Chicago Bears & Baltimore Ravens Kick Off NFL Preseason In Annual Hall of Fame Game Thus Thursday
NBC Sports' 2018 NFL preseason coverage kicks off this Thursday, Aug. 2, when the Baltimore Ravens face the Chicago Bears in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Ravens rookie QB Lamar Jackson, a first-round draft pick and the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, is expected to make his NFL preseason debut.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), in his record 33rd season as THE VOICE of the NFL's premier primetime package; 16-time Emmy Award-winner Cris Collinsworth; and two-time Emmy Award-winning sideline reporter Michele Tafoya call Bears-Ravens from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Three-time SUPER BOWL referee Terry McAulay, who joined NBC Sports following 20 years as an on-field NFL game official, is Sunday Night Football's new rules analyst and will join Michaels and Collinsworth in the booth.
In addition, Hall of Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy will join Michaels and Collinsworth during the second half.
Thursday night's telecast will feature live interviews with select members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018, which includes former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Robert Brazile and contributor Bobby Beathard.
NBC's second preseason game will air on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. ET, and features the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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Highlights of the 2018 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL schedule:
- Every 2017 division winner makes an appearance on Sunday Night Football; 14 of NBC's 18 scheduled games (Week 17 game TBD) involve at least one playoff team from last season, highlighted by rematches of three Divisional Playoff games (Falcons-Eagles on Sept. 6; Saints-Vikings on Oct. 28; and Steelers-Jaguars on Nov. 18). Last year's New Orleans-Minnesota NFC Divisional Playoff became known as the "Minnesota Miracle" after VIKINGS WR Stefon Diggs' 61-yard catch-and-run as time expired marked the first postseason game in NFL history to end with a winning touchdown on the final play of the fourth quarter.
- Three games each for the Eagles, Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, and Packers;
- Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, winners of a combined five NFL MVP awards, meet for only the second time on Nov. 4 when the Patriots host the Packers. In the first matchup on Nov. 30, 2014, the quarterbacks combined for 613 passing yards and four touchdowns in a five-point Green Bay victory;
- Other notable matchups: Dak Prescott and the Cowboys visit Deshaun Watson and the Texans in a faceoff of dynamic quarterbacks on Oct. 7; Jimmy Garoppolo (7-0 as a starter in his NFL career) and the 49ers host Jared Goff and the division champion Los Angeles Rams in an NFC West clash on Oct. 21; 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman returns to Seattle to face his former Seahawks teammates on Dec. 2; and on Dec. 16, Goff and Eagles QB Carson Wentz meet in a rematch of 2017's regular-season "game of the year" (Philadelphia came back to win 43-35 in the fourth quarter) as the Rams host the Eagles;
- On the coaching front, new Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant coach with New England, plays host to Bill Belichick and the Patriots on Sept. 23; and new/old Raiders head coach Jon Gruden faces Mike Tomlin for the first time as Pittsburgh visits Oakland on Dec. 9;
- Two big NFC games Thanksgiving weekend - a pair of 2017 NFC South playoff teams meet as the Saints host the Falcons in the first-ever NFL Thanksgiving game in New Orleans; and on Sun., Nov. 25 new VIKINGS QB Kirk Cousins hosts Aaron Rodgers and the Packers for the first time in a Minnesota uniform;
- Matchup milestones: Cowboys-Eagles on Nov. 11 marks the 10th consecutive season for the matchup on SNF - the longest streak for any matchup on the broadcast primetime package in NFL history (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present). Ravens-Steelers on Sept. 30 ranks as the most-played AFC matchup on NBC SNF (8th meeting).
NBC TO BROADCAST 23 NFL GAMES IN 2018: As part of the agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December 2011, NBC, will broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular-season SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL games, NFL Kickoff 2018, and the annual Thanksgiving night game. NBC's original SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010.
NBCSPORTS.COM & NBC SPORTS APP TO LIVE STREAM ALL NBC NFL GAMES: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream all NBC games to desktops, mobile, tablets, and connected TVs via "TV Everywhere," giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC's broadcasts. Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox.
NBC'S "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" IS PRIMETIME TELEVISION'S NO. 1 SHOW FOR UNPRECEDENTED SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR: NBC's SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL finished the 2017-18 TV season as primetime's #1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year - breaking a tie with AMERICAN IDOL for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by Nielsen. SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL also ranked as the No. 1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic for the eighth consecutive TV season.
|2018 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE|
|Thurs. Sept. 6||NFL Kickoff||Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles|
|Sun. Sept. 9||Week 1||Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers|
|Sun. Sept. 16||Week 2||New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys|
|Sun. Sept. 23||Week 3||New England Patriots at Detroit Lions|
|Sun. Sept. 30||Week 4||Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|*Sun. Oct. 7||Week 5||Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans|
|*Sun. Oct. 14||Week 6||Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots|
|*Sun. Oct. 21||Week 7||Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers|
|*Sun. Oct. 28||Week 8||New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings|
|*Sun. Nov. 4||Week 9||Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots|
|*Sun. Nov. 11||Week 10||Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles|
|*Sun. Nov. 18||Week 11||Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|**Thurs. Nov. 22||Week 12||Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints|
|*Sun. Nov. 25||Week 12||Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings|
|*Sun. Dec. 2||Week 13||San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks|
|*Sun. Dec. 9||Week 14||Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders|
|*Sun. Dec. 16||Week 15||Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams|
|*Sun. Dec. 23||Week 16||Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks|
|*Sun. Dec. 30||Week 17||TBD|
** Thanksgiving Night Game
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.
A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 30. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives "surprise" teams a chance to play their way into prime time.