“Jerry, stop trippin’. Pay the man. He’s a franchise quarterback.” – Rodney Harrison on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
“Two weeks into the season, he’s been the best player in the NFL.” – Chris Simms on Bills QB Josh Allen
“This is what’s special. He’s not sliding, not running out of bounds. He’s thinking end zone.” – Tony Dungy on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
“Good thing no fans are there to boo them right now.” – Mike Tirico on the 0-2 Philadelphia Eagles
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 20, 2020 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season began tonight from CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Patriots-Seahawks on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn., and was joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Due to COVID-19 precautions, two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison and NFL Insider Mike Florio joined Football Night remotely from studios in their respective homes. Jac Collinsworth co-hosted the show on-site from CenturyLink Field and was joined by Sunday Night Football analyst and his father Cris Collinsworth.
In addition, actor and Seahawks fan Jeffrey Dean Morgan set the stage for tonight’s game with a taped piece and Jac Collinsworth interviewed Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), Collinsworth (analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s Patriots-Seahawks game.
Following are highlights from tonight’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC:
Florio: “A bad day for several high-profile players in the NFL.”
Tirico: “I’ll say there was an hour between 1:15-2:15 (p.m. ET) where you didn’t want to watch the next play and were afraid who else would get hurt…maybe last week we thought this was going to happen, but we see it this week.”
Dungy: “I was concerned about this as a former coach, where you have no offseason program, no preseason games. Now your guys are coming out going 100 miles per hour for the first time. We didn’t see it last week, but I think it caught up with them this week.”
Simms: “No doubt, I agree — beat up from last week still and still getting game ready. No OTAs, no preseason …, training camp and the whole process was sped up. We shouldn’t be shocked with guys going down right now.”
Florio on the turf at MetLife Stadium and numerous injuries in 49ers-Jets: “Plenty of lower leg injuries today creating concerns about the quality of the turf and there were complaints today from multiple players about that turf. I’m told NFL Field Operations will be taking a look at the situation as a result of all those injuries and they need to because the 49ers actually play there again next week against the New York Giants.”
Cris Collinsworth: “At this point, I’d be more confident in (Cam Newton’s) ability to throw the ball than I would be in this group of receivers to get open.”
Dungy on both teams’ persona flip-flop: “The personality of the teams have totally flip flopped. In the past, Seattle pounds it and runs the ball, while now it’s Russell Wilson. I think New England comes in and stops them from throwing and make Seattle run. Other side of the coin, whenever you played Tom Brady, you had to take away the passing game from New England. Seattle today, we have to stop Cam Newton from running and force them to throw. It’s a different mindset.”
Simms: “I think they’ve got the secondary to matchup with these receivers and I think this running offense with Cam Newton is still going to be a pain in the butt this early in the season even for Pete Carroll.”
Cris Collinsworth: “On both sides of the ball right now, we’re seeing Pete Carroll being willing to let Russ cook.”
Harrison on S Jamal Adams: “He’s at his very best when he’s moving forward. He’s aggressive, he’s a physical player with a tremendous motor.”
Tirico on head coaches Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll: “They’re not oldies but goodies, they’re oldies but greaties.”
Dungy: “This is exactly why they got Leonard Fournette. When we have the lead at the end of the game, that big back to pound it out and seal the game for them.”
Simms: “We saw more ‘Tom Brady New England plays’ today, especially early on. Last week it seemed like it was more Bruce Arians, let’s push the ball down the field. No biscuit, no risk it. This week was let’s get the high-percentage, underneath stuff.”
Harrison: “I got to give a lot of credit to head coach Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys never gave up. They were down 29-10 at halftime and you always have a chance to win when you have these type of weapons. Today showed what type of leader and player Dak Prescott Is. What a tremendous victory for Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys.”
Tirico on Falcons 20-0 first-quarter lead in Dallas: “What in the wide world of Jerry World is going on?”
Harrison’s message to owner Jerry Jones on Dak Prescott’s performance, but no long-term contract: “Jerry, stop trippin’. Pay the man. He is a franchise quarterback.”
Dungy on QB Mitchell Trubisky: “He extended the plays, didn’t panic, and stayed with his reads.”
Simms on Trubisky: “He’s playing smart, making good decisions, throwing the ball accurate. His legs are getting him out of trouble and he’s not making stupid mistakes.”
Florio: “I’ve spoken with Mitchell Trubisky multiple times in the past. Something is different about him, he’s relaxed, he’s confident and he’s sure of himself. He told me back in the early days during the pandemic when there was nothing to do, that’s when the Bears acquired Nick Foles and that’s when he took that time to reflect and decide what he wanted to be as an NFL quarterback and that made him put in the work, put in the effort and do what needed to be done to win that starting job. As for Foles, he was brought there because of knowing that offense. What Trubisky told me is that it’s all of the other offenses that Foles has been a part of and he brought that information and made their offense better.”
Simms on QB Josh Allen: “So far, two weeks into the (season), he’s been the best player in the NFL. They have put the ball in his hands and he has been delivering with his legs and improved throwing.”
Dungy on QB Kyler Murray: “This is what’s special. He’s not sliding, not running out of bounds. He’s thinking end zone.”
Dungy: “I thought Sean McVay called an outstanding game getting the ball out of Jared Goff’s hands quickly.”
Harrison: “I love Sean McVay’s commitment to running the football. It’s really opening up the offense.”
Harrison on rookie QB Justin Herbert: “Anthony Lynn, don’t overthink this. You have a really good young quarterback. Continue to build on this. He can continue to build on his confidence. This is the guy who should be starting, not Tyrod Taylor.
Dungy: “I met Justin Herbert last summer in Eugene, Oregon. He could have come out the year before and been a top-five pick, but wanted to come back and throw to his brother (Patrick) and win a national championship. That told me, ‘this guy is something special.’ He’s not thinking about money or individual things. Everybody out there raves about him and the type of leader he is. I agree with Rodney, they have a winner.”
Tirico: “Good thing no fans are there to boo them right now.”
Simms on QB Gardner Minshew: “He’s a gamer. You’re never out of it with Gardner.”
Dungy: “The Pittsburgh defense wasn’t great today, but that pass rush was relentless.”
Tirico on zero Jets touching Raheem Mostert on his 80-yard TD: “That is not next-gen, that is same Jets.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–