Cris Collinsworth was downright giddy last night in talking about just how good and entertaining the Dallas Cowboys-Houston Texans game was, as it was nearing its conclusion in overtime. It was almost as if he was getting a direct line from Jerry Jones planting ideas that the Cowboys were in fact really like the Rams. It was kind of embarrassing at times. That wasn’t a top 30 most entertaining game in the NFL this year.
But you can’t blame Collinsworth for feeling refreshed. After all, he hasn’t seen the Rams or Chiefs play. He’s had to watch the Cowboys twice in 6 broadcasts, with the other coming against the riveting Giants. He called an Eagles game with Nick Foles at QB, where Matt Ryan struggled. He saw the Patriots at their worst on offense in Detroit. The Steelers put up 14 points in a home loss. The only compelling game was when Aaron Rodgers limped back out and led on a huge comeback in the season opener.
The six games on NBC Sunday Night Football (including the Thursday season opener) have averaged 36.8 total points scored. The other 142 games played in the NFL so far have averaged 48.6 points per game.
So forgive Collinsworth if he found Dak Prescott escaping the pocket to make a downfield throw amazing. Just imagine what kind of ecstasy he is going to be in next week when Patrick Mahomes goes to Foxboro to face the Patriots. Pity him for seeing a Bill O’Brien versus Jason Garrett matchup as compelling. Just wait until he gets a load of Andy Reid versus Bill Belichick in a situation where the Patriots need to step up or risk the Chiefs pulling away in the AFC. Collinsworth has been busy watching NBC, and if that’s the case, he’s missed out on a lot of entertaining stuff.
The Cowboys are a ratings draw, no doubt. They are the straw that stirs the drink when it comes to eyeballs. But they are also one of the six least fun teams to watch so far in 2018, if you strip away all that Big D Drama. The offense has no outside threats, the playcalling is predictable, and Jason Garrett will punt away a game with a 4th and 1 just outside scoring range in overtime. Their games are closer to a trip to your dentist.
So buckle up, Cris Collinsworth, you are going to love this next one. The Patriots’ offense is back, with Julian Edelman returning, with Josh Gordon starting to work his way into the mix, and with the running back duo of James White and Sony Michel finding their rhythm. The Chiefs’ offense is going to show you a little of everything with Tyreek Hill running jet sweeps, running streaks, and Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce making plays. Oh, and Patrick Mahomes does that thing where he escapes and makes you shout about 5-10 times a game. Welcome to exciting football in 2018, NBC.