Early games don’t usually receive a wide amount of coverage, but this week there is an exception. The Pats-Jets game kicks off at 1:00 pm ET and will be broadcast in about 35 states, which is a testament to their drawing power. Not surprisingly CBS is assigning their number two broadcast team of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf to announce the game.

It is a CBS doubleheader, and their primary late game is actually getting less nationwide coverage. The western United States will see Houston at Kansas City, the eastern US gets the Ravens at Steelers, and the Great Lakes area gets Cleveland at Green Bay. When the schedule was originally worked out last spring CBS surely envisioned Pittsburgh-Baltimore as a major draw, a battle between two perennial contenders. With both teams stumbling out of the gate – neither club has a winning record, and it took Pittsburgh until week six to get their first victory – that matchup became a bit tougher to market to casual fans. Even though CBS has the doubleheader this week, FOX arguably has the better games: San Francisco at Tennessee, Chicago at Washington, Dallas at Philadelphia.

And in what has become a monotonous broken record, a network gets to pimp Peyton Manning. For the seventh consecutive week the Denver Broncos will either be playing a night game, or be the primary late afternoon game on either CBS or FOX. For the 2013 season the Broncos will play in just two early afternoon games, plus two late afternoon games that will not get nationwide coverage.

Program Alert: the NFL Network will be replaying the Patriots – Saints game on Wednesday at 9:00 pm ET and repeating it at midnight. Considering how the game unfolded and the final result, this is must-see TV.

One last note: can we put to rest once and for all the claims that Boston is a “baseball” town? Nothing against the Red Sox, but the Patriots are clearly the area’s favorite sports team. Sunday’s game against the Saints drew a 35.1 household rating and a whopping 62 share in the Boston area, which translates to about 1.3 million total viewers watching the game in the Boston area. That was the highest rated show of the week in Boston, even though it was not on during primetime, and the second highest rated show was the post-game show. By comparison baseball’s ALCS games one and two between the Sox and Tigers had 21.8 and 20.6 ratings respectively; good enough to be the third and fourth highest rated shows, but both were significantly less than the Pats game.


Thursday Night on NFLN
Seattle Seahawks (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock

Early Games on CBS

New England Patriots (5-1) at New Jersey Jets (3-3)
Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Available everywhere except as noted in the three games below

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Detroit Lions (4-2)
Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
Delaware, Maryland, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota

Buffalo Bills (2-4) at Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
Florida (except Jacksonville), western New York

San Diego Chargers (2-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6)
Spero Dedes, Steve Beuerlein
California, Jacksonville

Early Games on FOX

Dallas Cowboys (3-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman
Available everywhere except as noted in the other games on FOX

Chicago Bears (4-2) at Washington Redskins (1-4)
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
DC, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Dakotas, Toledo

Tampa Bay Bucs (0-5) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4)
Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch
Florida (except Miami and Jacksonville), Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

St. Louis Rams (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (2-3)
Dick Stockton, Brian Billick
North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, southern Illinois

Late Game on FOX

San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-3)
Chris Myers, Tim Ryan
Northern California, Oregon, Tennessee, Reno, Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, Jacksonville, New York City

Late Games on CBS

Houston Texans (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-0)
Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Available everywhere except as noted in the two games below

Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)
Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana

Cleveland Browns (3-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, eastern Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota

Nashville gets no late CBS game due to NFL blackout rules

Sunday Night on NBC
Denver Broncos (6-0) at Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

Monday Night on ESPN
Minnesota Vikings (1-4) at New York Giants (0-6)
Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden



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