Not every sports game is the best one you’ve ever seen and not every game is a particularly memorable one.
But rarely does a game come around where as soon as the television switches off, you forget everything about it, such was the level of boredom it brought.
And, on Thursday Night Football, the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts played out a veritable snooze-fest, with the Colts mercifully finally beating Denver 12-9 in overtime at Mile High Stadium.
Stephon Gilmore swatted away a pass for Courtland Sutton from Russell Wilson on fourth-and-one from the five-yard line to hand the Colts the win after Chase McLauglin gave the traveling team the lead with a 47-yard field goal in overtime.
Many Broncos fans had left before that point, with cameras showing many of them leaving before the start of overtime.
And you can’t really blame them. Thursday’s game was the first in NFL history in which two quarterbacks with at least four Pro Bowl appearances each failed to produce a touchdown.
Denver quarterback Wilson, who was traded to the Broncos in the offseason and signed to a huge contract, was booed as he left the field after another game of poor play, finishing with two interceptions.
It wasn’t much better for Colts quarterback Matt Ryan who also finished with two interceptions.
The stuttering, out-of-sync nature of the game – which was missing some star players through injury, such as running backs Jonathan Taylor and Javonte Williams – had fans complaining and joking about the game on social media.
Scott Hanson, host of the NFL’s Redzone which allows fans to watch games simultaneously without adverts, said: “Let’s cut to another game.”
Super Bowl winner and four-time All Pro offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz could not hold back his exasperation with a series of frustrated tweets which began: “This freaking game.”
“This looks like an uninspired training camp scrimmage deep in the dog days of camp when you’re tired of hitting each other and generally just over anything related to practice or football,” he said.
“This is one of the worst games I’ve ever seen that involves both starting QBs and no bad weather.”
Rodger Sherman, writer at the Ringer, worked out how much Thursday’s game cost Amazon, who purchased the rights to Thursday Night Football during the offseason.
“Amazon paid $13 billion over 11 years for Thursday Night Football. that’s $1.18 billion per year. and there are 15 TNF games per year. long story short they paid about $78 million to broadcast this Colts-Broncos game,” he wrote.
Kevin Clark, senior football writer at the Ringer, suggested a way of making boring NFL games a bit more exciting.
“Amazon should just sign Lamar Jackson for 500 million dollars guaranteed and he can enter games like this and just do cool stuff for a while for whichever team needs him. Like a recurring TNF character when he’s needed. Solves everyone’s problems.”
Even Al Michaels, the play-by-play commentator for Amazon, didn’t pull any punches about what he was seeing, describing the game as “the type of game you’d have as the fifth regional on CBS on Sunday.”
The win is a vital one for the Colts who moved to 2-2-1 on the season while the Broncos’ poor start to the season continues, with the loss taking them to 2-3 on the year.
But the main takeaway from Thursday is – and everyone can probably agree – it’s a good thing these two teams don’t play each other again this season.