Twitter drags Al Michaels for underwhelming call of Jaguars’ walk-off field goal vs. Chargers

Press Room

An interesting wrinkle to the Jaguars-Chargers wild card game Saturday night was the return of Al Michaels to NBC.

The legendary broadcaster, who absconded to Amazon this year, was back on the network to call the game from Jacksonville. In the first half, it appeared that the ghost of “Thursday Night Football” had arrived, with all signs pointing to a Chargers blowout. But when the Jaguars came back to win 31-30 on a walk-off field goal, NFL viewers felt Michaels hadn’t caught up to the gravity of the situation.

MORE: Michaels reflects on Amazon’s awful Thursday night games: ‘I can’t sell a used car’

Indeed, when Riley Patterson hit the 36-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, Michaels was clearly more concerned with sorting out a possible penalty on the play before making any grand proclamations of an epic come-from-behind victory.

Unfortunately for Michaels, the penalty was on the Chargers for offside (and immediately declined), so a play that will be enshrined in at least Jaguars and Chargers history will be backed by Michaels saying, “Got it, but there’s a flag down.”

MORE: Jaguars finish miracle comeback with walk-off field goal against Chargers

Hardly the most jubilant call, unlike Frank Frangie’s call on Jaguars radio (Frangie ignored the flag):

NFL Twitter took issue with Michaels’ deadpan delivery:

Michaels’ booth partner, Tony Dungy, was collateral damage here, but he hardly escaped criticism as viewers reacted negatively to his analysis.

In the NFL — especially the postseason — the broadcast becomes very important to a lot of people, due mainly to the sheer number of eyes on the game. So the nearly universal disappointment in Michaels is telling.

We’ll see if Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, and Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth fare better on Sunday.

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