The kickoff times of the late games for Sunday doubleheaders on FOX and CBS are being pushed back, the NFL announced today.
The move could affect four Seahawks games – their Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona; the Dec. 9 rematch with the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field; their Dec. 23 game against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field; and their Dec. 30 regular-season finale against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.
Those games are scheduled to be telecast on FOX, and had 1:15 p.m. kickoffs. The new later kickoff will be 1:25.
The later start will reduce instances where the end of the early game overlapped with the start of the later game in the doubleheader format. League research determined that from the 2009-11 seasons, 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With the later kickoff, that number is expected to impact 15 games – a 66-percent reduction.
Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.
In the broadcast booth hours before the game, microphones waited for Monday Night Football announcers Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron “Jaws” Jaworski.
Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico reviews his notes in the booth long before the stands at CenturyLink Field were filled with members of the 12thMAN.
Safety Earl Thomas warms up on the field as the last of the December sun fell on CenturyLink Field.
Skittles-mania has overtaken Seattle thanks to Marshawn Lynch, and sure enough, a bag could be found in the depths of his locker before the game.
Marshawn Lynch greets his mom on the sidelines during pregame. When asked about the Skittles habit after the game, Lynch replied, "you've got to ask my Mama."
Head coach Pete Carroll speaks briefly to the team before they took the field.
Customarily one of the last players to leave the locker room, Marshawn Lynch "taps in" as head coach Pete Carroll follows.
Chris Clemons, who Pete Carroll identifies as a key acquisition last season, stares into the television camera before leaving the tunnel during pregame introductions.
Defensive lineman Alan Branch and linebacker K.J. Wright combine to put a vicious hit on St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford.
Michael Robinson scooped up Doug Baldwin's blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown, setting the tone for the Seahawks victory.
Members of the Seahawks special teams celebrate in the end zone after they blocked a punt for a touchdown.
This member of the 12th MAN didn't feel the need for a hat in the winter cold, he just painted a helmet on his bald head instead.
St. Louis safety Darian Stewart lost his helmet in an effort to bring down Seattle receiver Ben Obomanu.
Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner collected his team-high fifth interception of the season, sitting in wait for a route he remembered from the two teams first meeting in St. Louis earlier in the season.
Doug Baldwin continued to improve and impress as he not only caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, but also blocked a punt that the Seahawks returned for a touchdown.
Tight end Zach Miller has been a stalwart blocking for the running game, but also caught two passes against St. Louis.
Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Mebane and his teammates dominated the Rams for the second time this season.
Safeties Earl Thomas and Atari Bigby celebrate after forcing St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford into an intentional grounding penalty in the red zone.
Seattle's running game features Marshawn Lynch, who went "Beast Mode" in the second half on his way to a game-high 115 yards.
Lynch's 16-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Seahawks.
After Lynch's touchdown, Skittles rained down on the turf in the end zone. Skittles are Lynch's "go-to" candy before, during and after game as was widely-publicized after his last prime-time performance on Thursday Night Football two weeks ago.
Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a yell after the final touchdown, as he saw his team win its fourth game in the last five outings. Seattle travels to Chicago as they seek to continue their newfound success.
The Seahawks returned home to the rowdy support of the 12thMan at Qwest Field as they faced the St. Louis Rams in a Week 17, winner-take-all contest to see which team would claim the NFC West title and a trip to the playoffs.
Seahawks quarterback and team captain Matt Hasselbeck took center stage in the locker room before the game.
Starting safety Lawyer Milloy is a study in concentration in the dark of the tunnel before being the last player introduced to a roaring crowd and national television audience.
Seattle's offense started fast, with a wide-open Ruvell Martin making a 61-yard catch from Charlie Whitehurst in front of the St. Louis sideline to set up a first quarter touchdown.
Charlie Whitehurst made his second career NFL start matter, leading the Seahawks efficiently and without turnovers.
Wide receiver Mike Williams was wide open on the left side of the end zone and scored Seattle's only touchdown on a pass from Charlie Whitehurst.
Williams then saluted the 12thMan as an NBC camera beamed his pose to the rest of the country.
Head coach Pete Carroll congratulates Williams after the touchdown.
Matt McCoy gets pumped after one of his four tackles on special teams against the Rams.
Raheem Brock played his best game as a Seahawk, leveling St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford for a sack on this play with teammate Chris Clemons.
Chris Clemons celebrates after the sack.
Clemons again brought pressure on Bradford, this time forcing an incomplete pass as the Rams tried to score after a Seattle turnover.
Head coach Pete Carroll praised all three aspects of his team's play -- offense, defense and special teams. Free safety Earl Thomas made a diving tackle on Rams return specialist Danny Amendola, flipping him through the air.
Linebacker Will Herring made the game's biggest defensive play, intercepting a pass by St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford in the fourth quarter which set the stage for Seattle's final scoring drive.
Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was key in the fourth quarter as he carried the ball ten times on a 13-play drive to help seal the victory.
Seattle kicker Olindo Mare kicked three second half field goals including a final 34-yard effort with 1:41 left in the game to cement the win.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and fellow assistants celebrate Mare's field goal with gave the Seahawks a 16-6 lead.
Quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck share a laugh on the sideline near the end of the game.
Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a holler along with assistants Gus Bradley (left) and Dan Quinn (right) as the game clock ticks down to 00:00.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill, wearing a hat proclaiming the Seahawks as NFC West Champions, runs over to the stands to give his wife Rachel a kiss before heading to the locker room.
Center Chris Spencer presented the game ball to head coach Pete Carroll, who returned the Seahawks to the top of the NFC West and back to the playoffs in his first season with the team.
Carroll pauses to collect his thoughts as the team gathered around him in the locker room following the emotional victory.
Carroll congratulated his players, coaches and staff on the win, then reminded them that a bigger challenge awaited as a rematch with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints was less than a week away.
General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, who made 275 personnel moves since taking over, congratulate each other in the locker room after winning the division title.