We continue our series of reviewing the Sunday NFL studio programs, but we finish a month-long look at NFL Network shows with NFL GameDay Final. Since 2006, it’s been the NFL’s official wrap-up highlights show, first beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET and running into the wee hours of Monday.
Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders were the original panel and reviewed every Sunday game with extended highlights. In 2010, Eisen switched to hosting NFL GameDay Morning. Fran Charles replaced Eisen and Michael Irvin joined the panel.
Then in 2012, Chris Rose became the first man to host shows on two league-owned channels, MLB Network and NFL Network when he took over GameDay Final. Mariucci was taken off the program and replaced with Marshall Faulk.
Like the old NFL PrimeTime which ESPN aired from 1988 through early 2006 on Sunday nights, GameDay Final not only airs the scores from each game, but key drives and plays.
So without further delay, let’s look at NFL GameDay Final.
NFL GAMEDAY FINAL — NFL NETWORK
Host: Chris Rose
Analysts: Marshall Faulk, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders
The highlights are the stars of the program. The “A” block went 23 minutes without any commercial breaks and had four games featured, Denver-St. Louis, Seattle-Kansas City, Detroit-Arizona and San Francisco-New York Giants.
“Let’s Go Primetime” is the final segment where Deion Sanders features the 10 best performances of the week and is always a fun way to end the show.
There isn’t a bad segment because the show is highlight after highlight after highlight, but an annoying feature is hearing Faulk, Irvin and Primetime all talk over one another or even chuckle as they do in-jokes during the highlights. Inside the NBA’s Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal can get away with this because they’re funny and likable. NFL Network’s crew is not necessarily likable.
The highlights are what you watch for and they are the standout here. In watching the entire show, highlights averaged about two minutes and thirty seconds. That’s contrary to NBC’s Football Night in America which kept most of its highlights to under one minute.
Deion is the human standout here. He keeps it real on the set. There are his favorite catchphrases on “I be-leeeeve in Eli” when talking about Eli Manning or “CAAAAMMM!” whenever Cam Newton is on screen, but he does offer fresh insights and is willing to scold when necessary.
Say What? (weirdest quote)
“I’m not crazy about Drew Stanton, but I like Drew Stanton.” — Deion Sanders talking about Arizona backup quarterback Drew Stanton.
What’s Unique About This Show?
The show lasts 90 minutes, but normally doesn’t drag. This is the only show where NFL highlights can go over three minutes and if you missed a contest, it’s the best way to see how a game progressed.
Why You Should Watch
For the highlights. It’s the only reason. Never mind the host and the analysts. You’re watching for the highlights.
Why You Should Stay Away
Let me count the ways. Chris Rose is an awful host. Michael Irvin has a tendency to raise his voice and point at the American people.
Marshall Faulk is ok, but can be overpowered by Irvin and Sanders who are definitely the alpha males on the set.
The show misses Rich Eisen’s presence, but he’s not walking through that GameDay Final door anytime soon.
This is not a bad show. The format and the highlights are the reason why this show rises above the cast. It’s a very good way to end your day, but the start time at midnight prevents many on the East coast from staying through until 1:30 a.m. when the program concludes.
If this show had a better host, cut one analyst and kept Deion, it would be perfect.
NFL GameDay Final also used to run throughout Monday morning so those who missed the program could see it, but NFL AM takes the entire weekday morning lineup now. It only runs during the overnight into NFL AM which airs at 6 a.m. ET.
Our recommendation is to DVR the show and watch it back later.
After careful consideration and thought especially after we gave NFL GameDay Live a D- last week, Awful Announcing gives NFL GameDay Final a B minus. The highlights are the star and the only reason why you should watch this.
Next week, we move to DirecTV and a review of the venerable Red Zone Channel with your host, Andrew Siciliano.
Sunday Studio Show Rankings
Fox NFL Sunday (Fox): B+
NFL GameDay Morning (NFL Network): B
That Other Pregame Show (CBS Sports Network): B
Fox NFL Kickoff (Fox Sports 1): B-
NFL GameDay Final (NFL Network): B-
Football Night in America (NBC): C+
NFL GameDay First (NFL Network): C+
The NFL Today (CBS): C
Sunday NFL Countdown (ESPN): C-
NFL GameDay Live (NFL Network): D-