PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS AT STAKE WHEN BEARS HOST EAGLES ON “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” – AMERICA’S NO. 1 SHOW
“Teams know that a game like this could decide a playoff spot.” – Football Night’s Dungy
“This is a must-win game.” – Football Night’s Harrison
NEW YORK – Nov. 18, 2009 – The Chicago Bears (4-5) host the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) on “NBC Sunday Night Football” – the No. 1 show in America – in a game with playoff implications for both teams.
Coverage begins with “Football Night in America,” Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from Soldier Field.
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host “Football Night” from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “Football Night’s” Tiki Barber will report from Invesco Field at Mile High on the Chargers-Broncos game.
DUNGY: “Thanksgiving is when you start looking at playoff implications. It’s always better when both teams are in a similar situation. Head-to-head is the first tie breaker and teams know that a game like this could decide a playoff spot.”
HARRISON: “This is a must-win game for two teams that have been inconsistent and underachieving.”
BEARS VS. EAGLES: The Bears lead the all-time series 27-10-1, including three playoff games (Eagles 2-1). The Bears have won the two most-recent regular-season meetings in 2007 and 2008, but the Eagles won the five preceding games, including a Divisional Playoff game in 2001. The teams’ most famous game was the 1988 Divisional Playoff game, dubbed “The Fog Bowl” because a dense fog permeated the playing field and severely hampered visibility. The contest was won, 20-12, by the Bears.
BEARS-EAGLES IN PRIMETIME: Since NBC acquired the NFL’s premiere primetime package in 2006, the Chicago Bears are 4-5 and the Philadelphia Eagles are 0-7 on “Sunday Night Football.” The Bears defeated the Eagles, 24-20, last year on “Sunday Night Football” by securing a fourth-quarter goal-line stand.
This is the third SNF appearance for the Bears this year. They were defeated, 21-15, by the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 1 and by the Atlanta Falcons, 21-14, in Week 6. The Eagles lost to Dallas, 20-16, at home on SNF in Week 9. They are scheduled to travel to New York to face the Giants in Week 14.
SUNDAY NIGHT IS 300-YARD NIGHT: Seven quarterbacks have passed for 300-or-more yards nine times on “Sunday Night Football” this season. Colts QB Peyton Manning has accomplished the feat three times. Bears QB Jay Cutler passed for 300 yards in a 21-14 loss to the Falcons in Week 6. Earlier this season (Weeks 2-5), winning quarterbacks passed for 300-or-more yards in four consecutive weeks, the first time in Sunday Night history.
Following are the nine 300-yard passing performances this season on SNF:
Week 2 Eli Manning, Giants, 330 yards vs. Cowboys – W 33-31
Week 3 Peyton Manning, Colts, 379 yards vs. Cardinals – W 31-10
Week 3 Kurt Warner, Cardinals, 332 yards vs. Colts – L 31-10
Week 4 Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 333 vs. Chargers – W 38-28
Week 5 Peyton Manning, Colts, 309 yards vs. Titans – W 31-9
Week 6 Jay Cutler, Bears, 300 yards vs. Falcons – L 21-14
Week 9 Tony Romo, Cowboys, 307 yards vs. Eagles – W 20-16
Week 10 Tom Brady, Patriots, 375 yards vs. Colts – L 35-34
Week 10 Peyton Manning, Colts 327 yards vs. Patriots – W 35-34
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” IS NO. 1 SHOW IN AMERICA: NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” through Week 10 of the NFL season, now stands as the most watched primetime program and is No. 1 in household rating and in the coveted Adult 18-49 demo, unprecedented for the NFL in primetime at this point in the football season.
MOST VIEWED NFL PRIMETIME PACKAGE IN 12 YEARS: “Sunday Night Football” is also the most watched NFL primetime package in 12 years. Through 10 weeks (nine SNF games) “Sunday Night Football” is off to the best start for any primetime NFL package since the 1997 season of “Monday Night Football” on ABC. Below is the viewership through 10 weeks on SNF from 2006-2009 and MNF 1997-2005:
2009: 19.8 million, SNF
2008: 16.2 million, SNF
2007: 16.3 million, SNF
2006: 18.0 million, SNF
2005: 16.7 million, MNF
2004: 16.6 million, MNF
2003: 17.1 million, MNF
2002: 17.4 million, MNF
2001: 16.7 million, MNF
2000: 18.7 million, MNF
1999: 19.7 million, MNF
1998: 19.4 million, MNF
1997: 20.6 million, MNF
2009 “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” REMAINING SCHEDULE
Football Night in America begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET
Sun. Nov. 29 *Week 12 Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Sun. Dec. 6 *Week 13 New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Sun. Dec. 13 *Week 14 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Sun. Dec. 20 *Week 15 Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Sun. Dec. 27 *Week 16 Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Sun. Jan. 3 *Week 17 TBA
NBC & THE NFL: NBC’s long history with the NFL dates back 70 years to 1939 when NBC became the first network to televise an NFL game – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field to the approximately 1,000 sets then in New York. NBC first broadcast the NFL Championship Game in 1955. In 1964, NBC signed a five-year contract to televise the AFL. NBC was awarded the AFC package in 1970, an association that would continue through the 1997-98 season. NBC televised the first Super Bowl in 1967, the historic New York Jets’ upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, and this past February broadcast Super Bowl XLIII, the most-watched program in television history.