Kevin Harlan and Dan Fouts got the call (Rich Gannon was scheduled to go but opted to stay home for some family reasons) for the Rams-N.Y. Giants gathering on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium in London, known more as a home to the sport of rugby.
It goes nationally on the NFL Network, as well as to the L.A. market on KCBS-Channel 2 and WCBS-Channel 2 in New York.
One last minor detail: It’s a 6:30 a.m. kickoff. That translates to 2:30 p.m. in the U.K., so what’s the issue?
Oh, and the Rams give up a jolly-good home date for this honor.
Who has the edge in these kind of games, as far as travel and preparation?
“Some teams go early, some go late minute,” said Fouts, who planned on leaving from his Oregon home for the long haul on Wednesday afternoon. “Both approaches seem to work, but usually it comes down to the team with the best players still wins.”
He then laughed at the simplicity of that statement. And the fact that, at the moment, he isn’t sure which team is best: The 3-3 Rams or 3-3 Giants.
Fouts, who normally has AFC games to watch during the season, says based on last week’s games, Rams quarterback Case Keenum “reminded me of when I used to see him play at Houston, when I covered college games, and they threw the heck out of the ball. He had a lot of confidence. That’s as good as you’ll see him.”
The Rams, for those who missed it, dropped a 31-28 decision at Detroit because of a late field goal and then a Keenum pick. Prior to that, Keenum, threw for a season-best 321 yards on 27 of 32 attempts and three TDs, also setting a franchise record with 19 straight completions.
Since CBS has the doubleheader on Sunday, the net actually gets to show three games in L.A. this time, plus one more Thursday, as things map out:
= Chicago at Green Bay, 5:25 p.m., Channel 2 and NFL Network (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)
= Rams vs. N.Y. Giants in London, 6:30 a.m., Channel 2, NFL Network (Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts)
= Oakland at Jacksonville, 10 a.m., Channel 2 (Greg Gumbel, Trent Green). This is the choice going to more than 75 percent of the country, over Indianapolis-Tennessee, Cleveland-Cincinnati, Miami-Buffalo or Baltimore-N.Y. Jets
= San Diego at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11 (Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston), going to about 25 percent of the country. Maybe a kooky choice given that the prime game is Minnesota-Philadelphia in the 10 a.m. window (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman), going to more about 50 percent of the country. But since Fox has only once choice, it picks this L.A.-adjacent team even though it compete with a more marquee game on the other channel. Fox also skips, in the 10 a.m. slot, New Orleans-Kansas City and Washington-Detroit as well as Tampa Bay-San Francisco (1:05 p.m.)
= New England at Pittsburgh, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms). It’s the only game in CBS’ afternoon window, and everyone gets it. Except those in L.A. or San Diego who insist on sticking with the Chargers.
= Seattle at Arizona, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
= Houston at Denver, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)
Bye week: Dallas and Carolina