Until today I had been without power and internet/cable, due to Hurricane Irma. Finally those amenities have been restored and I was able to watch football. Now, I am not complaining about my power company as I know many are far worse off than I after the storm. I am, however, going to complain about the quality of football game we watched Thursday Night.
When the NFL looked at the schedule, how in the world did they ever come to the conclusion that at Texans vs. Bengals game was going to be entertaining fare? The Texans had Tom Savage and a rookie at QB. Both teams are known more for their defense. This game was destined to be Three Yards and a cloud of dust from the start. Some fans may appreciate this style of football, but the average fan has come to expect a few more points on the board. The NFL had to know this wasn’t going to be an exciting battle to most fans.
Lots of Back-ups in the Game-
This seems to happen quite often in Thursday Night games. Sometimes, players just aren’t able to go on a short week. Sometimes, it takes a toll mid-game and back-ups are introduced into the starting line-up. This isn’t specific to the Texans/Bengals game, but it did play a factor in the final quarter to the point where the announcers were calling it out. This has always been a drawback of playing the Thursday game. However, it’s also further proof that the NFL cares more for the bottom line than they actually care about player safety, or even putting a palatable product on TV. I’m sure this won’t change the NFL decisions on the schedule, even after we know most teams and players dislike the games.
13-9 Let that sink in...
There were 16 punts in this game. 5 different field goals. And only one TD. That one TD? It came on a 94 yard run by the rookie QB. The only ones fist pumping this game were Tony Sporano and a handful of Texans fans... that’s about it. For all intents and purposes, 41 year-old punter Shane Lechler was the MVP of the game with over a 51-yard punting average. That certainly does not scream entertainment. All-in-all that game was everything the score said it was... about as fun as watching paint dry.
I fully admit I have never been a fan of the Thursday Night Format. I think it has a lot of issues. Most obvious among those is player safety, the second is game watchability. This game has done nothing but further those opinions. Perhaps I am even more jaded on this game due to the fact it was first real football I got to watch of the season. As such, I am thoroughly unimpressed. I can not wait for Sunday to get here and for the Dolphins to finally hit the field. Hopefully, they are ready.
There is one play, beyond all others that stood out as worthy of mention. With 2 seconds on the clock, the Bengals got the ball with 70 yards to go, or so. They do the short pass, lateral thing for about 10-15 seconds then... JJ Watt was D.O.N.E. That has to be one of the most definitive tackles I have EVER seen on a pro-level, and on a 300lb lineman to boot.
Credit to Deadspin for the WWF Voice Over, that really takes this play over the top.