Give the CBS Sports team broadcast led by Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon this: They did seem to be trying harder than they did in last week's loss to Cleveland.

In fact, Gannon had almost a full minute Sunday of the kind of focus and passion for the game that I think a network analyst should have for most of 60 minutes.


I'm not sure, in the end, that trying harder made for a better broadcast. In fact, I'm pretty sure it didn't in the Ravens' 25-20 loss the San Francisco 49ers Sunday. But I'm trying to say something nice about this crew, OK?

In the last minute of the game, with the Ravens trailing the 49ers by five points and driving, Gannon seemed more engaged than I can ever remember him being as he called out Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to "clock the ball" in an effort to stop the clock.

After a 22-yard completion to Steve Smith with 17 seconds left in the game, he also called out two Ravens linemen even more vociferously for moving too slowly up the field.

"These guys aren't even running," he said, trying to draw a yellow circle in the middle of a gaggle of Ravens moving toward the ball.

"Go back and show these guys jogging to the football," he said excitedly, presumably to the producers. "I mean, it's amazing. You've got your left tackle, Eugene Monroe, [guard Kelechi] Osemele, just jogging up the field to the football. You have got to understand the situation in the game."

But this being a CBS crew that consistently has problems coordinating words in the booth with images from the field, guess what never happened: They never did "go back" and "show those guys jogging to the football."

And it wasn't like they didn't have plenty of time. After showing a replay on Smith's catch that took the ball to the 49ers 40-yard line, a delay of game penalty was called and play was stopped while the referees tried to determine if it was the correct call. The men and women in the truck had nothing but time to show whether or not two Ravens were actually dragging down the team by not hustling when seconds counted.

Look, unless you think your analyst is an idiot, when he says "Go back … it's amazing," you go back – unless you think he's wrong and the video will show him up.

This is the kind of disconnect between the broadcast booth and production truck that makes viewers crazy – especially at a key moment of the game.

After four replays with my DVR, I am leaning toward Monroe and Osemele moving kind of slow up the field. But that's four replays, and I still am not sure, because CBS didn't have the camera on them quickly enough after the play for me to see enough of them to make a call.

That's what you have all those cameras and technology for folks: to show us moments just like that. I am getting madder with each word I type.

I was going to try and be nice and not mention all the mistakes, but with 2:26 left in the game, Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was called for a hold on a key third down play. Gannon says he held Anquan Boldin, but actually it was Quinton Patton – number 11, not 81.

And Gannon gets the Gasbag Statement of Day Award for telling viewers with 13:07 left in the half that the 1-4 records that both teams entered the day with didn't mean either was "out" of playoff contention, because "a lot of teams have started 1-4 and made it to the postseason."

It took the producers a while to figure out how they were going to try and clean up that statement, but with 10:45 left in the game, they showed viewers a graphic revealing that since 1994, four teams that started 1-4 have made it the postseason. That would be four  teams in 20 years. You tell me if that's "a lot of teams."


At least they didn't let Gannon's words stand on their own hoping no one would notice.

We might want to remember them, though. It's probably the last time we'll hear anyone say the words Ravens and postseason in the same sentence this year.