Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Fouts thinks Malcolm Butler still plays for the Patriots, which sums up his atrocious afternoon of announcing

Alex Reimer
November 11, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Dan Fouts’ terrible announcing was a befitting soundtrack to the Patriots’ performance in Tennessee Sunday. The bumbling color man was the only person in the stadium who struggled more than Tom Brady.

Patriots fans were treated to the Holy Trifecta of Fouts’ inadequacies during the Titans’ 34-10 drubbing of New England. He was confused, clueless and downright inane. At times, Fouts embodied all three of these traits, such as when he said Brady targeted Josh Gordon in the chest because the wide receiver has sore fingers. Maybe that’s why Gordon dropped a well-placed deep ball in the middle of the field.

But give Fouts credit for correctly identifying which team Gordon was playing for. After all, the Patriots acquired him less than two months ago. It’s apparent Fouts still doesn’t know Malcolm Butler plays for the Titans, considering he started rambling in the third quarter about how Butler is behind J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore on the Patriots' depth chart. 

“(Butler) is going to be the nickel back today. It’s more J.C Jackson, Gilmore and (Jason) McCourty,” Fouts said when Ian Eagle mentioned the Patriots had seldom thrown in Butler’s direction. 

With all of Fouts’ shortcomings in mind, it’s not surprising he fails to tell the viewer anything new –– unless you count apparent misspeaks, such as when he told us 90 percent of Brady’s touchdown runs have come on QB sneaks. His replay analysis consists of just describing the play, with bad puns thrown in for good measure. Here is what Fouts said about Darius Jennings’ trick play pass to Marcus Mariota upon further review:

“You never expect a receiver coming from this side of the field to throw the ball," he said. "But obviously, Jennings, a left-hander, throws a duck up there to a duck."

No mention of how the play developed, or that Mike Vrabel was showing up his longtime coach on the opposite sideline. When Eagle and Fouts were given another opportunity to address this bubbling storyline on Derrick Henry’s wildcat touchdown run later in the drive, they punted for a second time.

CBS pays the NFL $9 billion to broadcast its games. And amazingly, they put Fouts on their marquee property. This was his second Patriots contest of the season, and with four more early afternoon slates on the table, it probably won’t be his last.

At least Fouts’ incompetence gave us something to laugh about Sunday. Once the Patriots fell behind by three possessions in the second half, his next inevitable flub was the only reason to keep watching. 

Related: The Media Column: Why hosting ESPN College GameDay is one of the biggest moments in Boston College football history