The Eagles and their “next man up” hodgepodge of third-stringers and practice squad recruits are riding a four-game winning streak into their NFC wild-card matchup Sunday afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s Carson Wentz’s first playoff start, and the young quarterback (who thankfully is getting out of the pocket more) will hope to further silence his critics and the constant comparison to Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Fortunately for Wentz, tight end Zach Ertz (who scored the team’s only touchdown during the Birds’ loss to the Seahawks in Week 12) has been cleared to play Sunday.
Calling Sunday’s game is a familiar crew for NBC — play-by-play announcer Al Michaels, analyst Cris Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Michelle Tafyoa. It’s the third season in a row the Eagles open up a playoff run on NBC (recall Collinsworth’s “double-doink” call last season), and they could end up on the network again next week against the San Francisco 49ers if the Birds defeat the Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings.
Broadcasters over the last few weeks have had fun calling plays by unlikely Eagles hero Boston Scott, whose three-touchdown performance against the New York Giants helped push the Birds into the playoffs. Last week, Fox’s Thom Brennaman tossed out a fun “Who is Boston Scott?!?” call, while two weeks before it was ESPN’s Joe Tessitore shouting “Boston Scott!” every chance he got.
“[I have] nothing special for Boston Scott, but if he has a big postseason, we might be able to help him get a Boston Market commercial,” Michaels joked to the Inquirer ahead of Sunday’s game. “Cris and I will take the commission.”
Of course, Michaels is no stranger to players with interesting last names to pronounce, considering this is his 34th season calling NFL games in primetime.
“My two all-time favorites are Jaquiski Tartt (which is pronounced Jay-KWAH-ski and is embellished by the double 'T’ at the end of his last name), currently with the 49ers, and Bene Benwikere, who’s played for several teams,” Michaels said.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch and stream Sunday’s game:
When: Sunday, Jan. 5
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Time: 4:40 p.m. kickoff
TV: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Streaming: NBC Sports app (requires cable authentication), fuboTV (free 7-day trial), YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Playstation Vue, DirecTV Now (all require a subscription)
Mobile: Eagles app, NFL Mobile app, Yahoo Sports app, Yahoo Fantasy Football app (free on smartphones and tablets within the Philadelphia market)
Radio: 94.1 WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)
Spanish radio: La Mega, 105.7 FM (Rickie Ricardo, Gus Salazar)
Referee: Shawn Smith
Pregame coverage on NBC begins at 3 p.m. with Keith Jones and Erin Coleman hosting NBC 10 News Sunday Night Special and Eagles Road to Victory back-to-back. National pregame coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Football Night in America, hosted by Mike Tirico and Liam McHugh and featuring Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, and Chris Simms.
Over on NBC Sports Philadelphia, Eagles Pregame Live, hosted by Michael Barkann and featuring Seth Joyner, Ray Didinger, and Barrett Brooks, begins live at 2:30 p.m. Ed Rendell will join the crew for Eagles Postgame Live. Birds Outsiders, hosted by Jason Ashworth, Roy Burton, and 97.5 The Fanatic’s Natalie Egenolf, airs immediately after the postgame show.
NFL GameDay Morning starts on the NFL Network at 9 a.m., featuring host Rich Eisen and analysts Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Steve Mariucci. Their colleagues Colleen Wolfe and Kyle Brandt (who had another terrific pro-Eagles rant on Friday) will provide live updates from New Wave Cafe in Queen Village.
FOX 29 will air Fox 29 Gameday Live at 10 a.m., featuring Bill Anderson, Gary Cobb, Kristen Rodgers, and Howard Eskin. CBS3 will air CBS3 Sunday Kickoff at 11:30 a.m., featuring Don Bell, Lesley Van Arsdall, and Pat Gallen.
Remember all the hand-wringing just a few years ago about the NFL’s declining TV ratings?
Well, they’re not a concern any more. The league’s 100th season was up 5 percent compared to 2018, and drew its highest ratings in four years, with games averaging 16.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The most-watched game of the season was the Buffalo Bills’ Thanksgiving upset of the Dallas Cowboys, which drew 32.6 million viewers to CBS.
Here’s how the four networks did:
Sunday, Sept. 8: Eagles 32, Redskins 27
Sunday, Sept. 15: Falcons 24, Eagles 20
Sunday, Sept. 22: Lions 27, Eagles 24
Thursday, Sept. 26: Eagles 34, Packers 27
Sunday, Oct. 6: Eagles 31, Jets 6
Sunday, Oct. 13: Vikings 38, Eagles 20
Sunday, Oct. 20: Cowboys 37, Eagles 10
Sunday, Oct. 27: Eagles 31, Bills 13
Sunday, Nov. 3: Eagles 22, Bears 14
Sunday, Nov. 10: Bye week
Sunday, Nov. 17: Patriots 17, Eagles 10
Sunday, Nov. 24: Seahawks 17, Eagles 9
Sunday, Dec. 1: Dolphins 37, Eagles 31
Monday, Dec. 9: Eagles 23, Giants 17
Sunday, Dec. 15: Eagles 37, Redskins 27
Sunday, Dec. 22: Eagles 17, Cowboys 9
Sunday, Dec. 29: Eagles 34, Giants 17