Since 1987 the NFL has had two primetime games a week.
For the first 11 seasons, Sunday Night Football was broadcast on ESPN with a half-season schedule. ESPN and the NFL went to a full-season schedule starting with the 1998 season. Sunday Night Football stayed on ESPN until the 2006, when it moved to NBC, which is where it remains today.
Top Sunday Night Football Moments
• The first Sunday Night Football game aired on Nov. 8 1987, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-10 on ESPN.
• One of the biggest moments came recently in 2014 when Odell Beckham Jr. became a household name with his one-handed backward diving catch, while playing against the Cowboys, a division Rival. Color commentator Cris Collinsworth deemed it “the greatest catch (he’s) ever seen.”
• It was during a Sunday Night Football postseason broadcast when we were introduced to ‘Beast Mode’ as Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch ran over, through and around the Saints defense in Seattle’s upset of New Orleans in the 2011 NFC Wild Card game.
• In 2007, Sunday Night Football gave Cowboys tight end Jason Witten a memorable career moment as he caught a 53-yard pass from Tony Romo — with 30 of those yards coming after getting his helmet knocked off. Despite no head protection Witten continued down the field, battling defenders the entire way.
• In 2003, Saints wide receiver Joe Horn introduced props to the touchdown celebration game after he pulled a cell phone out from the padding around the goal post and pretended to call someone from the endzone.. New Orleans took a 15-yard penalty and Horn got a $30,000 fine.
• Also in 2003, Joe Namath and sideline reporter Suzy Kolber had a night they’d like to forget when Namath drunkenly asked Kolber for a kiss during an interview.
• In 1993, the Houston Oilers had a night to forget. Despite beating the Jets 24-0, defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan punched offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride before halftime of the game.
Related: NFL Betting Strategy
ESPN had Mike Patrick leading the booth throughout its tenure from 1987-’88, only missing one game due to surgery and in that 2004 game he was replaced by Pat Summerall.
Patrick had Roy Firestone and a weekly guest commentator — including Larry Csonka and John Matuszak twice, Roger Staubach, Jim Brown, Ed Marinaro, Tom Jackson, Jack Reynolds, Dick Butkus and O.J. Simpson — during the inaugural season.
From 1988 to the end of ESPN’s run, Patrick was joined by Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire. In 2005, Mike Tirico and Sterling Sharpe were ESPN’s No. 2 play-by-play and color commentator duo.
Sunday Night Football first brought in a sideline reporter with Mark Malone in 1994 and he remained until ’96 before Ron Jaworski took over for a season.
Solomon Wilcots took the reigns from 1998-2000 before Kolber finished the run from ’01-’05.
When NBC took over it looked to a legendary duo with Al Michaels and John Madden in booth from 2006-09 before Madden retired and Collinsworth took over. They’ve also had a consistent face on the sidelines with Michele Tofoya who has been there since 2011.
Who Stars on Sunday Night Football
When it comes to the winningest teams on Sunday Night Football, it goes to the Seahawks at 30-13-1, a winning percentage of .682. Seattle is followed by the Dolphins (16-8 .667), Patriots (31-18 .633), Packers (24-18 .571) and Saints (19-15 .559). No team has won more games than the Patriots’ 31.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bengals have the worse record on Sunday Night Football at 3-15, a winning percentage of .167. Not far ahead of them are the Browns (2-8 .200), Panthers (3-12 .200), Bucs (4-12 .250) and Lions (6-14 .300).
No team has played more Sunday Night games than the Cowboys, who in 55 appearances are 23-32 (.418).
All-time team records
Seahawks 30-13-1 .682
Dolphins 16-8 .667
Patriots 31-18 .633
Packers 24-18 .571
Saints 19-15 .559
Broncos 24-19 .558
Eagles 25-20 .556
Ravens 16-13 .552
Steelers 24-20 .545
Vikings 20-17 .541
Chiefs 14-12 .538
Jaguars 7-6 .538
Titans 11-10 .524
Colts 24-24 .500
49ers 14-14 .500
Falcons 10-10 .500
Chargers 14-15 .483
Cardinals 10-10-1 .476
Redskins 16-17-1 .471
Bills 8-9 .471
Raiders 14-18 .438
Giants 20-25-1 .435
Jets 9-12 .429
Cowboys 23-32 .418
Bears 15-21 .417
Rams 7-10 .412
Texans 5-8 .385
Lions 6-14 .300
Bucs 4-12 .250
Panthers 3-12 .200
Browns 2-8 .200
Bengals 3-15 .167
The 2018 schedule
*Sept 6 is a Thursday, but it is a Sunday Night broadcast as is Nov. 22
Sept. 6 Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Sept. 9 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Sept. 16 New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Sept. 23 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
Sept. 30 Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Oct. 7 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
Oct. 14 Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Oct. 21 Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Oct. 28 New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov. 4 Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
Nov. 11 Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Nov. 18 Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Nov. 22 Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Nov. 25 Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Dec. 2 San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Dec. 9 Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders
Dec. 16 Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
Dec. 23 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
Week 16 Sunday Night Football
Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
Line: Chiefs -2.5
Seattle hosts Kansas City in a pivotal late-season matchup between two potential playoffs teams fighting for postseason positioning. The Chiefs are a lock to make the playoffs, but they are in a tight battle with the Los Angeles Chargers for the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Seahawks nearly had a postseason spot locked up, but they were upset on the road by the 49ers, and they still need another win to secure a playoff bid.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City had a 28-14 lead over Los Angeles at home last Thursday night, but Philip Rivers led a spectacular comeback as his Chargers upset the Chiefs 29-28 at Arrowhead Stadium. Now, the Chiefs and Chargers are tied atop the AFC at 11-3, and whoever finishes second in the division will be the No. 5 seed and will have to travel in the first round. If the Chargers win on Saturday against Baltimore and the Chiefs lose, the Chargers will almost certainly earn the first round bye.
After Seattle’s grueling victory over Minnesota on Monday Night Football, it seemed like the Seahawks were practically a lock to make the playoffs and earn the No. 5 seed. However, the Seahawks followed up that win with a disappointing loss to the 49ers, and now they have more work to do to earn the postseason spot. Seattle will be a heavy favorite to beat Arizona next week, but a win over Kansas City would likely make them a lock for the postseason.
Seattle has been superb at home under Pete Carroll and they’ve been even better in primetime. After the tough loss at San Francisco, the Seahawks are returning home to play in front of what should be a raucous crowd. Kansas City hasn’t been the same team without running back Kareem Hunt, and they will come up just short again as the Seahawks find a way to squeak out a narrow victory.
Seahawks 27, Chiefs 24
Seahawks +2.5 and UNDER 53.5