Al Michaels has spent 28 years as the play-by-play voice of the NFL’s top prime-time game. Between them, Michaels and color analyst Cris Collinsworth have 21 Emmy Awards.

They’ve called their share of big prime-time games, but each expressed excitement for calling the Carolina-New Orleans matchup on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” this week.

“It is (exciting) because there’s an unknown factor to it,” Collinsworth said this week in a phone interview. “When the Cowboys play the Giants, I kind of know what’s going to go on. And when New Orleans travels back across the country after an emotional Monday night game and faces this defense, you start talking about Ali-Frazier and the classic matchups where you get one pure style against another pure style.”

For the first time since Week 15 of the 2009 season, the Panthers will play on “Sunday Night Football,” which is the No.1 prime time show on television based on viewership.

“I love when we get a team we haven’t had for a while,” Michaels said. “For me, we do the Steelers, Packers, Cowboys and Ravens and a lot of teams a number of times through the years. When you have those teams, you have to start from a place where a good part of the country has seen them several times, not only on Sunday night but on Monday night and on big national games.