HomeSportsNFLAl Michaels excited about NFL’s slate of Thursday night games after season of rough matchups

Al Michaels excited about NFL’s slate of Thursday night games after season of rough matchups

by Griffin McVeigh
Al Michaels TNF
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Amazon bought the rights for Thursday Night Football, with last season being the streaming service’s first. Nobody was quite too happy with the results, even those working on the broadcast. It was not their fault but the matchups given by the NFL were terrible more times than not.

This season is looking a lot better for Amazon, though. Nobody is happier with the slate than play-by-play commentator Al Michaels, who made his frustrations known last year. Michaels is used to calling big-time NFL games and will now be back around quality matchups.

“Absolutely!” Michaels said to SI’s Jimmy Traina. “Love the way we come out of the gate. Three ‘A’ grade games. Two Aaron Rodgers games. Baltimore-Cincinnati, another good one. League did us a solid.

“I was raring to go the minute I saw the whole slate. Already thinking of storylines for each game, of which there is no shortage.”

Thursday Night Football will kick off Week 2, with the Philadelphia Eagles facing off against the Minnesota Vikings. Two division winners a year ago, both teams are expected to be around the same spot in 2023. On paper, the matchup is exciting.

Other eye-opening games include Bengals-Ravens, Dallas Cowboys-Seahawks, and Patriots-Pittsburgh Steelers. A significant upgrade.

You can also see Michaels on your television on a non-Thursday night. Amazon will have a Black Friday broadcast, with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins battling it out. Michaels is excited about the game — the football and overall day stand out to him.

“Great idea,” Michaels said. “Tens of millions recovering from the prior day’s tryptophan hangover will love it. (Aaron) Rodgers-Tua (Tagovailoa), a marquee matchup on any day.”

Al Michaels, Amazon have great TNF slate following lackluster 2022

While a boring Thursday Night Football game may easily fade into nowhere, these were not those types of games. A few were so bad, Michaels and color commentator Kirk Herbstreit were vocal in their disappointment while on the air.

Of course, how could you forget Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos against the Indianapolis Colts? The final score ended 12-9 in overtime, with six field goals being made in the game.

And then there was Chicago in the nation’s capital, going up against the Commanders. Horrible football was played all around. Which, can happen from time to time in the NFL. However, doing so on primetime in Amazon’s first season was a frustrating one for everyone involved.