So my Ravens won. Another victory helping secure our place atop the AFC North. With the real refs back and this being my first Thursday Night Football game watched in my home... It couldn't have gone better.
Firstly the most talked about topic in the NFL lately. The new old referees. They returned tonight to call the game, and holy hell was it a smooth game. The right calls were made. Nothing too obvious missed. These guys were needed. I still think they're overpaid, but how much better they are then the faux officials is just ridiculous. Seriously no one will say Cleveland was cheated out of a win. There were no big scrums to watch. The referees really helped the game move slowly. We needed this.
Was the game as exciting? I think so. Sure there was no longer an X factor in the game, but our sport is one that has always been tightly contested as is. I (as I assume most others) are just glad the joke is over.
Thursday Night Football on the NFL network is solid. I don't like it near as much as the national NBC broadcast, but I'd argue it's at least on par with the ESPN Monday Night Football game.
The pre-game and post-game shows are spectacularly better than all of the other networks, and the commentating crew are solid. (Even if they lack personality.)
The referees needed to come back and have a strong showing. I can only imagine how badly it would have gone had they botched anything. Regardless, now Time Warner carries NFL network... The Refs are back... AND the Ravens are 3-1.