A public service announcement: The Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts will be invading your primetime television screens three times in the next five weeks. Meanwhile, one of the league's most intriguing stories, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are scheduled to play all of their remaining 14 games at 1 p.m. ET. Such are the dangers of scheduling games four months in advance.
Not that you can blame the NFL. Peyton Manning is as good in primetime as Jerry Seinfeld in the '90s. His injury was unforeseen, as was Newton and the Panthers turning into a must-see attraction. It's just too bad we're stuck with the Colts in primetime while most of the country may not get a glimpse of the (so-far) rookie sensation.
The best recent example of an injury ruining a primetime schedule was when Michael Vick got hurt in the preseason a few years back and a woeful Atlanta Falcons flutters the primetime schedule.
Indy hosts Pittsburgh this Sunday in NBC's primetime game. The week after, the team travels to Tampa on Monday night. Three weeks later, it's another Sunday nighter, this time in New Orleans. Thank goodness for flex scheduling. It should spare us a Week 13 matchup with the Patriots, although, who knows, maybe NBC likes the ratings Tom Brady's dimples bring in.
Screwing up the Monday sked isn't so bad, as ESPN's slate is rough enough without Kerry Collins and crew. From Week 7 to 15, with the exception of two decent games sandwiched in the middle, one of these teams will appear on MNF each week: Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Seattle and San Francisco.
At least the booth is fun to listen to.