The Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams did not have their seasons go according to plan. Denver had aspirations of ending its six-year playoff drought -- at the very least -- once the franchise acquired Russell Wilson in the offseason. Los Angeles was seeking to be the first repeat Super Bowl winner in 18 years, but tied for the worst record by a defending Super Bowl champion in league history.
This matchup will feature the two worst scoring offenses in football, yet this game is still going to be worth the watch on Christmas Day. The Broncos-Rams matchup will be the first regular-season game broadcast on Nickelodeon, making this showdown a fun-filled event with your favorite characters.
Nickelodeon has broadcasted NFL games over the last two years, slime-filled events that occurred on wild card weekend that served as an alternate broadcast to the CBS game. The slime will be back on Christmas, along with other holiday-themed elements that will be incorporated into the broadcast in 2022.
What fun will Nickelodeon have in store for us this year? This is a broadcast you won't want to miss. Here's a primer of everything you need to know about Sunday's "Nickelodeon NFL Nickmas Game" presentation.
What is the Nickelodeon broadcast?
The "NFL on Nickelodeon" started as a fun alternate broadcast for the added wild card game that took place when the NFL playoffs expanded from 12 to 14 games in the 2020 season. As a simulcast to the CBS game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, Nickelodeon provided its own broadcast with a different graphics package and announcers -- "Nick-ifying" the broadcast.
The popular broadcast returned on wild card weekend in 2021 with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys and has become an annual staple on the NFL calendar. After the Christmas presents are unwrapped and families are gathering together, the Nickelodeon broadcast will be a fun experience for football watchers of all ages.
What will this year's Nickelodeon broadcast include?
Slime. Well at lot of slime -- and so much more. A preview of what's on the docket during the broadcast:
- Brand-new holiday-themed augmented reality; fan-favorite characters on the field.
- Cannons shooting snow, presents and slime after touchdowns and other big plays (it is Christmas after all).
- Special halftime presentation that includes an exclusive look at Nick's newest animated preschool series, Rubble & Crew, premiering Friday, Feb. 3.
- Virtual Nick blimp flying throughout the stadium.
CBS Sports and @Nickelodeon to Deliver "Nickelodeon NFL Nickmas Game" to Fans of All Ages on Christmas Day— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) December 6, 2022
Release: https://t.co/ESGTgn8SBe pic.twitter.com/Us93a8lkoq
Who's calling the game?
Noah Eagle will return as the play-by-play broadcaster for the special Nickelodeon broadcast, while Nate Burleson (The NFL Today) and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green (That Girl Lay Lay) return as the color analysts for the game. Nickelodeon star Young Dylan (Dylan Gilmer from Tyler Perry's Young Dylan) is back for his second season as the sideline reporter.
"We're gonna have that kid-like fun," Eagle said to CBS Sports. "It's gonna feel like you watched a football game for the first time again. It's different. It's no gonna be a normal football game of any kind.
"Christmas is a different feel already. You're with your friends, your family, so add some slime in your life. Slime is good for the soul, it's good for the heart! We're going to be just playing football with ourselves, like we're sitting right next to you -- and enjoying the goodness of slime."
Another special guest
This year's broadcast will also feature a special sideline reporter live from Bikini Bottom -- SpongeBob SquarePants' Patrick Star. Patrick will be adding live commentary throughout the game, his first venture into broadcasting after living under a rock and jellyfishing with SpongeBob for 23 years.
"It's hard to compete with Patrick!" Green said to CBS Sports. "He's the NVP, the Nickelodeon Most Valuable Player! It's going to be a true honor to be there with Patrick Star. It's gonna be fun and a crazy, wild time. It's gonna be awesome to see one of our fan favorite characters with us this year. I hope the audience enjoys it as much as we do!"
So where is Patrick going to be outside of Bikini Bottom? Young Dylan admitted Patrick will be on the field as well, but wouldn't give any more teasers.
Year Three for Noah and Gabby
Engle and Green are in their third year doing the annual Nickelodeon game, which has evolved into a cultural phenomenon. The pair have become stalwarts on a broadcast that has brought a generation of new football fans thanks to their unique presentation of the game.
"It's been crazy to see how the visual effects of this game have been going," Green said. "The first game was fantastic, but we only had the slime cannons and a couple effects here and there. The second game, we had the big slime monster to all the different things happening in the booth to make it more visually appealing.
"This third game, we're going to have even more visually appealing things and more educational things. Over time, this has been drastic, this has been fantastic, it's been really influential and had an amazing impact on our audience."
Eagle has been amazed by how well Gabby has transitioned into her NFL role over the past three years, especially as she's evolved into the star of the current generation of Nickelodeon watchers.
"I remember our first year, there was a punt and Gabby was enamored by it," Eagle said as he shared a laugh with Green. "We're in Year Three now -- and I'm not saying Gabby is breaking down Cover-2 defenses with a fine-tooth comb -- but her understanding of the game has improved leaps and bounds.
"That's our goal at the end of the day. To do that with kids everywhere across the country. Maybe they're not football fans, but year after year they will get more knowledge. That's been the coolest part to me."
Year Two for Dylan
Young Dylan joined the broadcast as a sideline reporter last year and has hosted the "NFL SlimeTime" show with Burleson for the past two years. He's been a familiar face on the network as one of its brightest stars -- and his love for football is displayed tapping into the broadcasting world.
"Having that chemistry with Nate on SlimeTime definitely helps me prepare for this," Gilmer said. "Him and Gabrielle will both be asking me what's going on on the field -- and I know their chemistry from working with them. SlimeTime plays such a big role in doing these games."
How to watch
Obviously the game is on Nickelodeon, but Jim Nantz and Tony Romo are calling the game on CBS as well. Here are the multiple ways you can watch the Nickelodeon and CBS broadcast of Broncos-Rams.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 25 | Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California)
TV: CBS, Nickelodeon | Stream: (For CBS broadcast only) on Paramount+ (click here); For Nickelodeon broadcast on NFL+ (click here)