What’s one highlight of Week 2 of this coming NFL season? The first-ever Amazon Prime streamed game as that company takes over the Thursday night package, and the its first telecast will be Sept. 15 when Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers visit Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who opened as 3-point favorites on the NFL odds.
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Iconic play-by-play announcer Al Michaels, formerly of NBC, and Emmy-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who still will call ESPN college football games on Saturday nights, are the two main announcers for Amazon. Michaels called his 11th Super Bowl in February, matching the most ever for a television commentator. Herbstreit has served as the lead college football analyst for ESPN since 1996. Former Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman also will play a role on the telecast/stream.
Prime Video will become the first streaming service to air a season-long exclusive national broadcast package with the NFL. The 11-year deal includes 15 regular-season games and one preseason game per year.
Herbert and Mahomes are two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL and their rivalry could be the new Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady in the league going forward. They split two meetings last year with the Chiefs being upset 30-24 at home in Week 3. With less than a minute left, the Bolts opted not to try a 48-yard field goal on fourth down and Herbert threw a jump ball that produced a pass interference call on the Chiefs’ DeAndre Baker and a first down. Then he hit Mike Williams with consecutive completions, including the TD throw with 32 seconds left that lifted Los Angeles to the win.
Week 2 will also be the Denver Broncos home debut of new starting quarterback Russell Wilson as the Broncos are 11-point home favorites vs. the Houston Texans – the second-biggest spread on the Week 2 board. Wilson has worked with the Broncos’ coaching staff to adjust to a new offense by listening and learning while also making suggestions without overstepping.
“He’s a pro’s pro,” Broncos offensive coordinator Justin Outten said. “You’ll give him some information and it will be a little bit outside of the box. He’ll look at you funny and he’ll see it work and then it comes to fruition. He’s a really good guy to work with.
It will also be the first home game for new Broncos ownership as the team is being sold for $4.65 billion to Walmart heir Rob Walton and his son-in-law Greg Penner. The Broncos had been in ownership limbo since Pat Bowlen, who purchased the team in 1984, stepped down for health reasons in 2014. Bowlen died in 2019. The purchase price blows away the previous record for a North American sports franchise.
The Sunday night game in Week 2 is Chicago at Green Bay, which is -10. Green Bay has won 12 of the last 14 meetings against the Bears at Lambeau Field, including a 45-20 victory last season. The Packers have outscored Chicago, 406-215, in the last 14 home games, scoring 20-plus points in 12 of those contests. It is the third straight season and the 11th time in the last 12 years that the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field will be played in prime time and the Bears’ first visit to Lambeau Field in September since 2018.
While there is no Monday night doubleheader in Week 1, there is in Week 2 as Tennessee visits Buffalo (-7.5) and Minnesota is in Philadelphia (-3). The Titans beat the Bills 34-31 last year in Nashville. Star Titans running back Derrick Henry scored his third touchdown with 3:05 left, and the Titans then stopped Buffalo’s Josh Allen on a fourth-down quarterback sneak in the final seconds. The Bills drove to the Titans 3 on their final possession and could have sent the game to overtime with a field goal, but instead went for the win — and didn’t execute.
The Vikings and Eagles didn’t play last season but Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins has a horrible record in his career on Monday nights at 2-9. Both wins came over Chicago, including 17-9 last year in the Vikings’ only MNF game.