Sunday Night Football vs. Monday Night Football: Who Has The Better Broadcast Team?

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Back in March, the NFL agreed to new television deals with NBC, FOX, CBS, Amazon and ESPN/ABC that will commence in the 2023 season and run through 2023.

The new deal will see NBC continue to air the primetime Sunday Night Football program, and ESPN/ABC will retain its broadcast of Monday Night Football.

The contract of Al Michaels — who has served as the lead voice for Sunday Night Football on NBC since 2006 — reportedly expires after Super Bowl LVI (which the network will broadcast).

Michael McCarthy of recently reported that Amazon — which will take over the Thursday Night Football package from FOX in 2022 — wants to land both Michaels and FOX analyst Troy Aikman. The latter is a three-time Super Bowl champion winner with the Dallas Cowboys.

Aikman and Joe Buck are the network’s lead NFL commentary team. They cover America’s Game of the Week and have called Thursday Night Football games since 2018.

As for Monday Night Football, the current commentary team consists of play-by-play man Steve Levy and analysts Louis Riddick and Brian Griese, both former NFL players.

2021 just might be the last year of the Michaels-Collinsworth partnership on NBC before Mike Tirico presumably takes over the former’s role. 

And that means this may be the final chance to compare the team of Michaels and Collinsworth vs. the current Monday Night Football group.

This week’s Sunday Night Football matchup will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Los Angeles Chargers (8:20 p.m. EST). For the second straight year, Monday Night Football will consist of a showdown between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:15 pm.m EST).

The top New york sportsbooks has the NY giants at a +50000 long shot to win Super Bowl LVI. They’re a massive 10.5-point underdog for the game against the Bucs.

NBC’s Football Program: The Legend Of Michaels

As previously noted, Michaels has been with NBC’s primetime program since it started up in 2006. 

Following the retirement of Hall of Fame head coach and longtime analyst John Madden in 2009, NBC hired Collinsworth — the majority owner of Pro Football Focus and the former Cincinnati Bengals — to work alongside Michaels.

Collinsworth and Michael have called three Super Bowls together: Super Bowl XLVI (New York Giants vs. New England Patriots), Super Bowl XLIX (Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots) and Super Bowl LII (Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots). 

They’ll call a fourth Super Bowl game together on Feb. 13, when Super Bowl LVI runs at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Michaels brings the relaxed and calming tone, and Collinsworth is the louder and more energetic voice that every commentary team needs. But both do an excellent job of implementing some humor into their calls between plays, which adds to the overall entertainment value.

Throw in all of the unforgettable moments they’ve called together, including: The three Super Bowls, Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-handed catch, Blair Walsh’s missed gimme field goal and the epic 2015 NFC Divisional Round between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals.

What do you have? A greatly accomplished commentary duo that’s tough to beat in terms of overall entertainment when it comes to NFL broadcasts. 

ESPN Has Found Their Trio

ESPN is on its fourth play-by-play broadcast dating back to the 2015 season, which marked Tirico’s last with the network.

For two seasons (2016 to 2017), Sean McDonough and former head coach Jon Gruden (who had been with ESPN since 2009) called Monday Night Football. McDonough went back calling college football games in 2018, and Gruden was given a 10-year contract to coach the Raiders again.

In 2018, ESPN brought in Joe Tessitore to serve as the play-by-play man. Longtime Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten and two-time Super Bowl champion defensive tackle Booger McFarland were hired as analysts.

However, Witten decided to come out of retirement and return to football in 2019. After that season, Tessitore and McFarland were replaced by Levy, Riddick and Griese.

The new trio obviously did more than enough to impress network executives and pundits, because ESPN brought them back for the 2021 season. At some point, you have to stop making changes, and all three men have flourished in their roles.

Levy has been with the network giant since 1993. Riddick and Griese, who played a combined 187 games in the NFL, have offered incredibly deep knowledge and analysis of the game.

Riddick’s excellent work has led to him garnering consideration for NFL GM roles, and it may not be long until he’s hired in a front office.

Bringing back the three-man format for Monday Night Football has been a giant success, to say the very least. 

Levy’s passionate and energetic calls, combined with the detailed in-depth analysis provided by Griese and Riddick, have made for an excellent trio. And ESPN should absolutely keep them together over the long run.

Verdict: NBC Remains The Golden Standard

There’s no consensus on which NFL broadcast team is truly the best. When it comes to the lead broadcast teams at the major networks, Buck-Aikman for FOX, Michaels-Collinsworth for NBC, Levy-Riddick-Griese for ESPN and Jim Nantz-Tony Romo for CBS all have a lot to offer. 

They’re all greatly knowledgeable and bring their own styles of broadcasting. 

But at the end of the day, the Michaels-Collinsworth tandem remains the NFL’s best. Michaels may go down as the most legendary and accomplished broadcaster in American sports, and Collinsworth’s work with PFF has completely revolutionized the worlds of football and NFL journalism.

In Michaels, you get the soothing, recognizable and iconic voice that has made him a national favorite for over 40 years. In Collinsworth, you have a pioneer of advanced stats and metrics that has changed the league for the better.

Regardless of whether or not 2021 remains Michaels’ last year with NBC, he and Collinsworth are the top commentary duo in the NFL for at least another year.

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