The audio went out again, and when it came back, it sounded as if Simms and Nantz were in a submarine rather than a network broadcast booth. Eventually, they got it right -- eventually.

In fairness, Nantz is a very good play-by-play announcer. His energy, pace and overall focus are top shelf. He doesn't bring the sense of history or gravitas to a game that Al Michaels does, but then, there is only one Michaels.

As for Simms, he does his homework -- give him that. And again unlike Dan Dierdorf and Dan Fouts, he is usually right when he tells viewers what he saw on a contested play -- and what he thinks the ultimate ruling will be. He called the touchdown by Steelers tight end Heath Miller correctly when it looked to me in real time like Miller was out of bounds before touching the pylon with the ball.

But I was disappointed in the way that Simms failed to take me inside the game -- explaining why something was working (or not) for one team or the other the way Cris Collinsworth does at NBC.

Here's my bottom line: Every time I was about to praise the CBS crew for doing something well in the first half, I was let down by a comparable failure in the second.

In the first half, I marveled at the production crew's ability to get replays up instantly after a big play -- replays that often allowed me to see the play from at least two angles.

But then in the second half, Ed Reed made a great interception in the Ravens' end zone -- and followed it up with a nifty run. I wanted to savor the interception and Reed's jitterbugging run, but just as the replay started to play, CBS went to commercials. And while they did show the play later, they only gave us the interception -- never the run.

Was Sunday's coverage an improvement over anything we have seen from CBS this year?

Yes, of course. It almost had to be.

But just once, I would love to have the kind of totally pleasurable experience watching a Ravens game on CBS that I often do with NBC or even the NFL Network -- when I can ignore the corporate punches the league-owned channel pulls when things get political.