“We’ve been ‘waiting all day for Sunday Night.’ This town’s been waiting 11 years for Sunday night.” – Al Michaels on first SNF game in Cleveland since 2008
“This is the best inside defensive player I’ve seen since Warren Sapp.” – Tony Dungy on Rams DT Aaron Donald
“He’ll be the king of New York at least for 24 hours.” – Mike Tirico on Giants QB Daniel Jones following comeback win vs. Tampa Bay
“Somebody has to be accountable and I’m looking at head coach Dan Quinn.” – Rodney Harrison on the Falcons’ lack of discipline and defensive struggles
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 22, 2019 – Mike Tirico hosted the Week 3 edition of Football Night in America tonight from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., in advance of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns. Tirico was joined on the set by analysts Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, and Chris Simms, as well as NFL Insider Mike Florio.
Liam McHugh co-hosted Football Night in America from a new outdoor set outside FirstEnergy Stadium. He was joined by SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth, with Al Michaels and Michele Tafoya also reporting from inside the stadium.
During tonight’s edition of FNIA, Tirico interviewed Browns QB Baker Mayfield. In the interview, Mayfield discussed the hype surrounding his arrival in Cleveland and how he transformed from a “shy guy” to one of the more honest, outspoken quarterbacks that doesn’t subscribe to the “quarterback handbook.” Click here for more info.
FNIA also included highlights, analysis, and news from around the league.
Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:
Michaels: “We’ve been ‘waiting all day for Sunday Night.’ This town’s been waiting 11 years for Sunday night.”
Tirico: “There’s belief, there’s hope, and there’s Sunday Night Football in Cleveland tonight.”
Collinsworth on playing on SNF with expectations: “These are guys in Cleveland that have played in big games. You bring in Odell (Beckham Jr.), Jarvis (Landry), Baker (Mayfield), you’re not going to scare them with a big-game atmosphere. Are you kidding me? You’re just not going to be able to do it. But this is a big moment.”
Simms on DE Myles Garrett: “He has entered that Khalil Mack/Aaron Donald stratosphere as being one of the most dominant defensive players in the game.”
Collinsworth on Sean McVay: “I think the genius is the simplicity of what he does. And really the simplicity is everything is based off the running game, and anything they do on the running game, you will see it come back in a pass formation.”
Harrison on Rams defense: “They don’t do a whole bunch of disguising and a lot of blitzing…I’ll be interested to see if they change that up, tweak that and show Baker Mayfield a bunch of different looks.”
Dungy on DT Aaron Donald: “This is the best inside defensive player I’ve seen since Warren Sapp.”
Dungy on QB Daniel Jones: “They have a lot of deficiencies… he’s given them life with his mobility and energy…a big difference in that quarterback position.”
Simms on Jones: “His ability to move in the pocket and scramble was the difference in the game.”
Tirico on Jones: “That New York Post back page headline? Frame it tomorrow because it’s not going to be that good every day. But he’ll be the king of New York at least for 24 hours.”
Simms on TE Evan Engram: “Evan Engram is a superstar in the making at the tight end position.”
Simms on QB Josh Allen: “On the run, extending plays – this is what is so beautiful about his game. He’s a little raw still, but he can make a lot of plays.”
Simms: “The Bills defense is one of the better defenses in all of football.”
Simms on QB Patrick Mahomes: “His ability to stand there and look for big plays down the field is second-to-none in this sport right now. That’s what makes Kansas City so dangerous. They make you defend every inch of the field because of Patrick Mahomes.”
Tirico on young QBs: “Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes – we are talking about a new era of quarterbacks and these guys define it.”
Harrison on Jackson’s style of play: “He won’t last if he keeps taking those (big) hits.”
Harrison on RB Dalvin Cook: “He has absolutely changed this offense. He has brought them speed, toughness, and they are now three-deep at the running back position. His downhill toughness gets everyone excited.”
Tirico: “Dalvin Cook is ballin’.”
Dungy on Packers defense: “These Smith brothers (Za’Darius and Preston) that they’ve brought in are putting pressure on the quarterback. Defense is back in Green Bay.”
Harrison on QB Aaron Rodgers: “He doesn’t feel like he has to do everything himself which is really helping.”
Dungy on Colts QB Jacoby Brissett: “He started off with 16 straight completions. He can quarterback this team. Don’t worry Colts fans, you’re in good hands.”
Simms on QB Dak Prescott: “That check keeps getting bigger, Mike.”
Tirico: “You mean that contract that’s coming?”
Simms: “Exactly right.”
Dungy on QB Matt Ryan’s red zone interception: “We’ve seen this (from him) this year in the red zone. Bad, bad decisions, bad throws.”
Harrison on Falcons defense: “I’m looking at head coach Dan Quinn. He took over the defense, fired the defensive coordinator, all the guys are back healthy. The miscommunication, 16 penalties today, undisciplined play. Somebody has to be accountable and I’m looking at head coach Dan Quinn.”
Harrison on QB Matthew Stafford: “He looks so comfortable. I had a chance to talk with head coach Matt Patricia and he said his comfort level since the summer has been there and only grown every week.”
Simms on QB Kyle Allen: “The big theme was Kyle Allen just hitting open receivers throughout the game. That’s what Cam Newton wasn’t able to do the first two weeks.”
Tirico on QB Teddy Bridgewater: “You (have to) feel great for Teddy Bridgewater. First win since Week 17 of 2015 since the knee injury. They paid him to be the highest paid backup quarterback in the league and it’s paying off for the Saints right now.”
Simms on blowing 28-10 lead to Giants: “Come on, my ‘Yuckaneers.’”
Tirico on Bucs K Matt Gay who missed potential GW 34-yard field goal: “Bruce Arians took a delay of game penalty because he thought he was better from long distance. He’s not. They lose.”
Simms: “This was a theme of the day for the Eagles. No DeSean Jackson. No Alshon Jeffery. Dropped passes.”
Dungy: “The second week in a row that a Philadelphia receiver drops a potential game-winning touchdown pass. Get those first-team receivers back healthy.”
Dungy: “They actually played well early. They just couldn’t make that critical play when they needed it.”
ON ANTONIO BROWN
Florio: “As of Saturday, I’m told that there were three teams that were interested in Antonio Brown, but they wanted to wait to see what happened with the NFL’s investigation of that sexual assault claim arising from a civil lawsuit that was filed a couple of weeks ago. But then came Sunday and a tweetstorm from Antonio Brown that included an attack on Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a claim by Brown that he’s done playing in the NFL. Now the belief is that Brown will return to the NFL once he’s able to do so and once that investigation ends and any punishment against him is meted out. The problem is there’s no clear timetable, so we will just have to wait and see how that investigation plays out and then who, if anyone, will pursue Antonio Brown.”
Click here to watch Florio’s segment on Brown.
TIRICO’S INTERVIEW WITH MAYFIELD
Click here to watch a preview of Tirico’s interview with Mayfield.
Tirico: “You’re honest, sometimes, to a fault. Have you at any point during the NFL experience said, ‘Maybe I can’t be as honest as I was at Oklahoma?’”
Mayfield: “No. I think that’s what catches people off guard. I’m not going to apologize for being me. I truly do pride myself on being completely transparent and honest about how I feel.”
Tirico: “There’s almost a quarterback handbook. ‘Don’t give anybody anything bad to put up on their bulletin board.’ You don’t subscribe to that handbook.”
Mayfield: “I definitely don’t. I don’t fit in the guidelines and not a lot of people like that. I think that’s where the reaction comes from on the outside, but that’s okay – I’m not really worried about it.”
Tirico: “Is it true that as a kid you actually didn’t like getting up and speaking in front of groups?
Mayfield: “I hated it, actually. I was a shy guy.”
Mayfield: “Big rule-follower.”
Tirico: “What happened? (laughs)”
Mayfield: “Not being the biggest guy, not being the strongest, I just said, you know what? If nobody else believes in me, I’m just going to work for it and in the end be able to say, ‘I told you so.’”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–