For the second week in a row, the Detroit Lions are drawing one of the broadcast teams near the bottom of the Fox pecking order. Veteran play-by-play man Dick Stockton will be on the call, joined by former Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber as the game’s analyst.
FanSided and Sports Illustrated teamed up to evaluate all the NFL TV broadcast teams during week two and the duo of Stockton and Barber graded out fairly well. Here is what Cat Crave’s Brandon Becker had to say about Stockton and Barber’s work calling last week’s Panthers-Bills game:
Best moment: The two had a good flow and did a nice job of calling the final drive when EJ Manuel took the Bills 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Stockton captured the emotion and intensity of the drive while Barber pitched in with helpful commentary.
Where they fell short: I didn’t have much of a problem with either, but if I’m going to nitpick it would be on Barber’s bias towards defensive players. After a pretty clear hold by the defender on a pass to Greg Olsen, I believe he referred to it as a “ticky-tack call,” which isn’t surprising considering that he was a defensive back when the NFL allowed a lot more leeway with hands on receivers.
If I had to give them a grade: B
Stockton is a pro’s pro, but Barber doesn’t give off the vibe that he’s 100 percent comfortable in the booth yet. His commentary was puzzling at times, although it didn’t take away much from the game. There weren’t any major gaffes or mistakes.
You can check out the full week two announcer power rankings on SI.com.
The game won’t be widely distributed on over-the-air television with Fox carrying a busy slate of games on Sunday. Fans in Michigan other than the Western upper peninsula and D.C./Virginia and neighboring areas will be able to tune in on their local Fox station. You can find a coverage map on 506sports.com.