Sunday Night Football has produced some of the most memorable moments in NFL history. One recent game that comes to mind is the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 season finale with the NFC West on the line. The 49ers stopped Seattle on the goal line in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to win 26-21 to claim the division and the NFC’s number one seed.
This year’s Sunday Night Football schedule has the potential to be one of the best. The NBC broadcast crew will carry the season opener between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs before heading to New York for Sunday night’s matchup between the Cowboys and Giants.
With the full schedule released earlier this week, let’s look at five of the most thrilling Sunday Night Football games of the 2023 NFL season.
Jackson VS Lawrence
The Week 15 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars is a great way to finish a late-season Sunday slate. Lamar Jackson and Trevor Lawrence dueling in primetime is alone worth the price of admission.
Jacksonville won last season’s game against the Ravens 28-27, with the two teams combining for 33 points in the fourth quarter. Lawrence completed 29-of-37 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns, while Jackson went 16-of-32 with 254 passing yards and a touchdown.
With two offenses featuring weapons at every position, this game could quickly become an exciting back-and-fourth shoot-out.
Not many NFL division rivalries get more primetime attention than the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. This season, the two play on Sunday Night Football in Week 14, a game that could be massive in deciding an NFC East winner.
Dallas has won four of the last five meetings with the Eagles, including a 40-34 thriller at AT&T Stadium last year. Philadelphia won the earlier matchup in October, as they improved to 6-0.
Although NFC East games have disappointed in the past, 2022 felt like a turnaround for three of the four teams in the division. Cowboys-Eagles will bring in huge TV numbers and provide great entertainment this December.
2023 Divisional Playoff Rematch
Week Five features a gripping game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. These teams have met in the NFL playoffs the last two years, with both games having memorable finishes.
In 2022, the Cowboys’ terrible time management cost them on the game’s final play, leading to a six-point 49ers victory in the Wild Card round. Last January, Dallas again had a chance to go down the field and win on the game’s final drive. The series was a disaster, ending with running back Zeke Elliot snapping the ball to quarterback Dak Prescott in a bizarre last-ditch effort.
If the 2023 matchup can provide even a portion of the dramatics from these two playoff games — NFL fans are in for an absolute treat.
Two Greats Square Off On Sunday Night
Patricks Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have yet to compete in the same game. Week Four’s Sunday Night Football action between the Chiefs and Jets could finally be the first time two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks square off.
Mahomes has only faced the New York Jets once in his career, back in November of 2020. Kansas City won the game 35-9, with Mahomes throwing for 416 yards and five touchdowns. Rodgers, meanwhile, is 2-1 all-time against the Chiefs. The 39-year-old has averaged 291 passing yards and three touchdowns in those three meetings.
The energy at MetLife Stadium will be amazing as the Jets look to kickstart the Aaron Rodgers Era with a statement victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions.
The best Sunday Night Football game this season is going to be the Buffalo Bills facing the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Nine.
Last year’s regular-season contest was cut short following the scary injury to Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin. However, the two met again in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Bengals won the game 27-10 on the back of Joe Burrow’s 242 passing yards and running back Joe Mixon’s 105 rushing yards.
Both the Bills and Bengals are considered Super Bowl contenders heading into the 2023 NFL season. They each have great rosters filled with talent. Getting to watch the two go head-to-head in primetime is what makes Sunday Night Football so special.
Sunday Night Football is a product unlike anything else in sports. NBC averaged nearly 20 million viewers across the United States last season. Fans spend the entire afternoon watching their favorite teams or enjoying NFL Red Zone. But when the late afternoon window wraps up, all of the attention turns to Sunday Night Football.
This year’s Sunday night schedule proves the NFL wants the best games to happen in primetime because every snap, interception, catch, and touchdown means so much more under the bright lights.
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