The NFL is a game of trash talk, and Cris Collinsworth knows this. With the Detroit Lions playing against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, Collinsworth had only 20 seconds to rip into Stafford before kickoff.
The Matthew Stafford trade details is a football article that includes the NFL Draft trade between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets. Matthew Stafford was traded to the New York Jets for a fourth round pick, but after one game with his new team, Cris Collinsworth ripped him on air.
Whether you like him or not, you have to give Collinsworth, Cris credit for insulting Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions while calling a game in which neither team was participating.
Wait, you’re saying Collinsworth, a former Pro Bowl receiver, gave borderline inane and offensive comments on an NBC Sports broadcast? Football has returned to the United States!
Cris Collinsworth just discovered how “excellent” Matthew Stafford is.
Cris Collinsworth, an NBC Sports commentator, slammed Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (L) and the Detroit Lions | Getty Images/Brett Carlsen; Getty Images/Katelyn Mulcahy
Viewers of NBC’s broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would notice at least two items involving Collinsworth. When play-by-play announcer Al Michaels presented him before kickoff, he did not disappoint, displaying his signature Slide.
Unless you were a Dallas Cowboys defense attempting to stop Tom Brady, the first quarter was uneventful. Those hoping for a viral Collinsworth moment, on the other hand, received their present early in the second quarter.
With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, Michaels announced that he and Collinsworth will return on September 12 to cover the Chicago Bears’ away game against Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. Stafford, who the Rams acquired from the Lions in an offseason deal, was immediately brought up in the discussion. The seasoned broadcaster offered his thoughts on the former Pro Bowl quarterback.
“To tell you the truth, Al, I had no idea he was that good. I went back and reviewed all of his throws from the previous season… Isn’t it true that we haven’t seen many Detroit games on Sunday Night Football? I had no idea he was that talented.”
Lions supporters have become used to death by a thousand cuts, with the odd jaw punch thrown in for good measure. Collinsworth slashed his way below the belt with a rusted katana blade in about 20 seconds.
After the event, Collinsworth’s joke seems to be stupid and shortsighted.
The Lions aren’t exactly a regular on Sunday Night Football, and you don’t have to be a devoted student of the game to realize that. From 2006 through 2010, the franchise only made seven appearances on the primetime program.
Following the 2011 and 2016 regular seasons, NBC broadcasted the Lions’ Wild Card Round defeats, which are technically considered SNF. Both playoff games were called by Michaels, Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.
Even though he didn’t appear on NBC as often as Brady or Drew Brees, that group saw a lot of Stafford in Detroit. The fact that the Lions only won one of their nine outings didn’t help matters.
As simple as it is to point the finger at the Lions, it’s worth remembering that those nine games were far from the bottom heading into the 2021 season. The Jaguars haven’t appeared on SNF since 2008, when Collinsworth took over for John Madden. The Miami Dolphins have only played three Sunday Night Football games in their history, none since 2017.
Even the New York Jets, a big media market club, have only featured eight times on SNF or NBC’s playoff coverage. In fact, the Lions have less SNF appearances than nine of the league’s 32 clubs before this season. It’s not fantastic, but it’s not bad enough for Collinsworth to make such a snide comment.
It’s also definitely not a good look for a national color analyst to suggest he doesn’t know much about a starting quarterback, much alone one who is entering his 13th season in the NFL.
Collinsworth should have plenty of opportunities to evaluate Stafford’s ability as a quarterback.
Collinsworth has admitted that he hasn’t seen nearly as much of Stafford as he would want. Fortunately for him, this will not be the case for much longer.
In the first nine weeks of the season, the Rams are expected to appear on SNF twice. After hosting the Bears in Week 1, the Rams will face Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans in front of Collinsworth on Sunday, November 7.
The flex rule allows NBC to add more Rams games in the future. This season, the network holds the rights to four postseason games, including Super Bowl 56.
Collinsworth is expected to praise Stafford’s arm and attitude in the Super Bowl. For the Lions, having a game flexed is their sole chance of playing on SNF during the 2021 season.
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