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Sunday Night Football is loaded with great games

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Sure, you wouldn’t expect us to say anything other than good things about the NBC Sunday Night Football schedule.  That said, the NBC Sunday Night Football schedule for 2011 is a very good thing.

Even without the possibility of late-season flexing, the 17 selected games solid ones, beginning with the Thursday night opener between the last two Super Bowl champs, the Saints and the Packers.  Cowboys-Jets caps the first Sunday of the season, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

In Week Two, Mike Vick and the Eagles return to Atlanta, to face the Falcons.  Last year, Vick was injured when the Falcons came to Philly, and a much-anticipated playoff showdown was disrupted by the Packers.

The next week, the Steelers visit the Colts.

In Week Four, the Jets and the Ravens renew a budding rivalry that featured a hard-hitting Week One contest in 2010.

In Week Five, the Packers return to the scene of an NFC division-round beatdown over the Falcons.

The lone possible dead spot comes in Week Six, when the Vikings visit the Bears.  Minnesota has low expectations for 2011, and the Bears could be due for a correction.  Still, whenever the Vikings and Bears get together, it will be a hard-hitting 180 minutes.

In Week Seven, the Saints host the Colts, with Peyton Manning returning to his hometown of New Orleans to face his father’s team.

On October 30, the World Series counterprogramming this year has the Cowboys visiting the Eagles, a possibly risky move if the Phillies are in baseball’s championship round.

In Week Nine, the Ravens — who previously have asked not to be asked to play in Pittsburgh during prime time — face the Steelers at Heinz Field.

In Week 10, the Patriots come to New Jersey for a showdown with the Jets.  Fred Gaudelli and company can leave their stuff at the New Meadowlands Stadium, with the Giants hosting the Eagles in Week 11.

The following week, it’s off to Kansas City for Steelers-Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the best venues in the country for pro football.

Week 13 is a very lucky one for NBC, with Colts-Patriots migrating from the usual CBS November 4:15 p.m. ET sweeps-week spot to prime time.

In Week 14, the Cowboys host the Giants.  Then, the Ravens visit the Chargers one week before a Christmas night contest between the Bears and the Packers.

The finale will be determined after Week 16, in the hopes of locking down a game with clear playoff implications.

“We are pleased to have another terrific schedule for Sunday Night Football,” NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol said in a release.  “The incredible success the league has enjoyed with every television partner (ESPN, CBS, Fox, NFL Network) experiencing increases each of the last three seasons is a testament to the league focusing its entire scheduling process to maximize viewership.  The NFL remains the most powerful content in the entire sports and entertainment universe.”

He’s right.  And it’ll be a very good season.  If there is a season.

Please, NFL and players.  Give us a season.

UPDATE:  A reader has pointed out and our cursory research has confirmed that the World Series conflict would come on October 23 this year, putting Colts-Saints against baseball’s title round.  With no MLB teams in Indy or New Orleans, the selection makes a lot more sense.

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44 Responses to “Sunday Night Football is loaded with great games”
  1. gargoyle10 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:31 PM

    “Minnesota has low expectations for 2011″

    Went from the NFC championship to this…

    Thanks a lot Brad “plum job” Childress. Thank goodness he is gone.

  2. jaggedmark says: Apr 19, 2011 7:32 PM

    You don’t know if it’s a good schedule or not, until the games come up. There are always numerous teams (expected to be good) that suck.

    So we’ll let you know later if it’s a good schedule or not.

  3. kingjoe1 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:35 PM

    Eagles dont have a single monday night game. That shows you what the league thinks of the Eagles chances this year.

  4. webehighrollin says: Apr 19, 2011 7:37 PM

    Is it just me or does anyone think the Steelers are the all time most boring team in the history of history.. and need to stop getting put on primetime? C’mon mannnn

  5. nfl25 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:38 PM

    now all we need are some slaves who will play for a measly 2mill-10mill per year, and have people treat them like they are kings. but that is harder than it sounds

  6. nfl25 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:40 PM

    that average game has like 15 minutes of actual play. sounds crazy, but its true. a play lasts like 6 seconds. how many plays are run in one game? and the players want more $$.

  7. reents says: Apr 19, 2011 7:41 PM

    I will agree this is a great schedule and about 100x’s better than Monday Night.

  8. nflsucker says: Apr 19, 2011 7:45 PM

    Might be more like:

    In Week One, it’s the Lawyers vs. the Other Lawyers.

    In Week Two, it’s the Stubborns vs. the Greedies.

    In Week Three, it’s the Negotiators vs. the Intractables.

    Week Four brings us a hotly anticipated match-up of the Fans vs. the Idiots.

    By Week Five, no one will care.

  9. geeeeemen says: Apr 19, 2011 7:46 PM

    “Still, whenever the Vikings and Bears get together, it will be a hard-hitting 180 minutes.”

    Wait, what??

  10. zoxitic says: Apr 19, 2011 7:48 PM

    It’s a pretty good schedule. It would be better if the Jaguars were scheduled for 1 or 2 games though.

  11. 706vet says: Apr 19, 2011 7:51 PM

    @kingjoe1 Eagles dont have a single monday night game. That shows you what the league thinks of the Eagles chances this year.

    Hey genius. The Eagles have EIGHT nationally televised games this season. This includes 1 Monday night, 1 Thursday night, and 3 Sunday night games.

    Thanks King Idiot.

  12. norcalraider510 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:53 PM

    W.T.F how do the cowboys get 3 SNF games

  13. holydarknessva says: Apr 19, 2011 8:00 PM

    In some Dorm room in Stanford U Mr. Luck is crying after seeing the panthers schedule for this year.

  14. Bob says: Apr 19, 2011 8:01 PM

    “kingjoe1 says:
    Apr 19, 2011 7:35 PM
    Eagles dont have a single monday night game. That shows you what the league thinks of the Eagles chances this year.”

    The Sunday Night Football schedule is meant to be what Monday Night Football used to be. That’s a change that was made when NBC came back to the NFL in ’06. I’d rather be on SNF, especially because you don’t have the short week after the MNF game.

  15. kingjoe1 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:02 PM

    yep 706vet, overlooked the bears/eagles. Thanks for pointing this out. I appreciate the capitalization of 8; I bet I would not have understood, if you didn’t show true concern for my wellbeing and used all caps and spelling out 8.

  16. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 19, 2011 8:15 PM

    The Week 13 “Sunday Night Football” game, Colts at Patriots, is a flex game? I’d sure like to see the matchup that would bump that game.

  17. phillyforlife says: Apr 19, 2011 8:30 PM

    kingjoe1 says:

    Eagles dont have a single monday night game. That shows you what the league thinks of the Eagles chances this year.
    ——————————————————
    So you think mnf is the prime time game still where have you been living NBC Sundaynight football is the event now ever since ESPN took over MNF sucks and is second fiddle. And the Birds have 6 prime time games 1Nfn 1 MNF 3 football night in america so bite me

  18. thefiesty1 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:33 PM

    First few weeks looks good, but, later in the season, just so-so. Won’t mean much for the playoff race.

  19. dstaples89 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:38 PM

    In Week Nine, the Ravens — who previously have asked not to be asked to play in Pittsburgh during prime time — face the Steelers at Heinz Field.

    LOL! Chalk up the W for the black and gold!

  20. JimmySmith says: Apr 19, 2011 8:41 PM

    “The lone possible dead spot comes in Week Six, when the Vikings….”

    Unless NBC has some inside information that BrINT Favre will return, the Vikings have no business being on Primetime. Last place teams typically don’t get that exposure as evidenced by the Lions not being on Monday Night football for years.

    Well Viking fans, enjoy it, it’s not likely to happen again anytime soon.

  21. bfridley says: Apr 19, 2011 8:50 PM

    The Ravens asked to get the annual primetime game at home for a change after Pittsburgh had the big game at home quite a few times in a row… spare me – the Ravens had their turn now, and so its the Steelers’ …what’s so hard to understand about that?

  22. carlgerbschmidt says: Apr 19, 2011 8:56 PM

    The lone possible dead spot comes in Week Six, when the Vikings visit the Bears.

    Possible? Try guaranteed dead spot. Kind of ironic though, that a national game will probably be blacked out in Minny. That’s okay, you vikes fans can come to our bars in WI to watch. Bring cash though.

  23. buhbay1c says: Apr 19, 2011 9:05 PM

    JimmySmith says
    “Unless NBC has some inside information that BrINT Favre will return, the Vikings have no business being on Primetime. Last place teams typically don’t get that exposure as evidenced by the Lions not being on Monday Night football for years.”

    That’s because Minnesota ranks 4th in Forbes’ national TV rankings. Just ahead of the Packers, who are fifth. Last place and zero Super Bowl wins, yet still more watchable than the Packers.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/30/football-valuations-10_Minnesota-Vikings_309201.html

  24. dcowboy77 says: Apr 19, 2011 9:09 PM

    The world series is earlier this year….game 7 would be thursday oct 27 so oct 30 snf is clear.

  25. ezwriter69 says: Apr 19, 2011 9:10 PM

    And no matter how bad they are, how uncompetitive they’ve been, the bleeping Boys are in the prime game of the week… only positive is we get to see them humiliated to start the season, that’s always fun. I presume every expert in the game will pick them for the Bowl again this year, always fun to see those picks come crashing back to reality in week one.

  26. buhbay1c says: Apr 19, 2011 9:15 PM

    carlgerbschmidt says:
    The lone possible dead spot comes in Week Six, when the Vikings visit the Bears.

    “Possible? Try guaranteed dead spot. Kind of ironic though, that a national game will probably be blacked out in Minny. That’s okay, you vikes fans can come to our bars in WI to watch. Bring cash though.”

    I didn’t know road games got blacked out, but you seem really smart so i’ll take your word for it. PS Minnesotans don’t go to Wisconsin, you guys move here, which is probably why your screen name is a fictitious Packer fan concocted on a Minneapolis sports radio station.

  27. ezwriter69 says: Apr 19, 2011 9:18 PM

    I’m guessing that KingJoe is the ONLY one on earth who calls him that… embarrassingly uninformed, hostile without focus and endlessly self-aggrandizing, you sure you aren’t Joe the Plumber?

  28. smith62477 says: Apr 19, 2011 9:52 PM

    Just to clarify something the Pats/Colts are not usually on CBS @415. Only 3 times in the last 8 yrs have been on CBS and only 2 were at 415.

    2003 CBS(1pm)
    2004 ABC
    2005 ABC
    2006 NBC
    2007 CBS
    2008 NBC
    2009 NBC
    2010 CBS

  29. garrisjs says: Apr 19, 2011 10:01 PM

    Seriously, how many teams picking in the top 10 of the draft this year get 5 Prime Time games, 6 if you count Thanksgiving?

    Oh, just one, the Media’s Team (aka the Cowboys).

    One of the ten worst teams in the league gets plenty of undeserved glamour games, as usual.

    Ugh, THIS is what’s wrong with the NFL!
    Forget the greed and the lockout nonsense, it’s the endless marketing and preferential treatment towards an underachieving team of clowns. The NFL continues to force Dallas down our throats (insert Debbie Does Dallas joke here).

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the lockout last past week 3 of the regular season just so I can avoid having to watch Dallas a few times!

  30. patriotinvasion says: Apr 19, 2011 11:02 PM

    I love how the media always assumes that good teams from last year will be good this year…lol. They never learn and this article is stupid because half the games that look “great” will be awful by midseason once injuries and up and coming teams settle in…

  31. metalhead65 says: Apr 20, 2011 12:57 AM

    the bears are due for a correction? I hope the season goes the same way of your “expert” prediction for them last season. I believe you had them at what 6-10?so how did that work out for you?oh wait it was because of thier weak schedule right? the same one you said was one of the toughest before last season right? if the bears find a way to fix the line and give cutler any time at all then look for them to once again prove you wrong.

  32. chuckyd317 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:28 AM

    “Unless NBC has some inside information that BrINT Favre will return, the Vikings have no business being on Primetime. Last place teams typically don’t get that exposure as evidenced by the Lions not being on Monday Night football for years.”

    That’s because Minnesota ranks 4th in Forbes’ national TV rankings. Just ahead of the Packers, who are fifth. Last place and zero Super Bowl wins, yet still more watchable than the Packers.
    _________________________________

    I didn’t know it was possible to watch blacked games on TV..

  33. chuckyd317 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:38 AM

    That’s because Minnesota ranks 4th in Forbes’ national TV rankings. Just ahead of the Packers, who are fifth. Last place and zero Super Bowl wins, yet still more watchable than the Packers
    __________________________________

    Im pretty sure that has something to do with the population of Minneapolis/St Paul Vs. Green Bay and the fact that cheap ass Minnesotans sit their fat asses on the couch with their lutefisk and Grain Belt and dont want to spend the cash to go watch their sh*thole team play in their sh*thole dome.. (if you can even call it a dome anymore)

  34. oxycode30 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:49 AM

    The only correction the Bears will encounter is to win the NFC championship game. Interesting that you take yet another shot at Chicago… the anti-Bears bias is well documented here. We will prevail this year, you’ll see. (Providing there’s football this year.)

  35. jmaren says: Apr 20, 2011 2:37 AM

    Can still people in wisconsin still eating bad cheese.

    Too bad your football team still plays second fiddle to Vikings in ratings.

    Mr. rodgers one concussion away from retirement; then what ?

  36. cobaltdriver says: Apr 20, 2011 5:36 AM

    That’s because Minnesota ranks 4th in Forbes’ national TV rankings. Just ahead of the Packers, who are fifth. Last place and zero Super Bowl wins, yet still more watchable than the Packers.

    That has nothing to do with popularity..its based on LOCAL tv ratings…it only makes sense when your metro area is 3 times the size of Green Bay. I see that rank falling this year without the Favre factor and the fact that the front runner fans will stop watching as soon as the Vikes record goes south. Its all about advertising dollars..and Favre made the Vikings watchable..now they are back to “who cares”?

  37. turbodog1027 says: Apr 20, 2011 7:27 AM

    Worls Series conflict? There is no conflict.Even a NFL preseason game would beat the crap out of a WS game. ESPN did a one hr show on the NFL schedule being announced. The NFL is king

  38. dickroy says: Apr 20, 2011 7:45 AM

    Its not fair for the poor Ravans to have to play in Pittsburgh in prime time. Did they not ask to not have to do this. Give them a break.

  39. starderup says: Apr 20, 2011 9:21 AM

    I only see one other person that already realizes there will be no games this year.
    I wish I had the optimism of the other folks.
    No draft.
    No games.
    No SNF.
    No kidding.

  40. carlgerbschmidt says: Apr 20, 2011 10:14 AM

    buhbay1c says:

    I didn’t know road games got blacked out, but you seem really smart so i’ll take your word for it. PS Minnesotans don’t go to Wisconsin, you guys move here…

    ————

    My bad. In my defense, it’s sometimes hard to tell vikes road games from home games, because they play so many home games on the road since that squashed marshamllow they call a stadium collapsed!

  41. thephantomstranger says: Apr 20, 2011 11:29 AM

    chuckyd317 says:
    Apr 20, 2011 1:38 AM
    That’s because Minnesota ranks 4th in Forbes’ national TV rankings. Just ahead of the Packers, who are fifth. Last place and zero Super Bowl wins, yet still more watchable than the Packers
    __________________________________

    Im pretty sure that has something to do with the population of Minneapolis/St Paul Vs. Green Bay and the fact that cheap ass Minnesotans sit their fat asses on the couch with their lutefisk and Grain Belt and dont want to spend the cash to go watch their sh*thole team play in their sh*thole dome.. (if you can even call it a dome anymore)
    ___________________

    There hasn’t been a blacked out game since 1997 and the stadium is the worst in the NFL. Viking fans go to the games and watch on TV, so the “Viking fans don’t support their team” bit really doesn’t work. And do you think they don’t include Milwaukee when calculating the local TV ratings, chucky?

  42. steelers24019 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:14 PM

    starderup says:
    Apr 20, 2011 9:21 AM
    I only see one other person that already realizes there will be no games this year.
    I wish I had the optimism of the other folks.
    No draft.
    No games.
    No SNF.
    No kidding.
    ___________________________________

    If we were in Vegas, I’d ask how much you’d like to wager on that

  43. steelers24019 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:16 PM

    It doesn’t matter where Steelers play the Ravens on SNF or on any other network. Steelers will win, as usual, if #7 plays

  44. steelers24019 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:44 PM

    webehighrollin says:
    Apr 19, 2011 7:37 PM
    Is it just me or does anyone think the Steelers are the all time most boring team in the history of history.. and need to stop getting put on primetime? C’mon mannnn

    I’m sure you do get bored watching the Steelers beat up on your favorite team.

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