The National Football League announced its slate of games on NBC for the 2018 NFL season on Thursday, Apr. 19.
NBC’s coverage begins as Philadelphia Eagles will raise their first-ever Super Bowl banner at NFL Kickoff 2018 on Thursday, Sept. 6 as they host the Atlanta Falcons in a Divisional Playoff rematch. Then it’s the season opener of ‘Sunday Night Football’ at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Sept. 9 as quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers in the first game of their historic 100th season against their longtime rival Chicago Bears.
NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ will have a new, earlier kickoff time of 8:20 p.m. ET – 10 minutes earlier than last year.
The star-studded SNF matchups continue in Week 2 as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys host Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants. The Sept. 16 Giants-Cowboys game marks the 12th meeting between the clubs on SNF – tying with Cowboys-Eagles (Nov. 11) as the most-played matchup in NBC SNF history (since 2006). The Sept. 16 contest also marks the fourth Cowboys’ home opener in the past six years on NBC SNF.
Every 2017 division winner makes an appearance on ‘Sunday Night Football’; 14 of NBC’s 18 scheduled games (Week 17 game TBD) involve at least one playoff team from last season, highlighted by rematches of three Divisional Playoff games (Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 6; New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 28; and Pittsburgh Steelers-Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 18).
Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 11 marks the 10th consecutive season for the matchup on SNF – the longest streak for any matchup on the broadcast primetime package in NFL history (ABC 1970-2005; NBC 2006-present). Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 30 ranks as the most-played AFC matchup on NBC SNF (8th meeting).
NBC concluded its 12th season of ‘Sunday Night Football’ in 2017 with its most-dominant performance ever in average viewership and household rating vs. its competition, while pacing to finish as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for a record seventh consecutive year – which will break its tie with ‘American Idol’ for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by The Nielsen Company.
The following is NBC’s Sunday Night Football schedule (subject to change; kickoff times at 8:20 p.m. Eastern):
Week 1: NFL Kickoff: Thursday, September 6
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Week 1: Sunday, September 9
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Week 2: Sunday, September 16
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Week 3: Sunday, September 23
New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
Week 4: Sunday, September 30
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Week 5: Sunday, October 7
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
*Week 6: Sunday, October 14
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
*Week 7: Sunday, October 21
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
*Week 8: Sunday, October 28
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
*Week 9: Sunday, November 4
Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
*Week 10: Sunday, November 11
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
*Week 11: Sunday, November 18
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
**Week 12: Thursday, November 22
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
*Week 12: Sunday, November 25
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
*Week 13: Sunday, December 2
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
*Week 14: Sunday, December 9
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
*Week 15: Sunday, December 16
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
*Week 16: Sunday, December 23
Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
*Week 17: Sunday, December 30
To be determined
* Flex Week
** Thanksgiving Night Game
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.
A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 30. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.