Duo Has Called 211 Games – Including 177 Regular-Season Games & 3 Thrilling Super Bowls – From 35 Stadiums; With Rare Tuesday & Wednesday Game Calls
Most Team Appearances with Al & Cris in Booth: Cowboys (38), Steelers (29), Eagles & Giants (27 each), Packers (26), Patriots (25)
Super Bowl-Champion Philadelphia Eagles Host Atlanta Falcons in “NFL Kickoff” Game on Thurs., Sept. 6; Coverage Begins at 7:30 PM ET on NBC
NBC’s Sunday Night Football Debuts on Sun., Sept. 9 as Chicago visits Green Bay in First Game of Packers’ 100th Season
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 28, 2018 – When NBC Sports presents the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons in the “NFL Kickoff” game next Thursday, Sept. 6 (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC), it will mark the 10th season together in the broadcast booth for the NBC Sunday Night Football announce team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
The duo first worked together on Oct. 19, 2008, as Collinsworth gave Hall of Famer John Madden a break from cross-country travel, and called the Seattle at Tampa Bay matchup with Michaels. Next Thursday’s “NFL Kickoff” game will mark the 212th game for Michaels and Collinsworth.
To date, Michaels and Collinsworth have worked:
211 games in 35 stadiums, comprised of:
177 regular-season games
14 preseason games
13 NFL Playoff games
4 Pro Bowls
3 Super Bowls
The last seven years of NBC’s Sunday Night Football (2011-17) have been history-making, as SNF has been primetime TV’s #1 show for an unprecedented seven consecutive seasons – breaking its tie with American Idol (six) for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by Nielsen. Prior to 2011, a sports series had never been primetime television’s top show for a full season. Sunday Night Football has also ranked as the #1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic for eight consecutive TV seasons.
THE VOICES OF NUMEROUS NFL MILESTONES
In nine seasons together in the booth, Michaels and Collinsworth have been the voices of record for numerous NFL player milestones:
- Peyton Manning throws his 400th career TD pass in his first game with the Denver Broncos – Sept. 9, 2012
- Drew Brees throws TD pass in NFL-record 48th consecutive game, breaking Johnny Unitas’ 52-year old mark – Oct. 7, 2012
- Peyton Manning throws 7 TD passes Baltimore, tying an NFL record which had last been matched in 1969 – Sept. 5, 2013 in “NFL Kickoff” game
- Tom Brady reaches 50,000 career passing yards as Patriots beat Bengals 43-17 in the “on to Cincinnati” game – Oct. 5, 2014
- Peyton Manning throws 509th TD pass in a win over the 49ers, breaking Brett Favre’s NFL career record – Oct. 19, 2014
- Tom Brady sets the NFL record for most regular-season wins by a QB with one team (161) in Patriots’ victory over Steelers – Sept. 10, 2015 in “NFL Kickoff” game
- Drew Brees throws 400th career touchdown pass in victory over Cowboys – Oct. 4, 2015
- Matthew Stafford reaches 30,000 career passing yards faster than any player in NFL history (109 games) in loss to Packers – Jan. 1, 2017
THREE TERRIFIC SUPER BOWLS & A DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FOR THE AGES
Michaels and Collinsworth looked back at their work on some of history’s most memorable postseason games:
Super Bowl XLVI (Feb. 5, 2012) — Eli Manning wins his second Super Bowl MVP in leading the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots. With less than four minutes remaining, Manning completed a 38-yard over-the-shoulder pass to Mario Manningham to begin a nine-play, 88-yard scoring drive that gave the Giants their second title game victory over the Patriots in four years.
Michaels: “The Manningham catch was otherworldly and Belichick challenged it unsuccessfully which cost him a valuable timeout. The end of game strategy was fascinating. The Patriots had to allow the Giants to score a lead-changing touchdown to be able to get the ball back with enough time to mount their own game-winning drive. The game ended with a Brady Hail Mary that fell short. As was the case four years earlier, the Giants proved to be the Patriots’ kryptonite.”
Super Bowl XLIX (Feb. 1, 2015) – Tom Brady won the third of his four Super Bowl MVP awards, throwing four touchdown passes in New England’s 28-24 victory over Seattle. The game’s most memorable play was made by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass in the end zone with 20 seconds left.
Collinsworth: “I’ve never seen a game where you thought you knew exactly how it would end, and it ended exactly opposite of that.”
2015 NFC Divisional Playoff (Jan. 16, 2016) – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ improbable 41-yard, game-tying Hail Mary scoring pass on the final play of regulation was topped only by Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald’s overtime heroics in Arizona’s 26-20 playoff win. It was the most unlikely of the 10 overtime games the duo has called.
Here’s how Michaels and Collinsworth called it that night:
“Rodgers is going to roll away, throws it up in the air, says a prayer and…Janis!” – Michaels’ call of Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary on final play of regulation
“That may be one of the great throws ever made: moving to his left, falling away, and launching a perfect throw.” – Collinsworth
“Blitz coming. Palmer stepping away at first. Palmer extending the play. Crosses the field. Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is going to take it into Green Bay territory. Larry Fitzgerald inside the 30…the 20. Larry Fitzgerald. It’s insane!” – Michaels’ call of Carson Palmer’s 75-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald. The duo connected on the game-winning five-yard TD pass two plays later.
“You just can’t get enough of this…there is no reality television out there that can match the drama that we just saw.” – Collinsworth on postgame show
Super Bowl LII (Feb. 4, 2018) – Trailing 33-32 with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Nick Foles – the backup quarterback who became the Eagles’ starter following a Week 14 injury to Carson Wentz — led a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, and the Philadelphia defense held off two Patriots drives in the fourth quarter of 41-33 victory over New England. It was the Eagles’ first NFL title since 1960. Foles passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns, and was named Super Bowl MVP.
Collinsworth: “The idea that Tom Brady is going to throw for 505 yards and three touchdowns, and a backup quarterback is going to beat him in the Super Bowl? Not in my wildest dreams was that going to happen.”
WEATHERING THE WEATHER & UNUSUAL GAME DAYS
Over their nine years in the booth, Michaels and Collinsworth have worked 18 games played at below-freezing temperatures, including the unforgettable Seahawks-Vikings NFC Wild Card game on Jan. 10, 2016 – the third-coldest NFL game on record, with a kickoff temperature of minus-six degrees.
Michaels: “I remember thinking ‘I’m on Jupiter,’ after we showed a picture of fans with steam rising from their heads.”
Collinsworth: “And I’m thinking, ‘I’ve played in worse.’ There was no wind that day in Minneapolis. We had 35-mile-per-hour winds in the [Jan. 1982] Freezer Bowl.”
The game, a down-to-the-wire 10-9 Seahawks’ victory, averaged 35.3 million viewers to rank as the most-watched early Sunday Wild Card on record.
Less than two years later, on Oct. 22, 2017, they called the Atlanta-New England Super Bowl rematch, during which fog unexpectedly rolled into Foxboro and forced the second half to be televised almost exclusively using SkyCam.
Michaels: “It’s one of those things where anything that is aberrational, fans talk about it the next day. That weather came out of nowhere.”
Collinsworth: “That’s one of the fun things about working with Al. He takes great joy in those situations. Some people would panic, but he’s the king of weird weather.”
Another weather event and a political convention impacted NBC Sunday Night Football, giving Michaels and Collinsworth two most unusual NFL workdays – Tuesday and Wednesday:
Dec. 28, 2010 – NBC broadcast the Vikings-Eagles SNF game on Tuesday, Dec. 28, due to a blizzard in Philadelphia on Sunday, Dec. 26. It was the first NFL game played on a Tuesday since 1946 (New York Giants vs. Boston Yanks, 10/1/46).
Sept. 5, 2012 – NBC televised the “NFL Kickoff” game (Cowboys-Giants) on a Wednesday night, avoiding the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination in a Thursday night speech. It was the first NFL game played on a Wednesday since 1948 (L.A. Rams-Detroit Lions, 9/22/48).
NBC’s Sunday Night Football Begins 10th Season with Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth Together in the Booth – Notable & Quotable from the First Nine Seasons
Sept. 20, 2009 – Lawrence Tynes kicked a 37-yard field goal with four seconds remaining as the N.Y. Giants beat Dallas 33-31 in the first regular-season game at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, in front of the largest regular-season NFL crowd ever in the U.S. (105,121 attendance).
Nov. 16, 2009 – Indianapolis remained unbeaten at 9-0 after coming back from 17 points behind to defeat the Patriots 35-34, in a game known for New England’s decision to go for a first down on 4th & 2 from its own 28-yard line with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Patriots came up short. Four plays later, Peyton Manning threw the game-winning TD pass to Reggie Wayne.
Collinsworth: “The more math that’s done on football, the more you understand that perhaps the biggest mistakes that coaches have made over the years is punting too much. Not going for it more. Especially when you have greatness at the quarterback position, which moves the needle on analytics more than any other factor.
“Any other coach, you probably are saying what a dumb move this is. With Belichick, he’s played against Peyton Manning so many times. He’s on the road, and he’s got to get one pass from Tom Brady for two yards. Even in the moment, I remember thinking ‘Belichick has the math behind him. This is not just a gut feeling.’ So since that game, I’ve been researching, studying and looking for answers like that.”
Jan. 8, 2011 — Nick Folk kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, giving the New York Jets a 17-16 AFC Wild Card victory over Indianapolis in Peyton Manning’s final game with the Colts.
Sept. 23, 2012 — Playing less than 24 hours after his younger brother died in a motorcycle accident, Ravens WR Torrey Smith scored two touchdowns and caught six passes for 127 yards in Baltimore’s 31-30 victory over New England.
Nov. 22, 2012 – A new tradition begins with NBC’s first-ever NFL primetime game on Thanksgiving (New England at N.Y. Jets). This game is also known for the Jets’ second quarter “butt fumble,” which the Patriots returned for a TD.
Dec. 16, 2012 — The San Francisco 49ers turned a nearly historic collapse into a stunning victory and a playoff berth. San Francisco withstood a 28-point comeback by the New England Patriots to win 41-34. Michael Crabtree took a short pass from Colin Kaepernick and turned it into a 38-yard touchdown with 6:25 to go, then David Akers made a 28-yard field goal to clinch it.
Collinsworth: “It was the worst of all conditions for throwing the ball. It was freezing rain with high winds. In pregame I thought it was going to be a 10-7 game. That was a magical game … well played from the quarterback position on both sides.”
Dec. 30, 2012 – The Week 17 NFC East championship “win-and-in” game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins is the most-watched regular-season Sunday night game in NFL history (30.3 million viewers). The Redskins won 28-18.
Oct. 20, 2013 – Broncos QB Peyton Manning returned to Indianapolis, where he played 13 seasons for the Colts. The game averaged 26.9 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched October NFL primetime telecast in 21 years. The Colts won 39-33.
Nov. 24, 2013 – It was Brady-Manning XIV, as Tom Brady led the Patriots’ biggest regular-season comeback victory ever (from 24 points behind) in defeating Peyton Manning and the Broncos, 34-31, in overtime.
Nov. 23, 2014 – N.Y. Giants receiver Odell Beckham made a spectacular one-handed catch falling into the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown against Dallas – despite being interfered with on the play.
Michaels on the NBC broadcast: “How in the world?”
Collinsworth on the NBC broadcast: “That might be the greatest catch I’ve ever seen! You have to be kidding me. That is absolutely impossible!”
Jan. 10, 2015 – Tom Brady led the New England Patriots back from a pair of 14-point deficits – an NFL Playoff first – to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in the AFC Divisional Playoff.
Nov. 1, 2015 – The 6-0 Green Bay Packers visited the 6-0 Denver Broncos in the first-ever primetime game featuring opponents with records of 6-0 or better. The Broncos won 29-10.
Nov. 26, 2015 – The most-watched Thanksgiving primetime game in NFL history (27.8 million viewers for Bears-Packers) featured Brett Favre’s “Ring of Honor” halftime ceremony, with a special appearance from Packers legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr.
Michaels during the telecast: “Like a scene out of a movie. Brett Favre. Bart Starr. The tradition. Lambeau Field. Great. Just great.”
Nov. 13, 2016 – Seattle won 31-24 with a goal-line stand in a Super Bowl XLIX rematch with New England, stopping the Patriots four times from inside the two-yard line in the game’s final moments.
SNF RANKS #1 IN PRIMETIME FOR UNPRECEDENTED 7 CONSECUTIVE YEARS
Most Consecutive Years, #1 Ranked Show in Primetime, Since 1950
7 years in a row – Sunday Night Football (2011-12 through 2017-18)
6 years in a row – American Idol (2005-06 through 2010-11)
5 years in a row – The Cosby Show (1985-86 through 1989-90)…tied Cheers in ‘89-90
5 years in a row – All in the Family (1971-72 through 1975-76)
4 years in a row – Gunsmoke (1957-58 through 1960-61)
ON THE FIELD
Michaels and Collinsworth have called 211 NFL games together since their first game in the NBC Sunday Night Football booth on Oct. 19, 2008.
New Stadiums Debuting on NBC’s Sunday Night Football
|AT&T Stadium (Cowboys)||2009|
|Levi’s Stadium (49ers)||2014|
|U.S. Bank Stadium (Vikings)||2016|
|Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Falcons)||2017|
Most Games Called Together, by Team
|New York Giants||27|
|Green Bay Packers||26|
|New England Patriots||25|
|New Orleans Saints||17|
Most Games Called Together, by Stadium
|Lincoln Financial Field||12|
|Sports Authority Field at Mile High||12|
|Lucas Oil Stadium||10|
|University of Phoenix Stadium||9|
— SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL –