This is up late once again and I’m getting ready for Hurricane Sandy as it speeds up the East Coast into the Northeast.
Well, let’s provide the Week 8 Viewing Guide in The League Where They Play for Pay.
So why is this a Sunday unlike any other?
Well, Hurricane Sandy is going to have an impact on a couple of games, Miami at the New York Jets (CBS, Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts) in northern New Jersey and the Atlanta at Philadelphia (Fox, Dick Stockton/John Lynch/Jennifer Hale) game at the Linc in the Delaware Valley. While it won’t be extremely windy, there will be rain bands in both cities as the storm comes up the coast. Luckily, the Carolina Panthers are on the road in Chicago (Fox, Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa) as Sandy has been hitting the North Carolina coast.
What about non-weather issues?
Let’s see, there are just two late games again, just like in Week 7, one each for CBS (Oakland at Kansas City at 4 p.m ET) and Fox (New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.). And NBC’s Sunday Night Football will have the World Series as competition. However, based on the ratings for the World Series and the rest of the MLB Postseason, the Saints-Broncos game should come out on top when all is said and done.
Byes? Who has the dreaded bye this week?
Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are off this week.
So are there any blackouts anywhere?
No and through Week 8, the NFL is happy to point out that just four games did not make the deadline to sell out 72 hours in advance. So all 14 games scheduled for this week from last Thursday through Monday Night will be seen in the local markets.
Why are there just two late games?
Fox wanted just one game as it airs the NFC East Division blood rivalry game between the Giants and Cowboys (Thom Brennaman/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver) . And with just four games early, CBS will have one late game at 4 p.m., Oakland at Kansas City (Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots) going to a large portion of the country. Blame the byes for this. But also Fox didn’t want the country to miss out on G-men/Cowpokes.
So there’s a game in London?
Yes, the New England Patriots are taking on the St. Louis Rams (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms) at the venerable Wembley Stadium on CBS. Since this is a designated home game for the Rams, the Pats are designated the road team, thus CBS gets the game as the “visiting” network. This will be the last time for just a single game in London. Next year, there will be two.
What are your Games of the Week?
For CBS, I’ll go with Pats-Rams just to see how the players handle being six hours ahead of their normal body clocks. And Miami-Jets because the game always lends for crazy things.
On Fox, I’ll choose Atlanta at Philadelphia to see if the Eagles can play a complete game for once and if they can end the Falcons’ perfect season. And the Giants-Cowboys late will give us something interesting to watch.
What about Sunday Night?
Yes, the interconference matchup between New Orleans and Denver (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya) is quite intriguing. Can’t forget about it.
Any other games to keep our eyes on?
Yes, Washington at Pittsburgh on Fox (Sam Rosen/Brian Billick/Laura Okmin) just to see Robert Griffin III and San Diego at Cleveland on CBS (Spero Dedes/Rich Gannon) as it marks the first game for the Chargers since its massive implosion against the Broncos in Week 7 on Monday Night.
Let’s be careful out there. Be safe if you’re on the East Coast and have fun watching the games.