Sunday Night Football
The 2018 NFL season gets underway once again with Sunday Night Football on Thursday, Sept. 6.What? Yes, as has been tradition since 2006, the NFL’s annual kickoff game, which takes place on the Thursday before Week 1, will pit the Atlanta Falcons against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the type of matchup that is typically shown on Sunday night.
The NFL attempts to put its best game of the week in the Sunday night slot. In 2018, there will be quite a few great games to see.
Sunday Night Football kicks off its Sunday schedule with an NFC North battle as the Chicago Bears travel to rival Green Bay to take on the Packers. The Bears-Packers game is one of four – Giants-Cowboys, Patriots-Lions, and Ravens-Steelers – that the NFL has set as the Sunday game of the week.
Sunday Night Football Schedule
The Thursday Night Football schedule simulcasted on NFL Network as well as NBC:
Sept. 9th: Week 1 - Bears at Packers
Sept. 16th: Week 2 - Giants at Cowboys
Sept. 23rd: Week 3 - Patriots at Lions
Sept. 20th: Week 4 - Ravens at Steelers
Oct. 7th: Week 5 - Cowboys at Texans
Oct. 14th: Week 6 - Chiefs at Patriots
Oct. 21st: Week 7 - Rams at 49ers
Oct. 28th: Week 8 - Saints at Vikings
Nov. 4th: Week 9 - Packers at Patriots
Nov. 11th: Week 10 - Cowboys at Eagles
Nov. 18th: Week 11 - Steelers at Jaguars
Nov. 25th: Week 12 - Packers at Vikings
Dec. 2nd: Week 13 - 49ers at Seahawks
Dec. 9th: Week 14 - Steelers at Raiders
Dec. 16th: Week 15 - Eagles at Rams
Dec. 23rd: Week 16 - Chiefs at Seahawks
One of the great things about Sunday Night Football is its flex scheduling. After Week 4, the NFL and NBC are able to choose among the week’s best games to pick the one they feel is most suited for the Sunday night slot. In Week 5 for example, Dallas is scheduled to play Houston. That could change based upon the first four weeks of the season. If an unbeaten Los Angeles Rams have to travel to an unbeaten Seattle Seahawks in Week 5, the NFL could deem that game worthy of playing in prime time on NBC.
The same holds true for any of the games in Weeks 6 through 16. If there is a better game than the one originally scheduled, the NFL and NBC will work out a change in an effort to get fans across the country the best game on Sunday night. There are plenty of quality games already on the schedule though. After Dallas and Houston in Week 5, Kansas City travels to New England in Week 6. The Vikings beat the Saints on a last-second Case Keenum-to-Stefon Diggs touchdown pass last year in the playoffs. In Week 8, they will face each other again on Sunday night.
The Saints-Vikings game in Week 6 is not the only rematch from last year’s playoffs. The Steelers will face the Jaguars in Week 11 in addition to the NFL’s kickoff game on Sept. 6 featuring Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Packers and Patriots will also meet in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXI in Week 9 on Nov. 4.
NBC will also broadcast a prime time game on Thanksgiving night. The Atlanta Falcons will take on their NFC South Division rivals the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 22 in the third and final NFL game of the day. It will also be NBC’s only other Thursday night broadcast of the season. For the first time in four years, Thursday Night Football will be broadcasted by Fox. The 2018 season’s final Sunday night broadcast will be on Dec. 30.
2019 NFL Football Season