CBS’ top two announcing teams will be calling the next two Buffalo games that may determine if the 6-5 Bills really are a playoff team.
Play-by-play man Ian Eagle, analyst Dan Fouts and sideline reporter Evan Washburn will be calling their second Bills game of the season Sunday when the Bills play the 9-2 Oakland Raiders at 4:05 p.m. on WIVB-TV (Channel 4.)
They previously did an excellent job working the New England Patriots’ 41-25 victory over Buffalo on Oct. 30 in the rain at New Era Field.
The game isn’t being played on a CBS doubleheader weekend. It is the network's only 4:05 p.m. game and will be shown in 27 percent of the country, with the Raiders' success this season the big draw.
CBS’ top announcing team of play-by-play man Jim Nantz, analyst Phil Simms and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson will work the Bills home game Dec. 11 against Pittsburgh. That CBS team had about as strong a game as New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Bills’ 37-31 Thursday Night Football loss to the Jets in September.
“He is on top of the world,” Nantz of Fitzpatrick on that night. “One of his best games ever.”
Weeks later, Fitzpatrick was benched for poor play and then got his starting job back after an injury to backup Geno Smith.
With such accomplished retired NFL quarterbacks as Fouts and Simms working the next two Bills games, there should be analysis of whether quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the team’s long-term answer. Fouts addressed Taylor’s passing inaccuracy in the New England game.
The Bills’ 28-21 victory over Jacksonville Sunday had a 37.7 rating on Channel 4. That’s close to season average.
The Bills game in Oakland has the potential to hit a 40 local rating since it could determine how serious the Bills are as a playoff contender and because 4 p.m. starts generally draw larger audiences.