“I have to play Brock Osweiler based on what I saw today.” – Tony Dungy on Peyton Manning’s struggles
“The intimidation factor is gone.” – Rodney Harrison on the Packers
“It’s obvious that all the distractions and controversies are really taking a toll on this team.” – Harrison on Cowboys
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 15, 2015 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., and was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward.
Dan Patrick co-hosted Football Night, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insiders Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com, and Peter King. Carolynn Manno reported from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on the Patriots-Giants game.
Football Night addressed the Paris attacks with a report by Tafoya on NFL security, and by reporting on the tributes NFL teams conducted today.
Following are highlights from Football Night in America:
Dungy on who he would play next week: “I have to play Brock Osweiler based on what I saw today. I don’t know if it’s a foot, shoulder, ribs…that is not the Peyton Manning I’m used to seeing. I would play Brock.”
Harrison: “As good as Peyton Manning is, I think he completely lost his confidence. I think he tries so hard at proving people wrong that he can throw the ball down the field that he’s taking unnecessary chances. And the fact is, his arm is weak. He can’t do it anymore.”
Patrick: “Tom Brady gets a small moment of revenge against the G-men.”
Dungy: “Situation football. The Patriots do it better than anyone in the league.”
Dungy on mistakes during key plays: “This is situational football. The Patriots do it very, very well. The Giants — not so well.”
Harrison: “They had an opportunity and didn’t capitalize on it.”
Dungy: “People have exposed the formula on how to play them. Everyone’s playing them the same way — keep Aaron Rodgers in the pocket and blanket those receivers.”
Harrison: “The intimidation factor is gone.”
Patrick: “The Lions have 11 players who weren’t even born the last time (1991) Detroit won in Green Bay.”
Harrison on the Panthers being the best team in the NFC: “They’re a very unselfish team. They don’t care who gets the credit. I’ve played on a lot of really good teams and you have to have that formula in order to win.”
Harrison on the best team in the NFC North: “It’s Minnesota, and quietly they have one of the best defenses in the league. This is a defense that can match up with Green Bay.”
Harrison: “It’s obvious that all the distractions and controversies are really taking a toll on this team. It’s up to Jason Garrett to regain control of this locker room and calm these guys down.”
Harrison on the game-ending interception: “You’ve got to make a better effort than that Dez (Bryant).”
Dungy: “He got pushed a little bit, but you’ve got to go up and get that ball. The game’s on the line.”
Patrick on Ben Roethlisberger: “Isn’t it amazing how much he changes that offense?”
Harrison: “It is. And really, you can never relax when he’s on the field because this is a vertical passing team. They want the big play down the field. They’re going to take five and six shots. But they also really believe, when he’s healthy, they believe they can play with anybody in this league.”
Dungy: “We did their Hall of Fame game in the preseason. I was on the sideline with Ben and he told me this skill position group is better than the two Super Bowl teams. He loves these guys, and when he’s out there he can get the ball to them.”
Harrison: “Nick Foles is an average quarterback with a lot of talent around him.”
Dungy: “We still see undisciplined play from the Rams — penalties, missed tackles. They have a lot of talent, but they’ve got to play consistent.”
Harrison on Saints’ Brandon Browner, who blocked a Redskins player instead of going for a tackle during Matt Jones’ touchdown run: “I don’t understand. I’m watching and I’m like, go make the tackle. He comes back and he peels back and hits a lineman. This is why this is the worst defense in the league. That’s just a selfish play.”
Dungy on the Jaguars in the playoffs: “They are a contender.”
Collinsworth on QB Carson Palmer: “After all these years, here’s a guy who’s playing his best football, and is very much in the MVP discussion at this point.”
Dungy on TE Jimmy Graham: “You have to design things for him…I think they’re just finding that out.”
ON NFL IN L.A.
King: “From talking to people in this league, they do not want two teams in Los Angeles. The majority of owners in this league only want one.”
Florio: “If that one team is not the St. Louis Rams, there’s already speculation that owner Stan Kroenke could move without the approval of his business partners or possibly even sell the team.”
FEATURE ON CARDINALS’ PATRICK PETERSON AND TYRANN MATHIEU
Tonight’s episode examined the unique relationship between the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu, also known as “The Honey Badger,” discussed how Peterson took him under his wing while they were teammates at LSU. Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy candidate following his sophomore season in 2011, but was dismissed from LSU three weeks before his junior season for failing a drug test. The feature highlighted Mathieu’s path to the NFL, and the crucial role Peterson’s guidance played in his success and growth both on and off the field.
Mathieu on his lack of confidence early in his playing career: “When I first met Pat, he knew he wanted to be a Top 5 pick. He knew he wanted to be a Pro Bowl player. With the things I’ve experienced in my life…those things were too good to be true. Thinking back on it, I just didn’t believe in myself.”
Mathieu on moving in with Peterson’s parents in Florida following dismissal from LSU: “(Peterson) actually had a plan for me. I went down to Florida with his parents, and the rest is history. I haven’t looked back since then.”
Peterson: “When he went down to Florida (to train for the NFL Draft), I said, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to get you on the Arizona Cardinals.’ He’s a game-changer.”
Mathieu: “We all grow up and want to be somebody, but we never meet those people that we want to be like. I’m very fortunate because the person I want to be like is right there. He’s a phone call away, and it’s something I don’t take for granted.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–