Bears in Prime Time Once Again vs. Giants

The NFL announced today that the Monsters of the Midway will play under the prime time lights at least one more time, as Week 10's matchup with the Giants has been moved to Sunday Night Football. But don't be fooled by this picture. Craig Krenzel won't be involved in any capacity. Didn't mean to make you nervous. Sorry about that.

In a story that was first reported by the Associated Press, the Bears game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands on Nov. 12 was switched Tuesday by the NFL from an afternoon tilt to a prime time affair. This is the first switch of its kind under the flexible scheduling format implemented in the new television contract.

The 8:30 p.m. ET game will be televised by NBC instead of Fox. Under the format, the Sunday night time slot had been left vacant, with CBS and Fox each allowed to protect five afternoon games over seven weeks of the season. Each has chosen four and will pick one more.

The Monsters of the Midway (6-0) are one of two unbeaten teams in the NFL and should be heavily favored to be 8-0 when they travel to Giants Stadium. The Bears' next two games are at home against rebuilding San Francisco (2-4) and disappointing Miami (1-6).

The Giants (4-2) have won three straight games, including Monday night's 36-22 thrashing of Dallas, and are currently leading the NFC East. Their next two games are at home against Tampa Bay and Houston, both struggling along at 2-4.

As part of the schedule shuffle, New Orleans's game at Pittsburgh will be moved from a 1 p.m. ET start to 4:15 on Fox.

Head coach Lovie Smith and his Bears have been the talk of the NFL so far this season. Last year's 11-5 record and NFC North title were almost solely the fruits of the defense's labor. The offense, on the other hand, finished 29th in the league and was largely asked just to not make mistakes with overmatched rookie Kyle Orton at quarterback.

So far in 2006, not only has the return of Rex Grossman made the offense formidable for the first time during Smith's regime, they currently lead the NFL in scoring at 30 points per game. Up until Week 7's step back against Arizona, Grossman had performed like an All-Pro and was in the conversation for league MVP. And although last season's power running game has failed to be as consistent this year, Bernard Berrian has complemented Muhsin Muhammad beautifully and helped take the passing game to new heights.

In the Big Apple, Eli Manning continues to improve and has an elite group of weapons at his disposal. Tailback Tiki Barber made news last week with the revelation that he will retire at season's end, but considering he currently leads the league in rushing with 647 yards, he appears to be getting better with age. Defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora are arguably the most dominating tandem in football, combining for three sacks on Monday night in Dallas.

With the Bears and Giants each atop their respective divisions, their Week 10 matchup could play a significant role in determining home-field advantage in the NFC during the playoffs.

All the more reason to get this game in front of a national audience on Sunday night.


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