We don’t measure NFL games any longer by its “wow” factor. It’s more: What’s the potential “dull” factor? What else is on? And why do we feel we need to watch this thing again when there’s plenty of gopher holes in the yard waiting to be plugged.
Unless you have a spot on your lawn that you can charge $65 to someone who hasn’t figured out L.A. rapid transit yet and needs somewhere to place their automobile walking distance to the Coliseum, we see no reason to actually pay attention to the NFL this week.
Kinda like last week. And weeks prior.
It’s another one of those skewed, truncated mid-season schedules bound to set off new theories as to why the national TV ratings have gone sour: CBS has the double header and Fox has the single game, yet the later has to cozy up with the Rams again (going to 17 percent of the country) to set a domino effect for the rest of the city’s anticipated viewing habits.
The catch this time: Since CBS can’t be blocked out of a double-header in L.A., it gets to put a game up against the Rams in the afternoon window. It’s just not the game you’d probably want to see.
Also, there are six teams with bye weeks, including New England, making the choices all the less tantalizing.
One other new thing this week: NBC takes over the Thursday night games with its broadcasters not named Mike Tirico (and next week, they have a Cleveland Browns game that they can’t opt out of):
== Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 5:25 p.m., NFL Network (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox)
== Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 10 a.m., Channel 2 (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts). CBS passed here on Jacksonville at Kansas City as well as N.Y. Jets at Miami. Fox has these games in the early window but can’t air them here: Dallas at Cleveland (for some reason, going to 31 percent of the country), Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, going to 25 percent of the country) and Detroit at Minnesota. Fox also can’t do the New Orleans-San Francisco at 1:05 p.m.
== Carolina at Rams, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11 (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver).
== Tennessee at San Diego, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon). The net passed on giving us the Jim Nantz-Phil Simms recreation of Indianapolis at Green Bay, which most of the country receives as their cherry-picked game of the afternoon.
== Denver at Oakland, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya) This is the first time NBC’s “SNF” series has been in Oakland.
== Buffalo at Seattle, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)
Bye weeks: New England, Arizona, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Cincinnati