Blakeman to referee 1st Super Bowl

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NEW YORK — Eighth-year referee Clete Blakeman will work his first Super Bowl on Feb. 7 when the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos at Santa Clara, California.

The NFL announced Wednesday that Blakeman will handle his sixth postseason game. He refereed Green Bay-Arizona in the divisional round, when he needed to redo the coin toss for overtime when the coin didn’t flip.

Jeff Rice, the umpire from Blakeman’s crew, also got a Super Bowl assignment, his third. He was on the field for Super Bowls 36 and 38.

The other officials will be head linesman Wayne Mackie, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge Boris Cheek, side judge Scott Edwards, and back judge Keith Ferguson.

Cheek and Ferguson also have worked one Super Bowl each. Cheek officiated Super Bowl 42 and Ferguson in Super Bowl 43.

Mackie, Baynes and Edwards have not officiated a Super Bowl.

Charles Stewart will be the replay official, assisted by Jimmy Oldham.

Collectively, the Super Bowl 50 officiating crew has 97 years of NFL experience and 62 combined playoff assignments.

Mackie and Ferguson both worked with referee John Hussey this season. Baynes was with Ed Hochuli, Cheek with Walt Coleman and Edwards with Ron Torbert.

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Watch Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts live on TNF

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The Indianapolis Colts host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football in a battle of two former contenders whose seasons have gone wrong.

Following a strong start, the Broncos went 1-8, as their typically astute defense has struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone. Denver’s offense has not helped the team’s cause either. The Broncos have failed to find clarity at quarterback with Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch all seeing time.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

The Colts have had their own deficiencies this season without star quarterback Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brissett has provided admirable coverage under center with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions, but he has not been able to keep up with a Colts defense that has let up the second-most points in the NFL this season.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Broncos vs. Colts

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Watch Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders live on SNF

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The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to keep their playoff hopes alive.

With a win, Dallas will maintain its chances of sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card. After struggling initially, Dak Prescott has been able to adjust to life without Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott threw for three touchdowns and a season-high 332 yards in the Cowboys win last week over the New York Giants.

If the Cowboys can hang around, Elliott can give them a boost when he returns from suspension next week heading into the final stretch of the season.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

The Raiders also find themselves in need of a win as they are in the middle of a contested AFC West battle with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense will need to improve after dropping from the league’s sixth-best offense in 2016 to 19th this season.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Cowboys vs. Raiders

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app