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Sunday Night Football
Program:
Sunday Night Football
NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC Sunday Night Football opening logo.
Format:
Sports
Broadcast Information
Runtime
Conclusion of game, usually about 180 minutes
Studio announcers/Commentators
Commentators:
English:
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
Michele Tafoya
Studio personalities:Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King and Mike Florio
Spanish (Translation):
Jessi Losada
René Giraldo
Edgar López
Country:
United States
Network:
NBC
First Aired/Last Aired:
August 6, 2006-present
TV Picture Format/Internet
480i standard definition (SDTV),
1080i hi-definition (HDTV)
Official Website
website = http://www.snfonnbc.com/

NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on Sunday, August 6, 2006 with the pre-season opening Hall of Fame Game. Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer, Cris Collinsworth as the color commentator, and Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter, Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff, the lead producer and director respectively.

In the 2011–12 season, it was named the highest rated, most watched TV program in the Nielsen ratings. In second place was FOX-TV's American Idol, a show that had previously held the title of most watched TV program for eight consecutive seasons and eight straight years.

Starting in 2012, under the new NFL television contract, a Spanish-language simulcast on fellow Comcast property Telemundo began.

Studio showEdit

Main article: Football Night in America

The studio show Football Night in America, featuring Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, and Peter King precedes the broadcast each week, featuring a recap of the other Sunday NFL contests. Bob Costas and Mike Tirico also contribute to the studio show from the game site.

ContractEdit

NBC's current contract includes the season-opening Thursday Night NFL Kickoff Game the game played on Thanksgiving Night, and two playoff games, one in the Wild Card round and one in the Divisional Playoffs.

Under the initial 6-year deal, the network was also awarded the rights to two Super Bowl games, following the 2008 (Super Bowl XLIII) and 2011 (Super Bowl XLVI) seasons, and the Pro Bowl games in the years which NBC was slated to air the Super Bowl. Beginning in 2012, through an extension to the contract that runs through 2022, NBC also gained the rights to air a primetime Thanksgiving game (which had previously been part of NFL Network's Thursday Night Football package), one divisional playoff game in lieu of a Wild Card game in the postseason, and the rights to Super Bowls held or to be held in 2015 (Super Bowl XLIX), 2018, (Super Bowl LII), and 2021 (Super Bowl LV). However, the Pro Bowl is not included in the new contract as ESPN was set to gain exclusive rights to the game in 2015, with NBC's broadcast of the 2014 Pro Bowl being the final time the game would air on broadcast television for the foreseeable future.

NBC is the current home of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, which begins the NFL's preseason each August. 2 preseason games (the Hall of Fame game and 1 other match-up, depending on other NBC Sports commitments), and the Thursday night season opener will be retained in the new contract beginning in 2014.

From 2006 until 2013, NBC's contract included the rights to both Saturday wild card playoff games that had been previously aired by ABC as part of its Monday Night Football contract. Tom Hammond provided play-by-play for the early game until 2012, with Dan Hicks taking the position in 2013. Joe Theismann and Joe Gibbs was the initial color commentator for these broadcasts, doing so until 2011. Mike Mayock, NBC's Notre Dame color commentator provide color commentary in 2012, with John Madden taking over as color commentator in 2013.

SchedulingEdit

For more details on each game's results and statistics, see NBC Sunday Night Football results (2006–present).

Opening gameEdit

The first regular season game to be shown by NBC under this contract, Miami at Pittsburgh, aired September 7, 2006, followed by the first Sunday Night game; Indianapolis at the New York Giants on September 10, 2006; which is the first Manning Bowl. The actual first game of the run—the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between Oakland and Philadelphia—was televised on August 6, 2006.

Flexible schedulingEdit

NBC Sunday Night Football is the beneficiary of the leauge's new flexible-scheduling system. Since the NFL now considers Sunday Night Football to be its featured game of the week, for the final 7 weeks of the season including Week 17 (7 of the final 8 weeks during the 2006 and 2011 seasons because of Christmas weekend), the NFL has the flexibility in selecting games to air on Sunday night.

World Series conflictsEdit

In its first 4 seasons of Sunday night coverage, NBC took one week off in late October or early November, so as not to conflict with Fox's coverage of baseball's World Series. In 2006 NBC did not air a game on October 22, which was the set date for World Series Game 2, but a potential conflict still existed on October 29 had the series gone seven games (the conflict never arose, however, as the 2006 World Series ended in 5 games). With the change in World Series scheduling beginning in 2007, NBC did not air a game in order to avoid a conflict with World Series Game 4, which is the first chance a team would have to clinch the series. In 2007, there was no game on October 28; in 2008, there was no game on October 26; and in 2009, there was no game on November 1. Although no games aired on these nights, Football Night in America still aired as scheduled at 7 p.m. Eastern.

NBC televised a game on October 31, 2010 and again on October 23, 2011, opposite Game 4 of the World Series on Fox in both cases. Both games featured New Orleans Saints at home, first in 2010 against Pittsburgh Steelers, then in 2011 against Indianapolis Colts. Both cities that are home to News Orleans Saints, New Orleans and the Colts, Indianapolis do not have a Major League Baseball team, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have been recently poor, having not recorded a winning record since 1992. Coincidentally, the minor league team in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Indians, have been the Pirates AAA affiliate since 2005.

Ratings have been mixed for these results, with the NFL winning the night in 2010 while MLB won in 2011. While the Saints won both games, the former matchup featuring a major Nielsen ratings draw in the Steelers, combined with the latter matchup against Colts being a 62–7 blowout while Game 4 of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers was a more closely contested game, caused the ratings to slip in 2011.

In 2012, NFL once again scheduled the Saints to play on Sunday Night Football in late October, this time against Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 28. (Denver does have an MLB team, the Colorado Rockies, that has had some success in recent seasons, including a trip to the 2007 World Series, though they did not contend for the NL West this season.) The game wound up being scheduled opposite the 4th (and final) game of the 2012 World Series.

2000s Edit

2006 Edit

In the 2006 season, in addition to the World Series off-week, there was no game scheduled for Christmas Eve night; NBC broadcast that week's game (Eagles at Cowboys) on Christmas afternoon instead. A half-hour version of Football Night in America aired before the Christmas game and the two "Wild Card Saturday" games. During the 2006 season, no game was initially scheduled for NBC in the affected weeks instead, the schedule slot for the NBC game was left vacant, with one Sunday afternoon game being moved to the prime-time slot (the schedule for the affected weeks simply read "one of these games will move to 8:15 Eastern"). CBS and Fox could each protect 4 of its games during Weeks 10-15 and also each protect one of its games for Week 17; however, these two networks had to decide which games to protect in early October 2006, after Week 4 of the NFL season.

2007 Edit

For the first time since NBC gained the rights to Sunday Night Football, a tentative full-season schedule was unveiled, including games in the last 7 weeks of the season. Those games could be replaced under flexible scheduling if the need arose. The same rules under which CBS and Fox protect games for their own packages still apply.

Three of the games in the last 7 weeks of the season were eventually replaced with more compelling matches. This resulted in the situation – twice – of having a team playing on consecutive Sunday nights. New England had consecutive Sunday nighters: the November 18 New England at Buffalo game was moved to prime time and was followed on November 25 by the already-scheduled Philadelphia at New England game. Likewise, the Washington Redskins played a scheduled game at the New York Giants on December 16, and their December 23 game in Minnesota was moved to prime time. For the last week of the season, Tennessee Titans–Indianapolis Colts game was moved, switching places with the Kansas City Chiefs–New York Jets game that was originally scheduled in the Sunday night slot; the Titans needed a win to secure the final AFC playoff spot.

In addition, the annual preseason Hall of Fame Game telecast was shifted to NFL Network, in anticipation of NBC airing the China Bowl contest from Beijing; however, the China Bowl was canceled.

2008 Edit

The 2008 schedule, released on April 15, continued the 2007 practice of a scheduled game possibly being moved in favor of a more compelling one during Weeks 11-16 (November 16 through December 21), but left the slot open on the final Sunday, December 28. The NFL Kickoff Game between Washington Redskins and defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants that was played on September 4 started at 7 p.m. ET instead of the normal 8:30 p.m. time in order to avoid conflict with the nomination speech that John McCain gave at the Republican National Convention that night; the game ended at 10:01 p.m. Eastern Time, averting any conflict, and Indianapolis Colts host Chicago Bears 3 days later, as a result, the Manning brothers was used in commercial.

As had happened in 2007, a team played on consecutive Sunday nights due to a game being moved into the Sunday night time slot. The originally scheduled New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on December 14 was followed by a flexed December 21 home game for the Giants against Carolina Panthers; the Giants-Panthers game was flexed because it carried serious playoff implications, as the winner would clinch the NFC's top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. This was the 2 of 3 flexed games, with a December 7 inter-conference matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins. The league filled the open spot on December 28 with a game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers with major playoff implications, as the winner of that game would win the AFC West and earn a home game in the playoffs while the loser would be eliminated.

2009 Edit

The 2009 schedule, released on April 14, continued the 2007 and 2008 practice of scheduling a game every Sunday night during the season (except during the World Series) but declaring the games in Weeks 11 through 16 (November 22 through December 27) subject to change, should a more compelling matchup arise. The pattern of the 2007 and 2008 schedules was continued, as the slot for the final Sunday night of the season – January 3, 2010 – was left vacant. Two games were "flexed" in the 2009 season, as the Minnesota Vikings–Arizona Cardinals game replaced the original December 6 matchup between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

To fill the vacant game slot for the last week of the season, NBC was given the match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets that was originally scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET on CBS, with this game having playoff implications for both teams. For the Jets, a win would have put them in the playoffs, while the Bengals had the potential to improve their seeding for the playoffs with a victory. The Jets-Bengals game ended up being the last game played at Giants Stadium (the Jets could have hosted the AFC Championship game, but the Baltimore Ravens did not hold up their end of the deal).

2010s Edit

2010 Edit

The 2010 schedule, released on April 20, placed a Sunday night game (Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints) against a World Series game for the first time since the NBC Sunday night contract began. It also continued the previous practice of scheduling a Sunday night game during every week of the season, and declaring the games in Weeks 11 through 16 (November 21 through December 26) as "flex games", meaning they reverted to Sunday afternoon if a more attractive matchup arose.

The Week 16 game, between Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, originally scheduled for December 26, was moved to December 28 due to a major blizzard that affected most of the Eastern United States. The NFL postponed the game after Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency for the city. It was the 23rd NFL game to be played on a Tuesday, but the first since 1946. This was the only game, outside of the final Sunday night, to be "flexed" in the 2010 season; the original schedule called for the San Diego Chargers to play the Bengals in Cincinnati (the game was moved to CBS, and was indeed blacked out in Cincinnati). Because of this, a full 90-minute edition of Football Night in America aired on December 26, with a short five-minute pre-game leading into the game on the 28th, while Faith Hill's introduction was not played due to time constraints before kickoff.

For the Week 17 match-up, NBC featured the 7–8 St. Louis Rams playing the 6–9 Seattle Seahawks in a win-and-in game, where the winner of the game would qualify for the playoffs as the NFC West Division Champion.

2011 Edit

The 2011 schedule, released on April 19, once again placed a Sunday night game (Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints on October 23, the fourth straight time these teams played each other on national television) opposite a World Series game. Sunday Night games between November 13 and December 18 (inclusive) were "flex games", which could have reverted to Sunday afternoon if a more competitive matchup arose (one was; see below). The final Sunday night of the season – January 1, 2012 – was likewise a "flex game"; the slot, vacant when the schedule was released, was filled by the game between Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The Hall of Fame Game scheduled for August 7, and to be shown on NBC, was canceled due to the lockout that off-season; it was the only game to be affected.

The NFL announced on November 8 that the Week 13 rivalry game between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots would be moved to 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS, while a replacement game would be announced by November 22. This was due to the Colts struggling without their star QB Peyton Manning (without him, Colts lost 62–7 to New Orleans Saints in a Sunday night game on October 23). This also marked the first time the NFL announced that a Sunday night game was being moved to the afternoon without simultaneously announcing a replacement. On November 21, the matchup between Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints was flexed into the Sunday night slot. As compensation to Fox because they only had two other games in the early time slot, the league gave them the Denver Broncos–Minnesota Vikings game that was originally to air on CBS. This was the first time that the league moved an inter-conference telecast to the home team's Sunday afternoon regional broadcaster.

On November 14, the NFL decided to keep the Week 12 matchup between Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on November 27 in place after the league considered flexing it out for other matchups, particularly the AFC East showdown between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets and the inter-conference matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans, due to the AFC West (of which the Chiefs are a member) being a weak division for 2011.

On December 7, NFL ended up keeping the Week 15 match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Diego Chargers on December 18, a decision that came a day late due to the NFL Committees meetings that took place on the day before. NBC wanted the game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos as it featured a matchup between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow, two players with high popularity. While CBS did not protect that game, the network was fighting to keep the game since they had lost the aforementioned Week 13 Broncos-Vikings game to Fox, denying the network the earlier chance to capitalize on Tebow's marketability.

For the second consecutive season, and third overall, the last Sunday night game that was flexed in featured a contest in which the winner would become the division champions and earn a home game in the playoffs while the loser would be eliminated. This particular matchup was for the NFC East between New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium, a rematch of Week 14's Sunday night broadcast. This was the first time NBC had shown both meetings of division rivals during a regular season.

The 2011 season ended with an average of 20.7 million viewers and was the highest-rated program of the 2011–12 television season, dethroning American Idol, which was the highest-rated program for eight consecutive seasons. As a further result, Sunday Night Football became the first-ever television sports series of any kind to finish a television season as the most-watched show.

2012 Edit

The only flexed game of the season that displaced a scheduled game took place on December 23; the San Diego Chargers at New York Jets game reverted to the afternoon, and the San Francisco 49ers played in Seattle that night. This resulted in the 49ers playing on consecutive Sunday nights, both on the road (the team played in New England the previous Sunday night, December 16). A portion of the San Francisco-New England game aired on the NBCSN and CNBC due to NBC News' live coverage of Barack Obama's speech following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; (except for New England and San Francisco markets; which would remain on NBC).

The final Sunday night of the season – December 30, 2012 – likewise was a "flex game"; the slot was left vacant when the schedule was released, as has been the practice of the past 4 seasons. It was filled by the game between Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Usually announced on the Tuesday before game day (but sometimes before), the game typically highlights a situation in which winner advances to the playoffs while loser does not; the winner of this flex game would win its division, although Redskins would still advance to the playoffs as a wild card team - even if the team lost - if certain other teams lost. After the first 15 games were played that day, which included Minnesota Vikings clinching the #6 seed in NFC with a win, the game would turn out to be a winner-take-all, in which winner would clinch the No. 4 seed in NFC and loser would be eliminated regardless. The Redskins would eventually defeat Cowboys 28-18 and clinch their first NFC East crown since 1999.

2013 Edit

The 2013 schedule, released on April 18, once again placed a Sunday night game (Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings) against a World Series game. This was the 4th straight year that a World series game competed against a Sunday Night game. Sunday night games between November 17 and December 22 (inclusive) were "flex games", they would revert to Sunday afternoon if a more competitive matchup arose. The final Sunday Night of the season – December 29, 2013 – likewise was a "flex game"; the slot was left vacant when the schedule was released, as has been the practice of the past five seasons. The game site (and, by extension, its teams) was determined after the completion of most Week 16 games. It was filled by the game between Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys.

The league announced on November 1, 2013, that the Week 11 Kansas City Chiefs–Denver Broncos game, originally scheduled as CBS's only late 4:05 p.m. ET singleheader game, was flexed into the Sunday Night Football, replacing the originally scheduled Green Bay Packers–New York Giants game. CBS originally selected the Chiefs–Broncos matchup as one of their "protected games" from flex-scheduling, but later allowed the league to flex it so it could be seen by a national audience. This would be one of two cases of a team playing on consecutive Sunday nights due to one of the games being moved in to the Sunday night slot (as Denver Broncos would play New England Patriots the following Sunday night); Philadelphia Eagles, the other team to play on consecutive Sunday nights, played at home against Chicago Bears on December 22 and played in Dallas on December 29.

On December 2, 2013, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported (via Twitter) that the Week 15 rivalry game between Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers for December 15 would remain in the Sunday Night slot, a report later confirmed by NFL. The league had considered flexing the game out due to Steelers starting the season 0-4, which included a 20-10 loss to Bengals on Monday Night Football earlier in the season that was more of a blowout than the final score indicated. Ultimately, it was decided to keep the rematch in the Sunday Night slot due Steelers making a late playoff push, the team's fanbase that provides high ratings regardless of how well the Steelers are doing, as well as a lack of compelling matchups for the week, with only 2 other pairings that did not have a team with a losing record by the flex deadline (New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions, the latter being a Monday night game which could not be flexed out of its slot).

On December 10, 2013, NFL decided to flex Week 16 Chicago Bears-Philadelphia Eagles matchup into the Sunday Night slot, replacing New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens matchup, which moved to the late afternoon slot on CBS. The move surprised many in the television industry, as all four teams were strong playoff contenders. Some have speculated that since the Patriots had an opportunity to lock up the AFC East before their game in Baltimore (the Patriots were ultimately upset by Dolphins 24-20), while the other 3 teams would not be able to clinch playoff spots (nor would they be eliminated) prior to Week 16, that the Bears-Eagles matchup might be more compelling.

On December 22, 2013, NFL decided to flex week 17 game between Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys to determine NFC East Champion the winner will take the No. 3 seed in NFC and loser will be eliminated regardless.

2013 Sunday Night Football "flex schedule" games
Week Planned game Selected game Ref.
11 Packers at Giants Chiefs at Broncos
12 Broncos at Patriots [24]
13 Giants at Redskins [25]
14 Falcons at Packers Panthers at Saints [26]
15 Bengals at Steelers [27]
16 Patriots at Ravens Bears at Eagles [28]
17 no game scheduled Eagles at Cowboys [29]

2014 Edit

When the 2014 NFL schedule was released on April 23, it placed a Sunday night game (Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints) against a World Series game for the fifth straight year. Starting with this season, NBC was permitted to begin flexing games as soon as Week 5, with the restriction that no more than two games may be flexed between Weeks 5 and 10. The final Sunday night of the season – December 28, 2014 – likewise was a flex game; the slot was left vacant when the schedule was released, as been the practice of the past six seasons. The game's teams (and, by extension, its location) was announced after most week 16 games it was filled by Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Country/pop superstar Carrie Underwood continued her role as the performer of the Sunday Night Football opener.

On November 11, 2014, the NFL announced that the November 16 game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game would air as scheduled, even though the Detroit Lions–New England Patriots game was considered to be a better matchup, citing that the Cowboys are one of the most popular NFL teams playing in the country's largest media market.

For the first time since flexed scheduling went into effect, no Sunday Night games were flexed during the season other than Week 17 (where the match-up is usually determined as late as 6 days prior to the Sunday of Week 17)

On December 21, 2014, NFL announced that the rivalry game between Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers would be flexed into the Week 17 Sunday Night Football slot, with the winner clinching the AFC North. The league considered flexing the Atlanta FalconsCarolina Panthers game into the Sunday Night slot as it decided NFC South while loser would be eliminated, but the division being historically weak (it was assured to have a division winner with a losing record by the end of Week 16), combined with Steelers being a major draw, led to the league's decision. With the Bengals and Steelers clinching a playoff spot in Week 16, it also marked the first time since the NFL scheduled all intra-divisional matchups in Week 17 in 2010 that a game flexed to the Week 17 slot featured at least 1 team (in this case both) that was already in the playoffs. It was later reported by Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King that the league chose to flex the Bengals-Steelers game because CBS has not had a game flexed in the Week 17 slot since 2009; the aforementioned Falcons-Panthers match-up was later flexed to CBS as part of the new television contract that allows intra-conference match-ups to be flexed between CBS and Fox.

2015 Edit

The 2015 schedule was released on April 21, 2015. The defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots faced Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL Opening Kickoff Game on Thursday, September 10, 2015. Other notable games included Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers (Week 2) and New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts (Week 6) in a rematch of their respective conference championship games. It also placed a Sunday Night game (Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos on November 1) against a World Series game for the 6th straight year. The final Sunday Night game of the season – January 3, 2016 – likewise was a flex game; the slot was left vacant when the schedule came out as has been the practice over the past 7 seasons. The games team's (and by extension, and its location) was announced after most week 16 games. It was filled by Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers. Arizona Cardinals wound up playing on consecutive Sunday nights — at Seattle Seahawks in Week 10 and then, at home against Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11 (Cardinals won both of those games), with the latter being flexed into the Sunday Night slot. The December 20 game (Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers) reverted to the afternoon, replaced by the Arizona at Philadelphia Eagles game. Minnesota Vikings also wound up playing on consecutive Sunday Nights beginning in week 16 at home against New York Giants and on the road in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers.

2016 Edit

The 2016 schedule was released on April 14, 2016. NBC's first telecast of the season featured a rematch of Super Bowl 50 when Denver Broncos played host to Carolina Panthers, the first time the Super Bowl participants faced each other in Week 1 of the subsequent year since 1970. It also placed a Sunday night game (Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys) against a World Series game for the seventh straight year. The Thanksgiving Night match-up featured the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Indianapolis Colts, and for the first time since 2011, NBC carried a Christmas Day game as Denver Broncos traveled to play Kansas City Chiefs, a rematch of the Week 12 game in Denver that was flexed into that week's Sunday night slot. In addition, NBC carried 5 late season Thursday Night Football games in conjunction with NFL Network in a similar arrangement to the one NFLN has with CBS. As before, flexible scheduling rules went into effect in Week 5, with Week 16 excluded because the majority of the schedule was played on Christmas Eve, The final Sunday Night game of the season – Sunday January 1, 2017 – likewise was a flex game; the slot was left vacant when the schedule came out as has been the practice over the past eight seasons. The game's teams determined (and by extension and it's location) was announced after most Week 16 games. It was filled by the Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions. 

The Week 5 game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers was placed against the second presidential debate. The debate did not air on NBC due to contractual obligations, however, it was carried by several other channels including sister networks CNBC and MSNBC.

The Week 7 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals ended in a 6-6 tie following a missed field goal from each team in the last minutes of overtime. This became not only the first tie to be featured on Sunday Night Football, but also the first tie not to see a touchdown since 1972, as well as the lowest scoring tie, and the second lowest score in the prime time slot.

On November 14, 2016, the NFL announced that it had flexed the Chiefs-Broncos game into the Sunday night slot for Week 12, replacing the originally-scheduled New England Patriots-New York Jets game, which was moved to the 4:25 p.m. ET slot as the second game of the doubleheader on CBS. With the aforementioned Week 16 matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs already being scheduled for Christmas night (December 25), that was the second time that NBC has shown both meetings of division rivals during a regular season.

On December 4, 2016, the NFL announced that it had flexed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Dallas Cowboys game into the Sunday night slot for Week 15, replacing the originally-scheduled Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game, which was moved to the 1:00 p.m. ET slot as the early game on CBS. As a result, the Cowboys wound up playing on consecutive Sunday nights — on the road against the New York Giants in Week 14 (which they lost, 10-7) & then at home against the Buccaneers in Week 15 (which they won, 26-20).

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