St. Petersburg Times staff writer Tom Jones looks back on Sunday's Bucs-Jets broadcast on CBS.
. Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, one of the most respected sports media critics in the business, recently listed his top national play-by-play broadcasters of the past decade. Among his "honorable mentions" was Ian Eagle, left, of CBS.
Eagle called Sunday's game with analyst Rich Gannon, and it's easy to see why he showed up prominently on such a list. He doesn't get the sweet assignments of some of his CBS colleagues. For example, Jim Nantz gets the best CBS game of the week. On Sunday, Greg Gumbel, Dick Enberg and Kevin Harlan all had better games. Eagle is a better broadcaster than all of them. That's not meant to disrespect those other announcers but to point out just how good Eagle is.
Let's face it. Sunday's game was a dog, and yet Eagle showed enthusiasm throughout. It was impressive just how much information he dished out in a smooth and, most important, well-timed manner, showing the amount of homework he does. The game was not enjoyable for Bucs fans, but listening to Eagle was a pleasure.
. CBS analyst and former quarterback Rich Gannon, below, always struck me as a bit of an odd bird, and I don't know why. By all accounts, he's a good guy. Maybe it's because he bounced around the league so much and, through no fault of his own, always seemed to be involved in a quarterback controversy. Still, it's always surprising to hear just how good he is. He doesn't spend the afternoon patting people on the back nor does he just criticize unnecessarily. In the end, he gives an honest assessment — good or bad — of what he's seeing. And isn't that what an analyst is supposed to do?
Most telling line
. CBS analyst Rich Gannon didn't give a ringing endorsement to the Bucs players or coaches when he criticized their work ethic.
"We watched their practice on Friday, and I wasn't at all impressed," Gannon said. He added that Tampa Bay "wasn't sharp, wasn't crisp, and they weren't going full speed," among another critical remarks.
Best historic line
. "This is not going to bring back any memories of the (1981 season) playoffs with the Chargers and Dolphins."
CBS announcer Ian Eagle at halftime, talking about the "Epic in Miami" that featured 1,036 yards of total offense. At halftime Sunday, the Bucs and Jets had combined for nine first downs (all by the Jets) and 210 total yards (195 by the Jets).
Most interesting point
. After the Bucs went three and out (again) to start the second half, CBS analyst Rich Gannon was ready to pull the plug, at least for Sunday, on rookie quarterback Josh Freeman.
"If I'm Raheem Morris (left), I'm thinking about changing quarterbacks," Gannon said. "If you're going to win this game, Josh Freeman, to me, doesn't look like he's going to give you a chance."
Later, Gannon suggested Freeman wasn't "ready to play."
Funniest yet saddest line
. In the first half, the Bucs offense didn't have a first down and had only 15 yards total (with 14 yards of penalties).
"If you're the Bucs offense, I'm not sure you want to go into the locker room for halftime," CBS analyst Rich Gannon said. "You might just want to stay out here and get some work. … I don't know how you face your defense after what has transpired."