Several weekends during the 2020 NFL season — and other days in the year of COVID-19 — saw Mike Tirico fill in for Al Michaels on Sunday Night Football.
The 2020-21 NFL playoffs won’t be much different. NBC has two wild-card round games, including a Saturday night showdown between Tampa Bay and Washington.
The 2020-21 NFL playoffs begin this weekend
The NFL accomplished the seemingly impossible and played all 256 of its regular-season games.
In an already bizarre year, the NFL is breaking new ground with 14 total playoff teams. The AFC and NFC each have seven teams, six of whom — and a combined 12 — will play on wild-card weekend.
Green Bay and Kansas City secured the No. 1 seeds in each conference. Because those are the only two teams with a bye, that means the No. 2 seed — Buffalo in the AFC and New Orleans in the NFC — will play on wild-card weekend.
Six total games across all four of the league’s major networks will occur this weekend. Nickelodeon will also air a unique simulcast of the Bears-Saints game on Sunday, January 10.
Mike Tirico is calling the Buccaneers-Washington game
Tirico called numerous games on Sunday Night Football this past season. The Notre Dame crew teamed up for the Bears-Packers game on November 29.
Tirico and Tappen each filled in for Michaels and Michelle Tafoya at times in 2020. Michaels, who is expected to retire after calling Super Bowl 56 in February 2022, had several bye weeks during the season.
Tirico is calling the game remotely because of COVID-19 protocols. Dungy and Tappen will both be on site.
The Buccaneers and Washington Football Team will play Saturday night.
Al Michaels is handling the Browns and Steelers
Barring anything unexpected in the final hours before kickoff, Mike Tirico will not work double-duty on wild-card weekend.
NBC isn’t the only network with two games on wild-card weekend. CBS assigned Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, and Evan Washburn — the network’s No. 2 team — to the Colts-Bills game on Saturday, January 9.
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, a longtime analyst on The NFL Today, filled in for Romo during Week 17.