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Volume 24 No. 112
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NFL Week 2 Overnights: Cowboys-Broncos Leads; "SNF" Lower With Packers-Falcons

Cowboys-Broncos was the bellweather NFL game in Week 2, as Fox drew a 15.9 overnight for the matchup featured in the late national window yesterday. The game stretched into primetime due to an hour-long lightning delay. CBS carried the national window in Week 2 last year, drawing a 13.6 for a telecast featuring Colts-Broncos. Two years ago, Fox had Cowboys-Eagles in the national window and drew a 17.8 overnight. Last night, NBC drew a 12.6 overnight for Packers-Falcons, marking the lowest Week 2 “SNF” overnight since Steelers-Browns drew an 11.9 in ’08. Packers-Falcons, which featured the first regular-season game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, was down 8% from Packers-Vikings in Week 2 last year, which featured the first game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Both years had competition from the Primetime Emmys, which last night drew only an 8.2 overnight (likely on pace for record low). NBC with “SNF” got a primetime win. Milwaukee led all “SNF” markets with a 41.6 overnight, followed by Atlanta with a 25.0. Meanwhile, CBS had the singleheader yesterday, drawing a 9.2 overnight for a window that featured several lopsided scores, including Patriots-Saints and Jets-Raiders. For all weekend broadcasts, all Florida metered markets are not included due to lingering effects from Hurricane Irma (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NFL WEEK 2 SUNDAY OVERNIGHT RATINGS
NET
'17 GAME
RAT.
'16 NET
'16 GAME
RAT.
CBS
(single)
9.2
Fox
(single)
12.3
Fox
(regional)
8.5
CBS
(regional)
10.9
Fox
Cowboys-Broncos (81%)
15.9
CBS
Colts-Broncos (74%)
13.6
NBC
Packers-Falcons
12.6
NBC
Packers-Vikings
13.7

ONCE A STAR, ALWAYS A STAR: In DC, Cindy Boren writes two games into Tony Romo's career as a CBS analyst, it is clear "he is really, really good at it." Romo is seeing the field "so clearly and plugging into the mind-set of the players he’s covering so well that he brings a new dimension to the game." With the Saints at the Patriots' 5-yard-line yesterday, Romo warned, "Watch out for the fade to 16." On the ensuing play, Saints QB Drew Brees hit WR Brandon Coleman "for the touchdown" on the fade (WASHINGTON POST, 9/18). THE RINGER's Rodger Sherman writes Romo "has proved to be exceptional, often using his experience to call upcoming plays with startling accuracy." He also quickly explains "why he expected a play to happen after the fact, giving priceless insight into how an NFL quarterback reads defenses" (THERINGER.com, 9/18). In Dallas, Barry Horn writes Romo "may not have enjoyed the same success" as Brees and Patriots QB Tom Brady have on the field, but they would be "hard-pressed to be as smooth as Romo has been in his first two games as a broadcaster" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/18). NEWSWEEK's Teddy Cutler writes Romo brings a "sense of freshness and fun" to the booth. He and broadcast partner Jim Nantz yesterday "were discussing the longevity" of Brady and Brees and how their "diets have allowed them to play toward the age of 40 and beyond it." The broadcast then "cut away to a picture of Romo with a big pile of dessert" (NEWSWEEK.com, 9/18). UFC fighter Daniel Cormier tweeted Romo "may just be the best color guy in the NFL. This dude knows every play that's about to be ran." Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel: "Not sure I've ever heard a better NFL analyst than Tony Romo. Completely dialed in." NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal: "I no longer follow an NFL team. I just watch Tony Romo’s game each week."

NICE CATCH: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes CBS analyst James Lofton in calling Browns-Ravens was "sharp all day." Zurawik: "He made me appreciate an aspect of [Ravens QB Joe] Flacco’s performance that I never would have otherwise thought about." That is how you "enrich the game for the average fan, which is what being an analyst should be all about." Lofton was "stellar from the opening kickoff." Zurawik: "I charted only one mistake by him all day" (Baltimore SUN, 9/18).

PREGAME OBSERVATIONS: SI.com's Richard Deitsch notes Michael Vick on "Fox NFL Sunday" in analyzing Eagles-Chiefs gave viewers "one small item of note: Alex Smith helping Patrick Mahomes during training camp." That is "not really news," but Vick is still "very new at this." If he is "serious about staying in this long-term, he needs producers to put him in spots to succeed, and he needs to tell us as viewers things we do not already know." Meanwhile, CBS' "The NFL Today" producer Drew Kaliski did an "excellent job" yesterday "putting new analyst Phil Simms in positions to succeed, specifically an end of the show segment when host James Brown asked Simms to answer questions in short form followed by the rest of the group commenting and mocking Simms’ take." Over the last couple of years, Simms was "far better" on Showtime's "Inside The NFL" than he "was as an analyst, and this format seems to fit his personality well" (SI.com, 9/18).

HOOP IT UP: In DC, Des Bieler notes Falcons RB Devonta Freeman last night took advantage of the NFL's relaxed rules on celebrations and "took a jump shot with the football, and swished it through the ersatz hoop formed" by G Andy Levitre’s arms. However, the "real hero in the sequence" came from the "SNF" production crew. As the game went to a commercial break and the celebration was replayed, viewers were "treated to the perfect soundtrack: 'Roundball Rock,' John Tesh’s iconic theme music for 'The NBA on NBC'" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/18).

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING
: In N.Y., Julie DiCaro notes women in sports broadcasting are "used to men criticizing their voices." ESPN's Beth Mowins became the first female to call a "MNF" game last week, and the moment the broadcast began, Twitter "lit up with complaints about her voice." NFL reporter Andrea Kremer said, "I have no doubt that ‘hating the sound of her voice’ is code for 'I hate that there was a woman announcing football'" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). In San Jose, Carl Steward wrote Mowins was "pretty stellar in her regular-season NFL lead broadcaster breakthrough." It was "too bad she got saddled with Rex Ryan as her sidekick" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 9/16).

LOCAL BROADCASTS
: In S.F., Scott Ostler notes Raiders radio color analyst Tom Flores was "back on the job" yesterday for Jets-Raiders after "missing the season opener with injuries." Flores "took a tumble Aug. 26 in Dallas, suffering a fractured vertebra, broken [nose] and a cut over one eye requiring six stitches" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18)....The Chiefs yesterday announced that they will "name their television broadcast booth" after Pro Football HOFer Len Dawson. Dawson is in his "34th and final season as the Chiefs’ radio color commentator" (K.C. STAR, 9/18).