Credit: NBC

Al Michaels recently talked about what it was like calling Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football games this season, which were often uninteresting or downright boring. One would have imagined that the broadcasting legend was champing at the bit to call an exciting game with stakes. However, despite bearing witness to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ epic comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs Saturday evening, it sounded like Michaels and boothmate Tony Dungy wanted to be anywhere else.

In case you didn’t watch the game, the Jaguars looked miserable early on, thanks to Trevor Lawrence throwing four interceptions. Down 27-0 in the first half, they mounted a comeback for the ages in the second half (paired with a collapse for the ages by the Chargers) to win the game in the final moments, 31-30.

The fourth quarter alone featured a flurry of exciting and tense plays. A Gus Johnson-like exclamation wouldn’t have been uncalled for in at least three or four different moments. However, the 78-year-old Michaels and 67-year-old Dungy sounded like they were up past their bedtime and just waiting for the game to end.

For instance, here’s Michaels calling the Jaguars‘ touchdown pass with 5:26 left in the fourth quarter that made it a one-score game. Al has a brief moment of excitement but it’s fleeting. It’s a call that is hardly meeting the moment given the context.

Right after that, a Joey Bosa penalty gave Jacksonville the ball on the one-yard line on the two-point conversion, leading to an easy score. The Jaguars had now come all the way back from 27 down to be within a field goal and Michaels sounded like he was reading a printout of what happened.

With 1:28 left in the game and the Jaguars driving, they found themselves at 4th and 1 on the Chargers‘ 40-yard-line. This was it, a make-or-break play that could end the comeback or help the Jaguars make history. Travis Etienne not only gets the first down but takes the ball deep into LA territory, helping to set up a game-winning field goal. Michaels calls it like it’s a nice little play in the first quarter.

Finally, this brings us to the game-winning field goal that cements a historic comeback and is one of those moments that will live in the Jaguars’ and NFL playoffs’ lore for decades to come. It was a moment that conceivably called for Michaels to break out his iconic “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” call. Instead, he almost missed the kick itself and then barely noted the field goal, presuming that a penalty flag was going to cancel it out, killing the entire moment.

Compare that to the Jacksonville Jaguars radio call from Frank Frangie.

It was a confusing evening for Michaels and even more so for the audience. While NFL fans have long known Al to meet the moment during exciting or game-defining plays, his clear disinterest in this storybook comeback left a lot of viewers feeling cold.

“That really was one of the worst, low-energy broadcasts of an absolutely incredible game I can recall. Wasn’t even any crowd noise coming thru,” said Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel.

“Al Michaels was too bored to call the end of the game. Come on man,” said USA Today’s Dan Wolken.

“I’m really struck at just how dry [Al Michaels and Tony Dungy] are now after witnessing a team come back from a 27-0 deficit to win a playoff game. Viewers cheated, man,” said Mavs Moneyball’s Mike Taddow.

“Al Michaels is a god darn legend but he and Tony Dungy were just awful on this call, right to the end. Not fitting of an epic comeback,” said ESPN Syracuse’s Brent Axe.

“Al Michaels called the Jags game-winning FG like he put money on the Chargers,” said Sporting News’ Andreas Hale.

“Never heard a more comatose call on a huge play, get these guys some coffee, this is just a completely LOUSY booth,” said Warren Sharp.

“Al Michaels having absolutely no idea what’s been going on for a solid 90 seconds. Dungy talking like he’s in a library during a 4-TD comeback. Put this broadcast recording in Canton for the worst ever, truly the all-time WORST I’ve ever heard to the point it’s beyond hilarious,” said sports gambling expert Joey Knish.

“Can someone let Al Michaels know this drive is to cap the third-biggest comeback in NFL history? Get the man a coffee!,” said 670 The Score host Danny Parkins.

The pairing of Michaels and Dungy clearly did not work. Dungy’s low-key demeanor may have sucked the energy out of the booth, leaving Michaels to be the energy guy in the booth, which isn’t his ideal role anymore.

Regardless of the reason, however, it was an unfortunate broadcasting experience for what should have been a second half full of exclamations, exclaims, and celebrations. Instead, viewers were left wondering what game Michaels and Dungy were watching.

[The Comeback, The Comeback on Twitter]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to