The NFL is likely to be triumphant. Despite potential resistance to the product and complaints about Thursday Night Football and overseas games, changes tend to become normalized over time. Even the most inept schedule makers ultimately deliver a good match-up, such as the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens on a Thursday.
Two premier quarterbacks and two hot teams in the AFC North often guarantee good, physical games. Fans, the teams, and even those who don’t watch football, know this. However, the only entity seemingly oblivious to this fact is the NFL.
The perpetually dinged-up Joe Burrow further injured his wrist in the short week, and Mark Andrews ended his season with a tackle that the league aims to regulate out of the game. Lamar Jackson also visited the medical tent as a precaution.
While the Bengals’ season was unlikely going anywhere, ensuring that it won’t after last night’s game, consider the consequences if Jackson’s injury was serious. Baltimore’s new coordinator has the new offense rolling, and they were finally getting kind of healthy.
Football fans are drawn to NFL games, much like Swifties to an Eras Tour stop. It does not matter which teams are playing, viewers will tune in once the muscle memory is ingrained.
The NFL seems to take unnecessary scheduling gambits to appease a TV partner, which is not necessary.
All season, the league has been touting its use of supercomputers to make the schedule, but how about asking for a schedule behaving reasonably, instead of partnering with byes?
Up until the last night, the Thursday Night Football slate was the standard forgettable self. The ratings this year, however, were higher, despite the poor showing.
It would take a lot to usurp Sunday Night Football’s broadcast.
The NFL appears to be more unkillable than Haliburton. Given their resilience, perhaps it would be more appropriate to designate teams with disposable quarterbacks as the Thursday Night Football and NFL Europe teams ; this way, the bona fide stars could stick to their recovery routine. The events of Thursday night were avoidable.