Look who’s coming back to primetime:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 5, 2018
The Chicago Bears’ Week 11 game on November 18 against the Minnesota Vikings has been flexed into NBC’s Sunday Night Football’s primetime spot. So instead of a noon kickoff on FOX, the Bears (who lead the NFC North right now) and Vikings (who won the division last year) are now set to kick off at 7:20 CT.
This game replaces the Steelers-Jaguars game that was originally set for that time slot. Pittsburgh is 5-3 and sitting pretty atop the AFC North, but Jacksonville stumbling to a 3-5 start made that matchup a little less appealing than it was when it was originally promoted as a rematch of last year’s high-scoring affair in the divisional playoffs.
Showcasing a Chicago-Minnesota NFC North rivalry grudge match makes sense. Two winning teams who brought in big-name additions to bolster their rosters (Khalil Mack, Kirk Cousins) and coaching staffs (Matt Nagy, John DeFilippo) squaring off under the bright lights of NBC is the stuff TV execs dream of.
And, of course, America is going to get a healthy dose of the new-look Bears in the coming weeks. Because in addition to their Week 11 primetime showdown that could swing the division one way or another, the Bears will have a second nationally televised game on Thanksgiving, when the Bears travel to Detroit to play the Lions at 11:30 a.m. on CBS. That’s two games in front of national audiences in five days.
I suppose the only caveat here is that the short week the Bears have between Sunday and Thursday becomes that much shorter because they’re playing the last game on Sunday night and the first game on Thursday. It’s an odd and unfortunate schedule quirk, but hopefully the nine-day layoff until the Bears’ Week 13 game against the New York Giants will help provide balance after the quick turnaround.
Either way, I’m pumped about seeing the Bears in a premier time slot once again. And you should be, too!