I, too, was faked out by not-Joan's-funeral and missed the Arthur=ACD reference. But it was a very satisfying finale for a show that I've watched since the beginning but rarely posted here about. Sherlock Holmes has been perceived as "difficult" to bring to the screen for years, and this turned out to be one of the best interpretations ever. I loved how, at the end, Marcus waved Holmes & Watson into his office in exactly the same way that Gregson always did; learn from the best!
Preseason football is handled differently from regular season. The broadcasts are essentially local (even if WCBS is owned by the network), and it's up to the local station how they handle the pre-empted shows. So, yes, the local stations' management is where those of you who were affected should direct your ire.
One of the EP's was live-tweeting on the Elementary Writers account during the show, calling out things like a couple of callbacks to the pilot, etc. Worth checking out when you have a chance!