, the fifth-year quarterback, who has led the Ravens to a playoff berth in each of his five years with the team, still isn’t getting the credit that he deserves.

“When I look at Joe Flacco, I love what he’s doing,” O’Hara admits. “And yet, he’s not getting any love. He’s like that girl, all right, she’s stuck in that ‘friends’ category, and she wants to be in the ‘girlfriend’ mode, how do you get into that next level? That’s the way we look at Joe Flacco: he gets no love, no respect, and look what he’s done this season… He’s rising to the occasion in the big games; he’s done it before against the Patriots. He’s not scared of this Patriots/Bill Belichick team, he’s ready to play.”

Yes, just when you thought O’Hara was going for yet another one-liner to be had at the expense of Manti Te’o, he actually likens Flacco to the hypothetical gal pal in a famous Chris Rock comedy routine (here’s a snippet of it – obviously NSFW).

Flacco is a respectable 2-3 against Brady and the Patriots, with the Ravens winning only one game out of four in Foxboro (a Wild Card routing of the Pats in 2010). And of course, last year’s AFC Championship Game could have certainly went the Ravens’ way.

We’ll find out on Sunday night whether or not Joe Flacco will step up and bust out of his chastity belt, and prove the critics wrong.

Denver Broncos All But Guaranteed Thanksgiving 2013 Game

Based on the release of the opponents of the NFL teams for the 2013-14 season, it’s safe to assume that Peyton Manning will be playing his second Thanksgiving game in nine years, as the Denver Broncos are one of two AFC teams scheduled to visit the Dallas Cowboys.

With the end of the 2012-13 regular season comes the precursor to the release of the 2013-14 NFL schedule: the announcements of the opponents that all 32 teams will be facing, based on the strengths of their schedules the previous season.

I realize that Wild Card Weekend hasn’t even started yet, and I’m probably going to draw dirty looks for my looking ahead to the middle of next season, when the schedule hasn’t even been released yet (and likely will not be for about fifteen weeks or so – not that I’m counting down the days or anything). But I can’t help but make speculations prior to the release of the schedule, usually those that make sense.

So once I saw the AFC opponents that the Dallas Cowboys will be hosting next year, and realizing that the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Classic will air on CBS (the AFC network) next year, I have but one thing to say: No way in Alameda is the NFL going to opt for the Oakland Raiders to visit the Cowboys next Turkey Day, when given the choice between the Raiders and the Denver Broncos.

When you have a choice between scheduling either the Denver Broncos, who ended the 2012 regular season – first one with Peyton Manning under center – with an unprecedented eleven-game winning streak, which not only granted them their current first-round bye in the 2012-13 playoffs which get underway on Saturday, but clinched homefield advantage for the team throughout said playoffs, and the Oakland Raiders, who just fired a quartet of coaches, including their offensive coordinator, and have not won a game on Thanksgiving since they hosted one 45 years ago in the old AFL era, the decision is so easy, even Leon Lett could make it.

The last (and only) time Manning was on the Turkey Day stage, he picked apart the Lions, throwing a half-dozen touchdowns, part of a 2004 season which saw him set a new record for most touchdowns thrown in a season (eclipsed by Tom Brady during the Patriots’ near-perfect season three years later). Manning came one touchdown shy of tying (and possibly breaking) a record seven touchdown tosses in a game, shared by five other quarterbacks, most recently Joe Kapp in 1969.

The Raiders – do we even know who their starting quarterback is going to be in November, let alone in April when the 2013 NFL schedule is released?

It’s a no-brainer: the Denver Broncos will be playing the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day 2013.

And can you imagine if the Cowboys really came out on the short end of the stick (as if losing six of their last seven elimination games at the delinquent hands of Tony Romo wasn’t enough) and drew the other two teams from the AFC West division, the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, both of whom bid adieu to their own head coaches, and then some, back on Black Monday? CBS would be better off reverting back to the 70’s and airing a Cardinals game (and Arizona has axed a bunch of people this week, as well).

While I’m at it, I’ll also provide some mild speculation on which NFC opponent will face the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day 2013 on Fox. Any one of the Lions’ division rivals (Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings) could easily be penciled in for a showdown at Ford Field on November 28. Then again, the Lions will also be playing the teams in the NFC East in 2013 – and one of the two teams in that division that will be traveling to Detroit is the New York Giants, who despite their inability to defend their recent Super Bowl title after sliding out of playoff contention, will still draw marquee games. As we know, Fox’s marquee NFL games are called by Joe Buck. As we also know, Buck has worked more than his share of Giants games. So with all that said, the Lions hosting their (turkey) leg of the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Classic with the New York Giants, who had not won on Thanksgiving since beating the Lions back in 1982 – when Eli Manning was 22 months old – is my early projection.

The other NFC East team scheduled to play the Lions in Ford Field: the Dallas Cowboys. The only way a date between these two teams on Turkey Day would happen is if the Cowboys did indeed end up getting the Chargers and Chiefs at home this season.

For the record, the sixth NFC team slated to visit Detroit is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but based on their 28-point drubbing by the Cowboys on Turkey Day 2006, I doubt they’ll be considered for Thanksgiving plans for the next 28 years.

As for which teams will be playing Thanksgiving night on NBC next year, the jury is truly out. We’re going from a probability factor of two to six to about 220 here. But believe it or not, one team that could be featured here is – call me crazy – the Denver Broncos.

If you’ve been paying attention, I have written about the possibility of both Peyton Manning and Eli Manning both playing on Thanksgiving Day in 2013. But guess what: the Broncos’ opponents for 2013 have been released, and some of the matchups make Peyton Manning vs. Tony Romo look like Mark Sanchez vs. Brandon Moore’s posterior: you have Denver scheduled to face the Indianapolis Colts, the team that drafted Peyton Manning; the New England Patriots, whose quarterback is Manning rival Tom Brady; and the New York Giants – nuff said.

We remember the Harbaugh Brothers Bowl from a couple of Thanksgivings ago (49ers/Ravens, the last Turkey Day game to be broadcast by NFL Network). So it’s only natural to think that a game with similar family ties like the Manning brothers going at it again would get such billing on Thanksgiving night again. But here’s the problem: it would mean the Oakland Raiders playing the Dallas Cowboys earlier that day. It just can’t happen.

Granted, when the Denver Broncos do play the New York Giants in 2013, it’s a virtual lock to be on NBC: both previous Manning Bowls (the Giants vs. Peyton’s former team, the Colts) in 2006 and 2010 were broadcast on NBC. So this Broncos/Giants tilt is more than likely going to air on NBC, as well – just not on Thanksgiving. It’ll probably be played in September, perhaps the opening game of the season on “Sunday Night Football.” And remember, the game is in Jersey, so if the Broncos win Super Bowl XLVII, it can’t be the “kickoff” game, since it would have to be played in Denver.

In the end, I would think that the game that ends up being scheduled in primetime next Thanksgiving would likely involve at least one AFC team. Not just because two NFC teams host games every year, either: since the night game was added in 2006, only one game was an all-NFC affair: the Arizona Cardinals at the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. Incidentally, both of those teams are in the process of cleaning house – and are also scheduled to play each other in 2013. And word on the street is that former Eagles coach Andy Reid could become the new head coach in Arizona. And if former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt ended up in Philadelphia? Could that be the Thanksgiving 2013 nightcap?

It couldn’t be worse than the “buttfumble” game last Thanksgiving night.

Or Raiders vs. Cowboys.

Yawn.

Tryptophan, please.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 8

 

Brady Quinn will take over as the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, effective this weekend against the Oakland Raiders. It better be an entertaining game for Chiefs fans’ sake, as Kansas City will be “blacked out” of the Giants/Cowboys late game on Fox, which will be available in the rest of the country.

London calling, Jacksonville falling? That’s the theme for this weekend’s NFL games, for which Fox has the doubleheader. (By the way: the Buccaneers played on Thursday night this week – so they won’t be blacked out this Sunday! Although based on their impressive victory over the Minnesota Vikings, there should be no excuses for any further blackouts now…)

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Once again, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be grabbing their passports and heading to London, where the New England Patriots will battle the St. Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium. This will be the third time in five years that CBS’ A-team will be broadcasting from England (the Patriots were involved in their last trip up there, as well), and CBS has shown the London game for four out of the last five years. Next season, there are two games scheduled to be played in Wembley, one on CBS (Steelers at Vikings) in September, and one on Fox (49ers at Jaguars) in October. Perhaps the networks’ airings during these months will alternate in ensuing years, so that Joe Buck can finally broadcast from London (the annual single game is usually scheduled right in the middle of the World Series, which Buck has committed to working on Fox). As for the domestic games on the menu, the aforementioned Jacksonville Jaguars will be playing at a site just as famous as Wembley Stadium – that would be Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers hope to capitalize on an opponent who is scheduled to be without their star running back for awhile – looks like the Jags are “holding out” for a hero! Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf – who called CBS’ last London tilt two seasons ago (Broncos/49ers), will work Jaguars/Packers. There are a couple of divisional matchups on tap: the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins – whose own quarterback once admitted he had no idea how the divisions in the league are organized – and their actions will be interpreted by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts; and the Indianapolis Colts take on the Tennessee Titans, with Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker handling that one. And the Cleveland Browns welcome the San Diego Chargers, who I bet are very happy to return to action following a bye week that I’m sure didn’t have any distractions whatsoever. So long as the Chargers players don’t roll out of stick’em-laden beds, they’ll go toe to toe with the “Dawg Pound,” and Spero Dedes and Rich Gannon will call all the action. The fact that Gannon is paired up with Dedes means that the great Marv Albert won’t be working any games this weekend, but I’m sure he’s fine – he’s probably resting his vocal chords for some NBA games on TNT, as that league’s regular season tips off very soon.

FOX: … but Kenny Albert will be on duty. This week, he, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa soldier on to Soldier Field, for a showdown between the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears. It looks like only about a third of the country will see this game, even St. Louis – despite the London contest counting as a Rams “home game,” the normal local blackout rules don’t apply. (By the way, absolutely no games blacked out this weekend, I’m happy to report.) About half of the country will be seeing the Washington Redskins visit the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will be called by Sam Rosen and Brian Billick. This is major exposure for what may be considered Fox’s third tier of announcers. Maybe they’re throwing Rosen a bone after he got “hi-Bucked” out of calling the Giants/49ers game a couple of weeks ago? Meanwhile, it’ll be a bird bash at Lincoln Financial Field, as the Atlanta Falcons face off against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams are coming off of bye weeks – but Eagles head coach Andy Reid has an impressive win record for games following bye weeks. (And if he doesn’t lead his team to the playoffs, that and four dollars will get him a copy of “Newsweek” – for now, anyway.) Dick Stockton and John Lynch will call all the, er, bird droppings. And Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will witness an even deadlier form of animal warfare, as the Seattle Seahawks get fed to the Detroit Lions.

LATE GAMES

CBS: Last week, there were but just two contests in the late game window – both of them were on CBS as Fox had an NLCS broadcast later that Sunday. Once again, there are only two games that will be played after 4 PM ET, and this time, they’re evenly distributed across both networks. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will work the Oakland Raiders/Kansas City Chiefs game from Kansas City…

FOX: … while everybody but Kansas City will be able to watch the New York Giants play the Dallas Cowboys. (I wonder if KC will be able to watch the end of the game starting at 6 PM CT.) Once again, Thom Brennaman will be working alongside Troy Aikman, as Joe Buck will be in Detroit for Game 4 of the World Series. (And yes, I checked the weather for the Detroit area: not a single drop of precipitation all day Sunday. Not even anything from Hurricane Sandy. So don’t count on Brennaman being “hi-Bucked” in Dallas.)

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 7

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes makes an acrobatic touchdown catch as the Falcons beat the Buccaneers on January 3, 2010. This weekend will be the first time since then that a daytime Buccaneers game is sold out at Raymond James Stadium, and thus, airing on television in the Tampa Bay area.

Something that has not happened since the first week of 2010 will take place this weekend. What is it? Keep reading and you’ll know. CBS has the doubleheader this week.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: The no-longer-undefeated Houston Texans are hosting the Baltimore Ravens in what many are already calling a possible “AFC championship game preview”. Of course, injuries to notable defensive players during last week’s games seemed to have thrown a monkey wrench in the reality of that kind of talk. But for what it’s worth, the two teams met in the divisional playoff round last season, so it should still be exciting. The game, which will be called by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, will be seen in roughly 90% of the country. Five percent (the entire state of Tennessee and most of the state of New York) will watch the great Marv Albert and Rich Gannon work the Titans/Bills tilt; the other five percent (Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and for some reason, San Francisco) will get the Cleveland Browns at the Indianapolis Colts, and Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots guiding viewers.

FOX: Each and every one of Fox’s NFL games this week are being crammed into the early game window, as Game 6 of the NLCS is scheduled for Sunday night. However, the St. Louis Cardinals can easily wrap things up on Friday night and then wait it out with the Detroit Tigers for the World Series, which starts Wednesday, October 24. You know Joe Buck is rooting hard for his hometown Cardinals to take the series in five games against the San Francisco Giants. Then, for the second week in a row, he can snatch an assignment away from Thom Brenneman. Last week, he worked both Game 2 of the NLCS in San Francisco, and the NFL game before it that also just happened to be in San Francisco. Well, what do you know, Fox has tabbed Thom to work alongside Troy Aikman again this week – and once again, it involves Buck’s beloved Giants, who host the Washington Redskins. The other Redskins/Giants game later this year will be a Monday nighter on ESPN, so you know Buck will want in on the Fox game! Anyway, if, to paraphrase Russ Hodges, the Cardinals win the NL pennant, expect Buck to make his usual rounds at MetLife Stadium, and in turn, Brenneman bumping Sam Rosen out of the Green Bay Packers/St. Louis Rams game with Brian Billick. (Update: The Giants force a Game 6, so Brenneman and Rosen will stay put.) The other Fox matchups this week include the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Carolina Panthers, and the trio of Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa handling that game. You also have the Minnesota Vikings, led by their ESPN-personality-dating quarterback, hosting the Arizona Cardinals, which will be worked by Chris Myers and Tim Ryan. And for the first time since the final week of the regular season in 2009 – January 3, 2010, to be exact – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing a Sunday afternoon game that will actually be televised in Tampa! It’s hard to believe that the Bucs went from selling out all of their home games in 2009, a year they finished with a 3-13 overall record, to not selling out any of their eight home games in 2010, a year they went 10-6. The only two games at Raymond James Stadium that were sold out last season were both primetime games (a Monday night game against the Colts and a Saturday night contest against the Cowboys). And just as their last opponent in a sold-out daytime game at Ray Jay, the Atlanta Falcons, is a divisional rival, their next sold-out day game opponent also hails from the NFC South: the New Orleans Saints, who picked up their first win of the season just two weeks ago. And as an added bonus, viewers in Tampa will once again get to hear former Buccaneer John Lynch call this week’s Bucs game with Dick Stockton.

LATE GAMES

CBS: It’s not often the Eyeball network has the football field to itself. Usually, it’s the other way around, like in Week 1, when CBS presents U.S. Open Tennis in the late afternoon. But they’ve got the perfect game lined up for this situation: the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Oakland Raiders – oh, I’m sorry, that’s only for viewers in Northern California and Florida and South Georgia. The rest (the most) of the country will see the New England Patriots and the New York Jets do battle in the first of two exclusive NFL stages – these two AFC East rivals will meet again Thanksgiving night on NBC. This weekend’s game marks Tim Tebow’s return to Foxboro Stadium since he and his old team, the Denver Broncos, were eliminated from the playoffs last season. But I hear the Jets are going to use him as a running back! We’ll see how that works out. And of course, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are handling the Jets/Patriots game; Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts are calling the Jaguars/Raiders contest from Oakland, which, by the way, avoided a blackout themselves.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 6

Jeff Fisher was literally a mustache hair away from being named the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He’s since agreed to work for the St. Louis Rams in that capacity, which makes this week’s Rams/Dolphins game in South Florida a bit awkward.

It’ll be a week with no Bucs – and for that matter, no Buck – or so we think. It’s a Fox doubleheader weekend.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have spent so much time the past few weeks working games with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, they’ve decided to see what’s cooking with his old team, the Indianapolis Colts. That as they travel to New Jersey to face the New York Jets, on the final game of a three-game homestand – and what may also be the final game that Mark Sanchez starts this season, should Gang Green lose to Andrew Luck and the Lucky Bunch. There are only two undefeated teams left, and as you wait for the Houston Texans to play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, you can watch the Atlanta Falcons, as they host the Oakland Raiders, and hear Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf call the action as it unfolds – and you would think that the Falcons would be responsible for most of the action, as the Raiders are your typical West coast team playing an early game, plus they haven’t won a road game going back to all of last season. But, they are coming off their bye week, so anything is possible. And it appears that there will be a monthlong bye week for the Buccaneers as far as local television is concerned. The Bucs have once again failed to sell out Raymond James Stadium for the third time in a row: the opener vs. the Panthers (which is their only win thus far) and the game vs. the Redskins before the team’s actual bye next week. It’s probably a no-brainer that when an offensively struggling outfit in the Kansas City Chiefs visits a team that couldn’t sell out a home game if they were faced with a walk on the plank, a television blackout is inevitable. So for the benefit of the six states in the Midwest that will be able to watch this game, as well as the lone city in Florida cleared to carry the game, Fort Myers (WINK-TV), your announcers will be the great Marv Albert, along with Rich Gannon. (Marv should have a clause in his contract that he shouldn’t call games that are blacked out locally, he is that good.) How sad is the situation in Tampa Bay? The Cleveland Browns, at 0-5, the last winless team left in the league this season, is still selling out its home games. This week, it’ll be the second battle of Ohio, as the Browns once again square off against the Cincinnati Bengals, who upended the Browns by a touchdown four weeks ago. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be your play-by-play people for this game.

FOX: The Detroit Lions are ready to roar after their bye week, but the Philadelphia Eagles will hear none of it. Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa report from Lincoln Financial Field. Personally, I think the Dallas Cowboys/Baltimore Ravens tilt has a bit more luster (i.e. the appropriate assignment for Kenny, Moose and Goose this week), but I digress. Though it brings Brian Billick back to the city where he coached the Ravens for nine years, and led them to an improbable Super Bowl victory. Billick, who moonlights as an NFL Network analyst, will be providing the color commentary to Sam Rosen’s play-by-play for this game. And Chris Myers and Tim Ryan are taking their talents to South Beach – and so are Jeff Fisher, his mustache and his St. Louis Rams, as they try to build off energy from a win that knocked the Arizona Cardinals from the ranks of the undefeated (a victory that seems like two Thursday nights ago) by facing the Miami Dolphins, which Fisher was reportedly close to signing to be their head coach, only to end up coaching the Rams instead. The Fins fans will likely let him hear it throughout the game.

LATE GAMES

CBS: So who have you got for the big Tom Brady/Russell Wilson showdown? Granted, it’s no Brady vs. Manning, but the New England Patriots will find ways to put some points on the board (fourteen players listed questionable and all) as they play the Seattle Seahawks, in a game that will be called by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts. And the aforementioned no-longer-undefeated Arizona Cardinals are hosting the Buffalo Bills, who were on the losing end of a 42-point deficit at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers last week. Could this week be even worse? Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker will let you know if it is.

FOX: Speaking of the San Francisco 49ers, it’s a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game with the New York Giants. As of Friday, Joe Buck was originally scheduled not to be working this game (with Thom Brenneman getting the assignment), as Buck was preserving his voice for National League baseball playoff games with his old buddy Tim McCarver. But since the Giants will be hosting Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday night, Buck – never one to miss calling a game in which the Giants are involved – will call both the late NFL game and the opening game of the NLCS. So Buck will once again be working with Troy Aikman, and moments later, with McCarver. The question is, can the 49ers pull the rare task of winning three straight games against three opponents from the state of New York in back-to-back-to-back weeks? If they outscored their previous two opponents 79-3 (including a shutout of the New York Jets), I wonder if the Giants’ punter is going to be put to work early and often. And finally in the nation’s capital, Dick Stockton and John Lynch bring you a matchup between Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings, and Robert Griffin III, who despite suffering an injury last week, is pondering starting for the Washington Redskins.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 5

For the first time since Super Bowl XLV, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling a game involving the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s their first trip to Heinz Field in three years. And the Green Bay Packers were their opponents in both of those games.

This could be the most vanilla Sunday of the 2012 NFL season, what with the Cowboys on their bye, not a single divisional matchup on the docket, and both the undefeated Houston Texans and the defeated-in-more-ways-than-one New York Jets playing on Monday night. But there is always that Brady vs. Manning rivalry to look forward to… CBS has the doubleheader this week.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Yes, the New York Giants are on CBS, by way of the Cleveland Browns visiting MetLife Stadium. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will call this one. And don’t be surprised if the Browns, perhaps buoyed by an inspiring performance from rookie running back Trent Richardson after the recent birth of his child, prevail over Big Blue. Super Bowl aside, the Giants have a history of flunking “gimme” games. Remember when they lost at home last season to the Seattle Seahawks, with players I can’t even remember scoring touchdowns? Meanwhile, others will be watching the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs game, which will be handled by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts. And after needing a 24-hour extension of a ticket sellout deadline, the Cincinnati Bengals, with an assist from the local CBS affiliate, has sold out their game this weekend against the Miami Dolphins, which means viewers in Ohio, Kentucky, and all of Florida will be able to enjoy the great Marv Albert’s calling the game, along with Rich Gannon. Not bad for a team that opted not to have the sellout threshold lowered to 85%. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to it, and have sold out neither of their last two home games.

FOX: Because the Giants are playing on CBS, that means Joe Buck has to be handed another assignment, and it’s the Keystone Bowl, i.e. both Pennsylvania NFL teams – the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers – squaring off at Heinz Field. It’ll be the first time Buck and Troy Aikman called a game in Pittsburgh since Week 15 in 2009, when the Steelers hosted the Green Bay Packers (both teams would later meet in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas some thirteen months later – and of course, since it was on FOX that year, Buck and Aikman called it). As for those aforementioned Packers, they’ll be at Lucas Oil Field to take on the Indianapolis Colts, in a game that will be handled by Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick. And as Andrew Luck is playing for the Colts, another rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III, will be under center for the Washington Redskins, as they play the undefeated Atlanta Falcons; Sam Rosen and John Lynch will work that game.

LATE GAMES

CBS: For the third week in a row, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be calling a game with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but this one has some extra luster, as these Broncos will square off against Manning’s arch-nemesis Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro. And speaking of notable quarterbacks, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be calling a contest between two of O.J. Simpson’s former football teams, the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. And Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker are in the booth in Minneapolis, as the Tennessee Titans take on the Minnesota Vikings.

FOX: You know it’s going to be a bad week (on paper) for football when the trio of Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa travel to… Jacksonville, of all places, as the Jaguars host the Chicago Bears. I don’t think even Joe Buck has ever called a Jaguars game – well, maybe if there was an NFC East team involved… but when the Eagles and Redskins traveled to EverBank Field in 2010, Ron Pitts and Sam Rosen, respectively, worked those contests. Finally, the Carolina Panthers host the Seattle Seahawks, and Chris Myers and Tim Ryan will handle that one. I’m still trying to wrap my head around a Bears/Jaguars game being shown in the New York market! On broadcast television!

Information from the506.com was used in this post.