NFL ratings are down this year, and Thursday Night Football might be a big reason why, especially when the league subjects us to the Ravens beating the winless Browns 28-7.
Is Thursday Night Football a worthwhile endeavor, or is it time for the NFL to do away with that?
“Go away for sure,” Qadry Ismail said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “When you talk about the quality of the game, when you’re talking about just the health and the players – if that is your priority, it’s no fun seeing guys on a short week trying to (get) themselves (ready) to play. They’re doing it, but I don’t see it being that great of a product, and this is a league that (is at) the apex of the sporting world. You need to have the consistency throughout without necessarily having any cracks in the teflon that you’re wearing. Everyone loves to see you. Everyone loves to see how the game is, but you’re starting to see the declining of the ratings. Thursday night has to be factored in as not a good thing for the league.”
The Ravens beat the Browns in blowout fashion Thursday, with Joe Flacco throwing for 296 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Flacco’s three touchdowns matched his total from his previous five games combined. He’s simply looked out of sorts coming back from a torn ACL.
“Maybe it’s taking Joe Flacco longer than we kind of thought,” Ismail said. “Going into training camp, he looked really good, but then once the regular season hit, it just seemed as though he had these kind of awkward inaccurate, passing-type moments. He just has missed a lot. But I think on the other side of it all, the offensive line hasn’t necessarily helped out Joe, either. There have been times when he’s been hit unnecessarily, and I’m sure any quarterback will tell you they don’t like to get hit, so it does affect them. So there’s a lot of different factors, but I think first and foremost, it’s just his fundamentals and footwork and how he’s throwing the ball. You can kind of say that’s where I think the injury has somewhat played a role in it.”
Steve Smith Sr. had a big night for Baltimore, catching five balls for 60 yards and a touchdown.
“He is a fierce, fierce, competitor,” said Ismail, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2000. “All the top wide receivers that I ever played with or had a chance to go against, they’re fierce, competitive nature is what separates them from other receivers. The desire to go out and catch the football (and make plays), you have to give me the ball, I demand that you give me the ball and defenses can’t stop me. That’s where that challenging mindset comes in for Steve Smith Sr. I think there are a lot of guys inspired by it on the Ravens.”