“They’ve got a lot of different ways to beat you…that’s why the Cardinals are the best team in football.” – Chris Simms on the Cardinals
“I can’t lie, he reminds me of Terrell Davis. The thing I like about him is his vision…but what I really love about him is he runs people over.” – Rodney Harrison on Broncos Rookie RB Javonte Williams
“For them to win this week with the emotions of everything was incredible.” – Drew Brees on the Lions’ first win of the season following the Oxford school shooting tragedy
“This is the kind of game the Steelers win…I think they saved their season today.” – Tony Dungy on Steelers win over Baltimore
“He reminds me of Steph Curry. He does so much that you have to defend him, it makes everyone else around him better.” – Dungy on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 5, 2021 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season began tonight from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Broncos-Chiefs 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), Kathryn Tappen (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s game.
Jac Collinsworth and Harrison interviewed former NFL defensive back Patrick Surtain, who is the father of Broncos rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
Michael Smith and Michael Holley, co-hosts of the Peacock exclusive show Brother From Another, also previewed Broncos-Chiefs tonight on FNIA.
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: “Missouri is the ‘Show Me’ state. They still have to show me – they are a talented team with a great offense, but they aren’t playing that way. Still seeing misfires from (Patrick) Mahomes, not seeing explosive plays from the offense.”
Brees on the Chiefs’ season: “I still think they’re one of the more dangerous teams out there…They’ve played a lot better as of late, especially on defense.”
Brees on the Chiefs’ offensive philosophy: “Beginning of the season, it was a lot of RPOs (run-pass options) and not a lot of action on the run. Now, it’s more game plan, gap schemes, pulling guards and tight ends to open up big holes in the run game…After you hand it off a few times, throw it short to (Travis) Kelce and bring attention underneath, now you can take your shots (downfield) to Tyreek Hill.”
Brees on QB Teddy Bridgewater: “You can see how much confidence they play with (him under center)…A high efficiency passer who can push it downfield when he needs to. Love his leadership and moxie.”
Harrison on rookie RB Javonte Williams: “I can’t lie, he reminds me of Terrell Davis. The thing I like about him is his vision…but what I really love about him is he runs people over.”
Harrison on the Broncos’ wide receivers: “I love these wide receivers. I think they’re highly underrated…I like the fact they put Jerry Jeudy back in the slot. I think that’s going to really open up opportunities down the field.”
Patrick Surtain on the advice he gave his son, CB Patrick Surtain II: “Stay in the moment and be yourself. Always pave a path of your own…Proud dad moment right now.”
Tirico on the 10-2 Cardinals: “It’s time we start not only paying attention but elevating them for what they’ve done on the field.”
Simms: “I’ve got to give (head coach) Kliff Kingsbury a lot of credit. He’s gotten away from just the four wide receivers, Texas Tech offense. There is more diversity and versatility in this Arizona offense…They’ve got a lot of different ways to beat you, and I think that’s why the Cardinals are the best team in football.”
Brees: “This is just an embarrassment of riches with all of these skill player weapons that they have. You just cannot matchup with these guys one-on-one…They are tough to beat.”
Dungy on QB Kyler Murray: “He reminds me of Steph Curry. He does so much that you have to defend him, it makes everyone else around him better.”
Harrison on the Cardinals defense vs. the Bears today: “They were all over the place. This has really been the strength of their team, this defense…They just continue to make plays and if they really want to go to the next level, it’s not going to be because of their offense, it’s going to be because of their defense.”
Brees on the Chargers’ win vs. the Bengals: “They did it with defense…They were able to stop Joe Mixon and that run game, which allowed them to tee off on Joe Burrow and the passing game. They created four turnovers which gave great field position for their offense and allowed for some of these big, explosive plays and Justin Herbert pushing the ball down the field. Really a good win for the Chargers.”
Florio on speaking with WR Keenan Allen: “Two touchdown catches, and he threw the two-point conversion, based on the Philly Special. They have a very creative and innovative name for the play – they also call it the Philly Special. They just put it in this week…He said, ‘Hey, I’m the third quarterback on gameday. I’m the emergency option.’”
Simms on TE Rob Gronkowski’s two touchdown catches: “It’s Brady and Gronk time, this is what they do. One-on-one with whoever it is on Gronk, I don’t care, it’s a mismatch…The Bucs offense and Brady were rolling today.”
Florio on WR Antonio Brown’s three-game suspension: “The NFL and NFLPA came together to issue a joint statement on Thursday announcing that these players had misrepresented their vaccination status. I’m told the union specifically avoided the phrase ‘fake vaccination card’ because there is some concern that there could be federal prosecution of any of the players who did indeed produce a fake vaccine card. As to Brown’s future…I’m told they are considering cutting him. They won’t have to make a decision until he’s eligible to return to the team in 14 days when they play the Saints on Sunday Night Football.”
Dungy: “1-7 start, they never gave up on head coach Brian Flores. They are playing great defense, Tua Tagovailoa has been very efficient in the red zone, and they have now won five in a row.”
Brees on Tagovailoa: “They’ve built this offense to his successes. It’s just the dink-and-dunk, but it’s efficient so it works, and when they can take care of the football and combine that with their defense, they’re winning games.”
Simms: “The Rams need to get underneath the center and run the football. We saw that from Sony Michel. It helped out the rest of the offense and it helped (Matthew) Stafford kind of find his groove.”
Brees: “I still question just how good they are based on their losses. They beat the Jacksonville Jaguars today. We’re going to know a lot more next week when they travel to Arizona. I think that’s when we’ll really see where they stack up.”
Dungy on the Steelers’ win vs. Baltimore: “This is the kind of game the Steelers win. Everybody counts them out…Mike Tomlin has a way of rallying these guys when they really need it. I think they saved their season today.”
Brees: “The passing game has to be more efficient. They’re always going to be a run team with their running game and Lamar (Jackson) and the threat that brings. But when they get the opportunities for play-action, the one-on-ones, they need to make those plays if they are going to be the team they aspire to be.”
Simms on the Ravens offense and QB Lamar Jackson: “It’s so Lamar-centric, and the defense isn’t as dominant as in year’s past. The run game revolves around Lamar, the pass game revolves around Lamar, so when he’s off it really pops…The Ravens put too much pressure on him, and he wasn’t his best today.”
Dungy: “Baltimore reminds me of Pittsburgh last year – they’re winning, but they weren’t playing good football and Baltimore’s the same way. They have to get back and play a little sharper.”
Brees on the Lions’ first win of the season: “Congratulations to them and (Lions head coach) Dan Campbell for staying the course. They’ve had so many heartbreaking losses, six by three points or less. For them to win this week with the emotions of everything (following the Oxford school shooting tragedy) was incredible.”
Simms on QB Jared Goff’s game-winning touchdown pass as time expired: “I just can’t believe how open the goal line was for them to make this throw. Goff has a good pocket, puts the ball right on the money, but I believe as Dan Campbell said, he was kind of shocked at the defense and how they covered this one.”
Florio on speaking with WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who caught the game-winning touchdown: “He said that key play is something they’ve been running since training camp. It’s a very simple concept, and the main objective for Amon-Ra St. Brown was to get to the goal line because if you get tackled short of the goal line, you’ve got a problem – there’s no time…He told me he was really shocked to see guys four and five yards deep and he thought to himself as the play was unfolding, ‘This is going to work out perfectly.’”
Dungy: “This was a devastating loss…It should never have come to that (letting up the last-second touchdown pass). Three times they let Detroit catch balls and get out of bounds, just very poor defense by Minnesota on that last drive.”
Simms: “The Eagles run game, watch out. It’s as dangerous as any in football and it’s going to keep them in games. They still have a chance in this NFC playoff picture.”
Simms: “The Colts are rolling, no doubt about it…We know the Colts are one of the better teams in the AFC.”
Simms on the 49ers’ loss to the Seahawks: “They had a real chance to kind of solidify themselves as an NFC playoff team today. Now, they’re right back in the mix with a whole bunch of other teams. That was a bad loss for them.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–