The San Francisco 49ers are sitting atop the NFC West with a fairly comfortable cushion these days, but the Seattle Seahawks are in striking range and can make up some of the ground quickly this week with a win on Thursday night.
As we enter the last three Thursday night games of the year, the stakes are escalating. And while the Seahawks are technically on the bubble, a victory would move them into the “in the hunt” category. Their run defense could be all that’s standing in their way. In the last five weeks, that team has given up at least 120 yards per game, frustrating fans and coaches.
That might be why the 49ers are favored. And it doesn’t hurt that a win tonight would clinch the division.
Here’s how to watch and what to expect from Thursday night games tonight and moving forward.
Which NFL teams are playing on Thursdays this season?
Here’s who’s playing this week and future Thursdays, with a reminder that the home team is listed second.
Thursday, Dec. 15
San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday, Dec. 22
Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Jets, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Thursday, Dec. 29
Dallas Cowboys vs Tennessee Titans, 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime
Can I watch NFL Thursday night games for free on broadcast television?
Technically, yes, but realistically, probably not.
The home towns of the two teams that are playing on any particular Thursday have an opportunity to watch over the air. Simulcasts will be offered on broadcast networks, letting you watch for free with a good HD antenna. If you’re outside of the broadcast range of those stations, streaming is your only option, though.
Can I stream NFL Thursday night games live online if I don’t have an Amazon Prime account?
Amazon has exclusivity to virtually all Thursday night games for the next 11 years, preventing other streaming services from carrying them, so if you don’t have a Prime account, you might want to consider one, especially as the playoff picture comes into focus.
What changes is Amazon offering on the NFL games it airs?
Amazon uses its “X-Ray” technology to overlay stats and game updates using its, much like it offers information on which actors are in a scene during a film or TV show. An alternate stream is also available for younger audiences, with the YouTube troop Dude Perfect replacing the standard play-by-play and color commentary team.
Who is Amazon’s broadcast team?
Amazon has hired some of the most recognizable announcers and commentators as it jumps into the NFL. Al Michaels, who has called both Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football, leads the team. Kirk Herbstreit, who has focused mainly on college games and been a key player on ESPN’s “College GameDay” program, is the color commentator. And All-Pro players Richard Sherman and Tony Gonzalez are analysts, alongside former Los Angeles Ram Andrew Whitworth and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played with nine teams during his career.
Will I be able to watch Thursday Night Football at my favorite bar or restaurant?
As always! Before the season started, Amazon struck a deal with DirecTV that allows more than 300,000 bars and restaurants around the country to air the game
Does the NFL offer any viewing packages to watch the Thursday night games?
Yes. One. The NFL App will let you stream games that are being broadcast locally in your market as well as any played in prime time.
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