In reality, the New England Patriots and New York Giants have nothing to play for in their Week 17 matchup Saturday night on the NFL Network.
The Patriots have the AFC No. 1 seed and homefield advantage locked up throughout the playoffs. The Giants are locked into the No. 5 seed in the NFC.
In normal games like this, the teams will rest their starters after a few possessions, a quarter, or maybe after halftime.
Obviously, in this game, things are different. The Patriots are going for 16-0, the second perfect regular season in NFL history behind the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Because of these implications, the NFL Network is going to air 62 straight hours of coverage leading to this game, including a six-hour pregame show.
The coverage will include re-airing six Patriots games in their entirety — and re-airing most of those games at least twice. It will break the network's current record for preview hype — the 36 hours devoted to this season's Patriots-Indianapolis Colts showdown. A clock counting down the time to kickoff will pop up onscreen about 1,200 times this week. Says network spokesman Seth Palansky, "The plan is that this is essentially our Super Bowl."
We like Rich Eisen. If Dick Vermeil doesn't break down and cry, he's OK, too. Marshall Faulk... well, let's just say he's never gonna' wow us with mic and analysis skills. We're curious if you can stand listening to Deion Sanders for six hours. His personality is too much for TV. He's too self-loving.