The matchup on Thursday Night Football featured the New England Patriots against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Looking at the matchup, it displays the 2-2 struggling defending champion Patriots against a 2-1 Buccaneers team that is 2-0 at home after not playing their Week One opener due to Hurricane Irma. This young Buccaneers team lead by star Quarterback Jameis Winston on offense and lockdown cornerback Brent Grimes on defense is playing at home looking to try to get a big win against Tom and Company. The Patriots coming off a loss at home to the Panthers are looking to bounce back with a win in a tough road environment. You would think this would lead to a good game right?
The Patriots come out and shocked the world by only putting up 19 points, and the struggling defense that was on pace for being the worst in NFL history in terms of points-per-game and total yards-per-game-allowed shut down the Bucs. The Buccaneers show up on “primetime” by putting up 14 points and kicker Nick Folk misses three field goals from 56, 49, and 31 yards.
In college football on Thursday night, two Top 25 teams faced off: #17 Louisville Cardinals at #24 North Carolina State Wolfpack. This matchup on ESPN pit reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson on the road against a solid NC State defense.
I live in Raleigh, North Carolina and was born and raised here. I have grown up a huge NC State fan and a New England Patriots fan growing up as well (that is a long story). Understandably, I was stressed to my core watching both games, but, man did this College Football game live up to its hype. It had all the makings of a great football game. North Carolina State goes with the blackout uniforms on the night of the harvest moon. Carter Finley Stadium was sold out and blacked out. NC States defense held Lamar Jackson to 26-47, 354 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT. Best thing is the games poetic ending for the Wolfpack ended in style. On primetime television, Germaine Pratt picked off a tipped pass from Lamar Jackson and ran it back for a Touchdown! That play sealed the deal on a great game in college football.
Looking at all this, once again, we see that the NFL on Thursday Night (excluding the shootout between the Rams and 49ers) has been a joke the last few years. I don’t know if it is fan interest, matchups, or another factor. Maybe the NFL should take a look at college football and take a page out of their playbook.