NFL fans down under are excited about the return of the National Football League, now in its 99th season. A host of talented teams are aspiring to be crowned champions in Super Bowl 53, which airs on 4 February, 2019 (AEDT).
Entering the 2018-19 season the Philadelphia Eagles are the reigning champs, but there will be plenty of challengers looking to dethrone the Super Bowl winners and you won’t miss a minute when watching key games on Free to Air TV or streaming the action live to a mobile device.
NFL 2018 Preview
In the AFC, despite Tom Brady now being 41 years old and into his 19th year in the NFL, the New England Patriots will enter the 2018-19 season looking to become just the third team in NFL history to play in three consecutive Super Bowls. The Patriots will have their share of challenges though, having lost several key players to Free Agency and question marks surrounding their wide-receivers. Among the teams expected to challenge New England are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who fell to the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship game after surrendering a lead late after the half. The Jaguars possess one of the NFL’s elite defenses, led by five Pro-Bowl selections, and have improved their offensive line in an effort to help QB Blake Bortles take his game to another level. The Jags should have competition from the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, so all eyes will be on those games.
On the NFC side the Eagles will be looking to capture back-to-back Super Bowls and there’s no doubting they have the talent to do so. MVP Nick Foles is expected to start, but all-star QB Carson Wentz should be returning to action. Among the teams expected to give the Eagles a run include the St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packs and New Orleans Saints. The Rams have added talent to both sides of the ball, while the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers and have also added some key pieces. The Saints, meanwhile, have a talented young team led by savvy veteran Drew Brees. Their offense was strong last season, and with another year in the system they could be nearly unstoppable. The Rams and Saints play on November 4, in what could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship game.
NFL on ESPN of Australia vs Free to Air
ESPN, the original home of the NFL in Australia, will broadcast every Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night regular season contest, Live and in HD, along with two marquee Thanksgiving day matches, as well as every playoff game and one of the world’s biggest sporting events, Super Bowl 53 on February 4, 2019, for up to 64 live events.
In Addition to televising these live games, ESPN of Australia (Foxtel) will typically offer these same matches with NFL TV replays airing later that same day.
The NFL 2018 Free to Air offering will be broadcast via 7mate, and the Seven Network streaming service will televise up to two live Sunday afternoon games, which generally air starting between 3:00 am and 7:00 am Sydney time on Monday morning, as well as select Sunday Night contests which will be shared with ESPN.
NFL 2018 Live TV (AEDT)
Friday 23 November LIVE: Chicago at Detroit at 4.30am (Foxtel)
Friday 23 November LIVE: Washington at Dallas at 8.30am (7Mate)
Friday 23 November LIVE: Atlanta at New Orleans at 12.20pm (7Mate)
Monday 26 November LIVE: Seattle at Carolina at 5.00am (7Mate)
Monday 26 November LIVE: Pittsburgh at Denver at 8.25am (7Mate)
Monday 26 November LIVE: Green Bay at Minnesota at 12.20pm (7Mate/Foxtel)
Tuesday 27 November LIVE: Tennessee at Houston at 12.15pm (Foxtel)
TV fixtures shown as Sydney time, adjust for regional differences.
Watch or Stream the NFL Live
While you can find NFL Free to air action on Channel 7, the best prime time coverage will be shown on ESPN of Australia (Foxtel), to include every Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night contest airing Live, along with replays of the biggest match-ups on their broadcast schedule and the option to watch the NFL live online.
So if you’re a resident of Australia you may wish to review the Foxtel from Telstra Sport combo pack. With the Sports Combo you can watch popular TV including the NFL on ESPN live at home, and if you have to be out and about you can stream the NFL on ESPN free using the Foxtel App within minutes of signing up.
AFC Teams to Watch
The AFC Conference in the NFL could well be dominated by just a few sides, most notably the airing of the Patriots as they go for a record-breaking eighth consecutive Conference Championship game. The biggest obstacles to their chances appear to be the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by five Pro-Bowlers on defence, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will once again rely on QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and RB LeVeon Bell.
NFC Teams to Watch
The Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams look to be the class of the NFC. The Eagles are the defending Super Bowl champs and showed no obvious weaknesses, and will also be expecting QB Carson Wentz to be available. The Rams were a dangerous but young team last season, and this year have added even more pieces to their roster, including WR Brandin Cooks, as well as defenders Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. The Saints represented the NFC in the Divisional round, and would have advanced if not for arguably the most spectacular finish in NFL Playoff history, when Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for the 61-yard game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.