From the Z on TV blog:
You have to admit that I have been pretty nice to the CBS announcers doing the Baltimore Ravens' games this year.
But not this week. CBS Sports analyst Steve Beuerlein could not have been more annoying with his wrongheaded and pompous pronouncements during the overtime win Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
The misery with Beuerlein started at one of the Ravens lowest points in the first half when they were down 17 to 3 and came out throwing.
"I don't get what the Ravens are thinking at this point," Beuerlein said.
"Look, I have a lot of respect for Cam Cameron (offensive co-ordinator) and John Harbaugh (head coach), But you're losing 17 to 3, and you're trying to throw?" he said with incredulity.
"That's not really what you're built for," he added, insisting they should be running the ball.
The next play was a big pass play down the field that got the Ravens going. And incredibly, it went that way all afternoon with Beuerlein insisting the Ravens still needed to establish their running game as quarterback Joe Flacco nailed pass after pass to keep the Ravens moving and on their way to 37 points.
Beuerlein had another blowhard moment late in the third quarter when he announced that he didn't think tight end Todd Heap should be playing for medical reasons.
"I don't agree with him being out of the field," Beuerlein said of Heap.
He explained that he had talked to Heap before the game, and, "His face just doesn't look right to me."
Play by play announcer Don Criqui tried to give his partner a lifeline back from a statement clearly beyond his medical expertise.
"They've got multiple medical experts on the sidelines," Criqui said.
"I'm not questioning the decision by the medical staff," Beuerlein said, apparently hearing the warning in his partner's voice. "They don't take this lightly."
But that's exactly what he was doing: questioning the Ravens' medical staff.
I'm not saying Heap should or should not have been on the field. My doctorate isn't in medicine. Further tests and possibly subsequent symptoms might even prove Beuerlein right in hindsight. But there is no way he could have known that by just looking in Heap's face, and he should not have been questioning the medical staff that way on national TV. I hope Heap is OK, and if he is, I hope the Ravens complain to the league and CBS.
So, Criqui had his hands full just trying to keep Beuerlein in line. But Criqui had his own problems, too.
With 9:53 left in the game and the Ravens up by 10 points, Criqui told viewers that the Ravens had the "game well in hand it would seem."
Not exactly. It was a nice thought for Ravens fans, but anyone who was actually watching the game knew it was an off-the-wall pronouncement given the way Bills' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was throwing the ball all over the lot.
And so it was as the game-tying field goal sailed through the goal posts with a few seconds left in regulation time.
It was an exciting game to watch with all the back-and-forth on the scoreboard and safety Ed Reed's triumphant return. But none of that pleasure in watching the telecast was thanks to the CBS Sports broadcasting team.