“He has changed the culture there and given them a belief of winning…The players on this team, especially the veterans, love him.” – Drew Brees on Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley
“I’ve got some advice for the Buffalo coaching staff. I know you love Josh Allen…but you called eight runs for your running backs today. You can’t win like that in Buffalo in December and January.” – Tony Dungy
“Since Derrick Henry went out, there has not been a better back in football.” – Chris Simms on Jonathan Taylor
“Coach Belichick deserves Coach of the Year consideration.” – Rodney Harrison
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 21, 2021 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season began tonight from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Steelers-Chargers on Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock.
Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined at the desk by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees. Co-host Maria Taylor was joined in Studio 1 by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison joined co-host Jac Collinsworth at the site of the game. NFL Insider Mike Florio provided reports from his home studio.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s game.
Jac Collinsworth and Harrison interviewed Hall of Fame RB and former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson.
For the first time ever, Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football are streaming on Peacock Premium every week this season. Viewers can sign up here. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.
NBC Sports’ new post-game show Peacock Sunday Night Football Final streams tonight exclusively on Peacock following Sunday Night Football.
Following are highlights from tonight’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock:
Dungy on team’s recent struggles: “Early in the season, they reminded me of the ‘Lightning Bolts’ with Dan Fouts. They’ve got to get back to that and get Mike Williams going.”
Tomlinson on QB Justin Herbert: “As young as he is, he’s been cool, calm and collected. His maturity is what stands out to me.”
Tomlinson on S Derwin James: “He can do it all. First of all, he had the mindset that you (Harrison) had, ‘I want to make every single play that I possibly can.’ … We’ve seen him cover the best tight ends in this league, but at the same time, he can still come down and support the run.”
Harrison on James: “If he stays healthy, I believe he should be a Hall of Famer. He’s big, runs, will come up and hit you, and they do a good job of moving him around (the field).”
Brees on head coach Brandon Staley: “He has changed the culture there and given them a belief of winning, but he’s also developed practice habits and everything that we do is going to put you in the best position to go into Sunday as healthy and ready as possible. The players on this team, especially the veterans, love him.”
Dungy on Staley’s effect on the team: “You may beat them, but they’re not going to beat themselves.”
Brees on QB Justin Herbert: “Very few guys have this type of arm talent, maybe a (Patrick) Mahomes, maybe a (Matt) Stafford and (Aaron) Rodgers. But this guy is in that league.”
Dungy: “The Steelers need to get back to their roots and run the football.”
Brees on QB Ben Roethlisberger: “Coming off of COVID, missed practice. For most people, they need those reps for timing and rhythm. Big Ben is a bit more streetball, run around and improvise.”
Dungy: “We’ve been calling for this all year — put Chris Jones back at tackle. He’s one of the most dominating players in the NFL when he’s playing inside. He made huge plays today.”
Dungy: “Dallas still is (about) running the football. That’s when they give you problems. But they didn’t run it well today.”
Brees: “They didn’t get to have their big play weapons out there. A lot of it was a byproduct of the Chiefs’ defensive ability to get pressure with four and the disguise pressures seemed to really confuse them.”
Simms: “We still don’t know what the Titans offense is without Derrick Henry…They’re hurting with the play-action pass and certainly not controlling the offensive side of the ball because there’s a lack of a running game.”
Dungy: “I’ll go old school. To me, this is like playing the Houston Oilers without Earl Campbell. You have a lot less to worry about (if you’re the opponent). You don’t get the same coverages (if you’re the Titans). You don’t get defenses sucked in. It’s going to be different for Ryan Tannehill down the stretch.”
Brees on this afternoon’s games: “What really stood out was the Colts’ ability to run the football against what we all believed to be one of the best defenses in the league in the Buffalo Bills. And it wasn’t even close.”
Harrison: “They did a great job of frustrating Josh Allen and not giving up the big play…Kenny Moore II came up with one of the best interceptions of the year.”
Simms on RB Jonathan Taylor: “Since Derrick Henry went out, there has not been a better back in football.”
Simms: “Off his game. Josh Allen was careless with the football throughout. The Bills offense didn’t look good and it’s too Josh Allen-centric.”
Brees: “They don’t have much of an identity. They haven’t been able to run the ball consistently with anyone other than Josh Allen.”
Dungy: “I’ve got some advice for the Buffalo coaching staff. I know you love Josh Allen – we love Josh Allen and all that talent – but you called eight runs for your running backs today. You can’t win like that in Buffalo in December and January. You’re going to have to be balanced, you’re going to have to run the football to win.”
Dungy on running ability of QB Jalen Hurts: “You have to honor him. Those backside people can’t chase as much. He spreads things out and that lets the runners run inside.”
Brees: “When you’ve got the weapons outside like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and run the ball with Dalvin Cook, you can be a very dangerous offense.”
Brees on the defense: “It all starts with that front four and their ability to dominate the game. They’re also playing better on the back end, especially these past two weeks.”
Dungy: “If I’m a Carolina fan and the coaching staff, I’d be encouraged. Your quarterback play had been horrendous the last three or four weeks. Cam (Newton) comes in, helps the run game, the play-action pass with no turnovers. I think he played very well for only having nine days of practice.”
Simms on RB Joe Mixon: “He’s one of the better running backs nobody knows about in football.”
Dungy: “Colt McCoy wasn’t great last week, but today he was really, really efficient.”
Harrison: “Coach (Bill) Belichick deserves Coach of the Year consideration.”
Dungy on QB Tua Tagovailoa: “He played sharp, efficient football and led them to the win.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–