FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA NOTES & QUOTES; WEEK 17
Collinsworth: “The Dallas Cowboys are probably playing better than anybody in the National Football League right now.”
Dungy on next week’s Packers-Cardinals playoff game: “Green Bay is going to win that rematch.”
Ochocinco tells Costas: “If Revis shuts me down, I will change my name back to Johnson.”
NEW YORK – Jan. 3, 2010 – Following are highlights from NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America.” Bob Costas hosted the show live from Giants Stadium. He was joined on site for commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Co-hosts Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and reporter Peter King were live from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios, covering the news of the NFL’s 17th week. Tiki Barber reported from Cowboys Stadium, site of the Cowboys-Eagles game.
ON THE EAGLES & COWBOYS
Dungy on picking the Cowboys in next week’s playoff game: “This was a big psychological shot that the Cowboys hit on Philadelphia. I think it’s going to be tough for Philly to come back.”
Harrison on picking the Eagles: “The pressure is on Dallas because they haven’t won a playoff game in a decade. It’s going to be tough playing against a very good Philadelphia team and beating them in back-to-back weeks.”
Collinsworth: “The Dallas Cowboys are probably playing better than anybody in the National Football League right now.”
Olbermann: “The schedule maker gets a gold star. Antediluvian rivals Dallas and Philly in the finale playing for the division title.”
Dungy: “I am on Tony Romo’s bandwagon. He’s playing great.”
Harrison: “Are you a believer?”
Dungy: “I’m a believer. I think they’re going to beat Philadelphia next week.”
Harrison: “I don’t think they can go back-to-back games and beat Philadelphia. I just don’t see it happening.”
ON THE PACKERS & CARDINALS
Harrison on picking the Packers: “The injuries (to the Cardinals), that’s the main thing. They’re (Cardinals) playing inconsistent anyway so that really puts a damper on their playoff hopes.”
Dungy on picking the Packers: “I agree. The injury factor is what I noticed today and I think Green Bay is going to win that rematch.”
Dungy: “Arizona didn’t show too much. I wouldn’t read too much into this game except for the fact that (Dominique) Rodgers-Cromartie got hurt and Anquan Boldin got hurt. They’re going to need those two guys next week.”
ON THE RAVENS & PATRIOTS
Harrison on picking the Patriots: “I’m picking the Patriots because they’ve had a lot of success at home.”
Dungy on picking the Patriots: “I like the Patriots at home too. — The Ravens have self destructed in some big games.”
Dungy: “I believe he’s (Bill Belichick) looking forward to playing Indianapolis down the road in two weeks.”
Harrison to Dungy (joking): “I know you don’t drink and I know you don’t smoke but you must be on something. The last two (games) the Colts have beaten the Patriots. Why would you want to go to Indianapolis?”
Dungy: “I wouldn’t want to go there either but when you pull Tom Brady out of a game that you have a chance to win you must have some ulterior motive.”
Olbermann: “We can now reveal that Belichick decided when to play his starters in this game based on a Ouija board.”
Harrison on the loss of Wes Welker: “It’s just devastating for the Patriots.”
Dungy on the loss of Wes Welker: “I expect Baltimore to take Moss away and make some of those other guys try and win the game.”
Dungy: “Baltimore is a dangerous team for the Patriots. It’s going to be a touch matchup.”
Harrison on Baltimore: “They’re not afraid of the Patriots.”
ON THE COLTS
Olbermann on the Colts against the Bills: “Get a roll of stamps and mail it in.”
Patrick on the meaningless games prior to their first playoff game: “Any problems with this rust wise?”
Dungy: “I don’t think it will be. They’ve been practicing well. They know what they had to do. They could see this coming six or seven weeks ago. This isn’t something that snuck up on them. They’ll be ready to go for that first playoff game. — Especially with all this controversy. I think they’re going to have a chip on their shoulder.”
Harrison: “During the bye week, you’re not sitting around eating cookies and drinking milk. You’re practicing two hours a day, you’re watching film, you’re staying mentally sharp and you’re working out.”
ON THE GIANTS-VIKINGS
Patrick on the Vikings possibly rubbing it in: “Is there bad blood there?”
Dungy: “I don’t think there’s bad blood, but I got that feeling that they were rubbing it in.”
Harrison on Favre: “If you look at the Jets last year and the collapse that he had. He really needed this to build his confidence.”
Dungy: “This is the best thing that could have happened to them. — I think they’re going to be a dangerous team.”
ON THE TEXANS
Harrison: “You don’t want to see Houston in the playoffs.”
ON THE BRONCOS
Dungy: “You expected more of them with the playoffs on the line.”
ON THE BENGALS
Collinsworth: “What we were told last night was that, if they had a chance to play for the No. 3 seed, they were going for it. — The possibility of the AFC Championship Game in Cincinnati is the No. 1 motivating factor. — These guys were excited about playing on national television. It sounds funny in this day and age but the were really psyched about it.”
Dungy believes the Bengals should obtain the No. 3 seed: “I go all out and win this game.”
Harrison on why the Bengals should sit their starters: “You definitely want to play a rookie quarterback, on the road, in the playoffs, the biggest game of his life. You got to play the Jets.”
COSTAS INTERVIEWS CHAD OCHOCINCO; COLLINSWORTH INTERVIEWS REX RYAN: Prior to the game, Bob Costas interviewed Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco and Cris Collinsworth interviewed Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Costas’ complete interview with Ochocinco is available on NBCSports.com.
Ochocinco on Darrelle Revis: “If Revis shuts me down, I will change my name back to Johnson. That’s how confident I am. It’s not happening.”
Ochocinco on his role model: “A good friend of mine, an extremely good friend, Denzel Washington. We talk every Sunday before and after every game.”
Costas, paraphrasing an earlier Ochocinco comment: “If they (America) don’t watch, they don’t have a life.”
Ochocinco: “How could you miss this?”
Costas: “How could you?”
Ochocinco: “I’m playing.”
Costas: “I’m broadcasting.”
Ochocinco, after he and Costas jokingly shake hands: “That’s a nice team.”
Ryan on not kissing Bill Belichick’s ring: “It’s the truth. I know he’s a better coach than I am. I got news for everybody, he’s better than everybody else in the league too. They’re better at quarterback than we are. All that stuff is true. But are they a better team than us? That’s the challenge. Am I intimidated by him or anyone else in this league? Absolutely not.”
ON THE BROWNS
King: “I spoke to Eric Mangini within the last hour. — I said, what’s your gut feeling? He said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t have a good feeling. If he wants to make a change, I will understand. I think he needs to look at the progress that’s been made here.’– My opinion, I think it’s 60-40 that Mangini goes and Holmgren starts fresh.”
ON THE RAMS
Olbermann on Nebraska DL Ndamukong Suh, who is regarded as a potential No. 1 overall draft choice: “They’re actually playing to wait to tell Betsy Ross to sew the Suh uniform.”
Olbermann, while highlights of a youth football game were being shown: “People asked, what would games actually look like with an 18-game schedule?”
ON BILL COWHER
King on Black Monday: “I think it’s going to be kind of a Charcoal-Grey Monday because there aren’t going to be a lot of firings. — (King as Cowher) If I want to coach this coming year, I may have to coach in Buffalo.”
ON JOHN FOX
King: “Jerry Richardson absolutely wants John Fox to coach out the last year of his contract. I’m told by a source close to Fox that not only does he want to coach out the last year of his contract, but then, in 2011, he would like to be the No. 1 guy on the coaching free agency market.”
ON TEAMS SITTING THEIR STARTERS
King: “I’m told that Commissioner Roger Goodell is not just disturbed by this, he’s angry about it. He’s angry because six of the 16 games today could have been used by a team for something other than trying their best to win the game. He wants to try to find a way – whether it’s through draft choice manipulation or by having teams disclose on Thursday or Friday of game week, this guy’s playing on Sunday, this guy is not. He wants someway to make this more of a level playing field so that the fans who pay regular-season prices don’t see a preseason game in Week 17. –I think he’s going to basically mandate that we have to do something about the fairness to the fans in Weeks 16 and 17.”
Dungy: “I don’t think there’s enough compensation. If you’re a coach, you look at the injuries today. — How many draft choices am I going to get to lose Wes Welker in a meaningless game. It wouldn’t matter to me as a coach.”
FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA’S BOB COSTAS DELIVERS WEEK 17 HALFTIME ESSAY ON THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Costas: “With the playoff picture nearly complete, a new set of questions arises. And some of the most intriguing surround the New England Patriots. They return to the postseason two years after the Super Bowl in which perfection was snatched away from them less than a minute from 19-and-0.
But what kind of Patriot team is this? Last year, with Matt Cassel subbing for the fallen Tom Brady, the Pats battled to an 11-5 mark but somehow didn’t make the playoffs.
This year, with Brady back, they were 10-6. 8-and-0 at home, a dubious 2-6 on the road, and one of those two wins was against Tampa Bay in London. While the Pats had their moments, including outplaying before somehow losing to the Colts, they never really got on a sustained run.
Then today, they lost Wes Welker, for the entire playoffs. Welker led the league with 123 receptions and he might be the game’s best clutch receiver. Plus Brady is also banged up. Bad news for New England. Extremely bad news.
So just two years ago, the Pats, already three-time Super Bowl champs seemed like the surest thing heading into the playoffs. This year, they are among the biggest question marks.
Still, ask yourself this question. In a single-elimination game, what team really looks forward to facing Brady and Belichick?”
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” TOPS ALL SUNDAY NIGHT PROGRAMMING FOR 15th TIME IN 16 WEEKS
Jets Shutout Victory Over Bengals to Earn Playoff Spot Powers NBC to Another Sunday Night Ratings Win
Tops Desperate Housewives on ABC by 47%
NEW YORK – Jan. 4, 2010 – Last night’s “NBC Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 broadcast on Sunday night for the 14th time in 15 weeks with the New York Jets 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals to clinch a Wild Card playoff berth. “SNF” was again the No. 1 show of the night in the metered markets (excludes overruns of NFL day games) on a night that faced original programming on the other networks including Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters on ABC, 60 Minutes on CBS and Simpsons and Family Guy on Fox. Head-to-head “Sunday Night Football” out-rated Desperate Housewives by 47 percent (13.1 vs. 8.9 from 9-10 p.m. ET).
With the “Sunday Night Football” season complete, SNF was the top rated Sunday night primetime broadcast in 15 of 16 weeks. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006.
Last night’s game drew an overnight rating of a 11.4 and an 18 share, a gain of eight percent over last year’s Broncos-Chargers Week 17 game (10.6/17).
The rating peaked from 9-9:30 p.m. ET at a 13.1/20.
TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR SNF WEEK 17:
1. Cincinnati, 37.6/50
2. Dayton, 21.8/31
3. New York, 18.4/27
4. San Diego, 16.8/26
5. Columbus, 16.3/24
6. New Orleans, 16.1/22
7. Las Vegas, 15.1/22
8. Nashville, 15.0/21
T9. Albuquerque, 13.9/20
T9. Richmond, 13.9/20
**Viewership numbers will be available when national ratings are released tomorrow.**
DALLAS COWBOYS HOST PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AND CINCINNATI BENGALS HOST NEW YORK JETS ON NBC SPORTS’ WILD CARD DOUBLEHEARD ON SATURDAY, JAN. 9
Coverage Begins with Football Night in America at 4 pm ET
Conference call with Collinsworth, Dungy, Harrison, Gibbs and Theismann scheduled for 1 pm ET on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
NEW YORK – Jan. 3, 2010 – The National Football League today announced that NBC Sports will broadcast the Houston Texans/New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals at 4:30 pm ET and the Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys at 8 pm ET as its Wild Card doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Bengals host the Jets if the Jets win tonight’s game and host the Texans if the Jets are defeated.
Coverage begins with “Football Night in America,” Saturday at 4 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside Cowboys Stadium. Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host “Football Night” from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call the action from Cowboys Stadium for the Cowboys-Eagles game. Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Joe Gibbs (analyst), Joe Theismann (analyst) and Tiki Barber (sideline reporter) will call the action from Paul Brown Stadium for Texans/Jets-Bengals.
NBC Sports will conduct a conference call to preview the Wild Card games with Collinsworth, Dungy, Harrison, Gibbs and Theismann at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Call-in information will be released on Monday, Jan. 4.
On Sunday, the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens at 1 pm ET on CBS and the Arizona Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers at 4:40 pm ET on FOX.