Nine things that crossed my mind while watching a full day of NFL football yesterday…
- After the way he’s played the last two games, it may be time to retire the phrase “Mahomes Magic.” Jim Nance and Tony Romo kept playing up the fact that the Chargers left too much time on the clock after their last score, because it was a given that Patrick Mahomes would just march the Chiefs down the field to win. Except, like last week, he didn’t do that. Instead, he got rattled and threw an interception — his second of the game. Perhaps this whole notion of a wild scrambling quarterback who can bring his team back from behind isn’t as good as a solid QB who can get his team in the lead and keep it there. I know Mahomes got the Chiefs to the Super Bowl the last two years, but opposing coaches have had plenty of film of him to study and, like Tampa Bay in February, seem to have figured out a way to force him to make mistakes.
- James Brown was absent from “The NFL Today” on CBS, including the halftime show and scoring updates — and it made no difference. The ex-jock studio crew of Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson, and Boomer Esiason have been taking over those segments for several years, and proved yesterday that they don’t need a broadcaster/emcee who only reads the sponsors’ messages before handing it off to them. Burleson, a recent addition to “CBS Mornings,” had no trouble filling that role. I like JB, but can’t imagine CBS execs continuing to pay him a bunch of money to do so little.
- What a pleasure it is to hear a game called by Jim Nance and Tony Romo, who continue to be the second-best current NFL announcing combo behind all-timers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
- I miss having access to NFL Red Zone, which AT&T’s U-Verse dropped from its lineup a few years ago. The NFL should make it available as a standalone streaming service — I’d pay to subscribe and watch on Sunday afternoons. Speaking of NFL packages, I sure hope that Amazon wins the rights to Sunday Ticket next year, when Direct TV’s contract expires. I’m not sure how that would work technically, but having access to more games simultaneously would be nice.
- Why do sportscasters always have use the full name “Washington Football Team”? Why can’t they just call the team “Washington,” in the same way they refer to the Lions as “Detroit” and the Colts as “Indianapolis”? While we’re at it, how could it possibly take this long for Washington to come up with a new franchise name? It’s been two years, and they only now have it narrowed down to three finalists? How about “Procrastinators”?
- Da Bears only gained a single passing yard in the entire game because rookie quarterback Justin Fields was sacked 9 times by the Browns. Perhaps the problem wasn’t with their old QB but with the offensive line, which is so porous it couldn’t even win a game of Red Rover.
- Why are runners with the ball allowed to put their hands on the defender’s face mask without being called for a penalty, but when the situation is reversed, flags are thrown every time?
- I love the pylon cam. It’s one of those wacky ideas someone threw out at a meeting, making everyone present laugh, until they tried it out and realized it gave TV viewers yet another never-before-seen angle on key plays. Brilliant.
- Highlight of the day: no contest. Justin Tucker attempting a field goal from an NFL-record 66 yards and watching the ball bounce off the cross bar before going through the uprights. Fantastic.