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Defending Super Bowl champions? Check. Perennial Super Bowl contender? Check. Two playoff bound teams? Check. Two star quarterbacks? Check, and check. A rematch of last year’s AFC title game? Oh, the last TWO AFC title games? Discount double check.
Basically, the New England Patriots taking on the Baltimore Ravens fits every possible criteria for what viewers want out of the nationally televised primetime Sunday Night Football game. Except, now, for actually being the Sunday Night Football game.
The Sunday night game on Dec. 22 will now feature the Chicago Bears taking on the Philadelphia Eagles, apparently because those divisions will still be up for grabs.
The Patriots and Ravens will instead play at 4:25 PM on CBS. Despite being the past two AFC representatives in the Super Bowl. Despite Tom Brady and Joe Flacco being two playoff proven quarterbacks (Brady of the first ballot Hall of Fame variety). Despite every other narrative listed above that sounds like a wet dream for Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth.
Really, all that’s missing is Ray Lewis, maybe Ed Reed. If those two are around, we’re probably not even having this (one-sided, typed) conversation.
And before you ask, it’s not even the homer in me wanting to see the Patriots play in primetime; I just think New England-Baltimore is a better national game than Chicago-Philly. But you may want to discount double check that.