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Volume 26 No. 227
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Fox, NFL Network Earn Praise For Jets-Ravens Telecast On "TNF"

Both the Fox and NFL Network pregame shows were filled with content on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Both the Fox and NFL Network pregame shows were filled with content on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Both the Fox and NFL Network pregame shows were filled with content on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Fox and NFL Network "delivered a top-of-line production from pregame to postgame" for the Ravens' win over the Jets on "TNF," according to David Zurawik of the BALTIMORE SUN. Both the Fox and NFL Network pregame shows were "overloaded" with content on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. While NFL Network's pregame show "relied mostly on high spirits, high energy and hype, it's a lot easier to like the hype when much of it is for your hometown team and its MVP candidate." The Fox pregame show was "more polished, particularly a taped interview" Erin Andrews did with Jackson and Ravens RB Mark Ingram. It "wasn't so much the questions Andrews asked as the overall production of the interview." As for the game itself, Zurawik writes the Fox broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman "was as good as any prime-time telecast" he has seen all year. Zurawik: "In fact, I again liked Buck and Aikman a lot more than Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth." There is "no false emotion, just steady play by play from Buck that rises and falls with the rhythm of play on the field, and informed analysis from Aikman" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/13).

GOLDEN ERA: SI.com's Jimmy Traina wrote NFL fans are in "very good hands each and every Sunday when it comes to who is calling the best games of the day." CBS' Jim Nantz and Tony Romo are "simply excellent in all facets of calling a game and Romo is still far and away the best analyst in the sport." Buck and Aikman "do a great job on Thursdays and Sundays." Aikman "isn't afraid to speak his mind, call out the league and knock players and coaches who deserve it." NBC "closes out every Sunday" with Michaels and Collinsworth, and the 75-year-old Michaels is "still as good as it gets" when it comes to play by play announcers. There has been "ZERO slippage when it comes to quality with the veteran broadcaster" (SI.com, 12/10). Meanwhile, THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch goes behind the scenes with Nantz and Romo during a recent game (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/13).

TAKING CENTER STAGE: THE ATHLETIC's Lindsay Jones writes ESPN's Dan Orlovsky "quickly parlayed his career as a backup quarterback into a role" as one of the net's "rising stars, calling college football games and providing NFL analysis on nearly every ESPN platform." Orlovsky is a "reminder that sometimes, the best football analysts aren't necessarily the ones who starred on the field." The "bigger challenge" for Orlovsky has been "finding the right balance of being critical and fair in his analysis and figuring out how to handle critiquing players who also happen to be his friends." Orlovsky's goal on air "isn't to be mean, but to be honest, and explain to viewers why a quarterback struggles" (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/12). Orlovsky recently spoke with THE DAILY about his social media use.