Excerpts from NFL Network’s Conference Call for “Undefeated Week” Featuring Colts-Jaguars on Thursday and Cowboys-Saints Saturday
NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football features the NFL’s two undefeated teams this week with the 13-0 Indianapolis Colts facing the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, December 17, followed by a special Saturday edition with the Cowboys vs. the undefeated New Orleans Saints on December 19. Both games start at 8:00 PM ET and are called by Bob Papa and Matt Millen.
Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears, NFL Network’s pregame show airing two hours prior to Colts-Jaguars at 6 PM ET and three hours prior to Cowboys-Saints at 5 PM ET, is hosted by Rich Eisen alongside analysts Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders.
Below are quotes from a conference call featuring Marshall Faulk and NFL GameDay Morning analyst Michael Irvin previewing both games:
“No doubt. I put them ahead of the Miami Dolphins because of the criteria in which it takes in order to do it in today’s game. So yes, without a doubt they would be considered the greatest team.” – Faulk on if either the Saints or the Colts go undefeated, if they would be the greatest team of all-time
“With the situation being what it is, if you go through this league undefeated with the talent and the coaching that’s in the league right now, you’re the greatest team ever. That’s why you go for it, to be the greatest team ever.” – Irvin on if an undefeated season by the Saints or Colts would make them the greatest team of all time
“I honestly believe that you have to get lucky and have [Drew] Brees or Peyton [Manning] just totally off their game.” – Faulk on what it takes to beat the Saints and the Colts
“You would expect a team to say, ‘we won a lot of games, kind of expect a little bit of patting on the back.’ You don’t see any of that with the Indianapolis Colts, because Peyton Manning, he has his hand on the team’s pulse and he’s pushing it forward all the time.” – Irvin on QB Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts
“He would not be out worked and he would not be out prepared. You would just physically have to beat him and when you look at the Colts, that’s the kind of team that you have to physically beat up to win.” – Faulk on QB Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts
“You have to understand this is a very key component to both of these teams who are undefeated. There is no resting the passing game and expecting to come back the same. There’s too much time required. We can’t go out and say, ‘let’s run routes and not run full speed,’ because it takes away from what you’re doing…You have to hold onto that edge, that passing edge, because both of these teams throw the ball a lot, and that’s going to require timing.” – Irvin on the disadvantage of resting players
“I’ll give all three of them back. It’s perfection. I don’t know how you cannot – being the best that season, is a great, great thing to accomplish.” – Irvin on giving up three Super Bowl rings for a perfect season
“As a Saints fan, I sold popcorn just to be in the Superdome so I could watch the game.” – Faulk, a New Orleans native, on being a popcorn vendor in the Superdome as a kid
“You are watching everything in front of them sort of crumble in December with two games and two losses; games that they should have won.” – Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys
“You out-gained (the Chargers) and win the turnover battle, but you lose the game. It’s unbelievable that they are finding ways to lose. They need this game way more than the New Orleans Saints do.” – Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys
“He will have two rings and Tom [Brady] will have three, but he will have the perfect season and to me that gives him the odds on everybody and he deserves it. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks.” – Irvin on Colts QB Peyton Manning and how he compares to Patriots QB Tom Brady
“You can line these two teams up against any other team in the NFL, and they will be favored and they will win.” – Faulk on the Saints and the Colts being the two best teams in the NFL
“I’m proud of what this team has done. The people in New Orleans have been waiting so long to be a winner and this seems like the year.” – Faulk on the New Orleans Saints
“He’s tough, he runs hard and he can get those short yards just like he can get the huge gains.
What I like even more so is how they are using him in the passing game. I believe that he’s a much better receiver than what they thought.” – Faulk on Titans RB Chris Johnson
“He stays patient, particularly down the field, right behind his blockers. That’s a rare quality, because usually when you are that fast, you want your speed to get you out of everything and you don’t have that kind of patience, but he has patience.” – Irvin on Titans RB Chris Johnson
***NFL Network’s schedule next week features a special Christmas edition of Thursday Night Football on December 25 when the Chargers visit the Titans on December 25 at 7:00 PM ET.