While there was plenty of drama on the field in New Orleans Monday night, ESPN viewers complained about one change the network made to the Monday Night Football graphics. Early on in the game, the network's down indicator made it look like there was a flag on every play of the game. The complaints on Twitter were so noisy that ESPN changed it.
The graphic at the bottom of the screen turned yellow every time either the Houston Texans or the New Orleans Saints began a new play. Some thought it looked too similar to the notification that comes up when officials throw yellow flags for every penalty.
ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer tweeted that the graphic would be changed for the second half and for the Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders game that follows. The new graphic showed the down and yardage in a white font over black.
Our ESPN production team is aware of the feedback on the #MNF down and distance graphic. We have called an audible and adjusted for the 2nd half of #HOUvsNO and for the #DENvsOAK game to follow. New look pictured here. pic.twitter.com/SWLKKuW87w— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) September 10, 2019
"Our ESPN production team is aware of the feedback on the #MNF down and distance graphic. We have called an audible and adjusted for the 2nd half of #HOUvsNO and for the #DENvsOAK game to follow. New look pictured here," Hofheimer tweeted.
Before the change, hundreds of Twitter users complained about it.
What genius at @espn MNF thought it would be a good idea to make the down change graphic bright yellow. It’s like there’s a flag in every play 😡— uoʇʇns unɐɥs (@shaunsuttweet) September 10, 2019
ESPN has gotta ditch this yellow down marker in the bottom right. Looks like a flag on every play pic.twitter.com/moDIx4CBTX— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 10, 2019
Someone at Espn: Let's give the down and distance a yellow background, and give the flag icon a black background.— Chris Brittingham (@c_britts) September 10, 2019
Espn higher ups: Great idea, that won't confuse the heck out of anybody. pic.twitter.com/fAS1lPrKJI
Aside from the odd graphic choice, the game itself reached a heart-stopping end in the fourth quarter. At the start of the quarter, the Saints were down 21-17, but Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith and Wil Lutz's point after gave the Saints the lead. Lutz got another field goal to bring the score to 21-27 with just 55 seconds left.
Incredibly, the Texans marched down the field and quarterback Deshawn Watson launched a 37 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. The extra point was at first no good, but the Saints were flagged for roughing the kicker. Ka'imi Fairbairn got a second chance, and did not miss this time, giving the Texans a one point lead with 37 seconds left on the clock.
That was all Brees needed though to get the Saints into field goal range. Lutz kicked an astonishing 58-yard field goal straight down the middle, securing the 30-28 victory.
Photo credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images