FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, January 1st, 2017

“FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA” FEATURES INTERVIEWS WITH DETROIT LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD AND GREEN BAY PACKERS WR JORDY NELSON

“Our city has been looking for something to really rally behind in the football standpoint for a long time.” – Stafford on the Lions potentially clinching the NFC North

“I agreed with him. It shows the confidence.” – Nelson on Aaron Rodgers saying the Packers would run the table

STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 1, 2017 – For tonight’s Week 17 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, host Mike Tirico interviews Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, and Green Bay Packers WR Jordy NelsonFootball Night will also include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 17 games ahead of tonight’s Packers-Lions Sunday Night Football showdown.

Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Tirico will host tonight’s program live from Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, and is joined by Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports Radio. Paul Burmeister will report from FedEx Field in Hyattsville, Md., on the Giants-Redskins game.

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Tirico’s interviews with Stafford and Nelson. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”

MIKE TIRICO WITH MATTHEW STAFFORD

Tirico: “For the 4,393 time – the finger. I’m not going to ask how it is. I want to know what you’ve learned the past two weeks with it bandaged up?”

Stafford: “I’ve learned how to just make it work. It’s obviously not 100%. I feel okay out there and good enough to go and compete.”

Tirico: “Does it keep you from anything you want to throw on the field?”

Stafford: “I don’t think so. I feel like I can make all of the throws.”

Tirico: “Talk about how you have changed from the kid who came from Georgia… to some place you didn’t really know much about? Now you’re wearing the (Detroit) Tigers hat and are one of the faces of this city in sports.”

Stafford: “It’s been an interesting eight years, no question. I’ve had ups and downs both on and off the field. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Tirico: “How did you connect with this city?”

Stafford: “By just kind of jumping in. One thing about Detroit, and this city, and the state of Michigan – they’re a bunch of hard working people. That’s something that’s easy to take to. People that work extremely hard for a living and pull for each other, so it’s been nice.”

Tirico: “This is where I’m supposed to ask you about going up against Aaron Rodgers and you’re going to tell me, ‘We’re not on the field at the same time, so it doesn’t matter.’ But, do you go into the games against a guy like Rodgers, given the history, knowing that you need to put up points, because he’s going to find a way to get touchdowns that maybe other quarterbacks won’t?”

Stafford: “No question. You go to play a team that has a really good offense, they’re going to go put up some points and we’re going to have do the same. It’s a big challenge for our defense. We have to slow down or stop Aaron Rodgers and company, but we take it as a challenge on offense to go out there and put up a good performance.”

Tirico: “If I say 1993, do you know what that means?”

Stafford: “Yes, I do. That’s the last time this team won the division.”

Tirico: “What would it mean to you, to this team, to this city for you to be the quarterback to get them the first division title since then?”

Stafford: “It would mean a lot. I think our city has been looking for something to really rally behind and cheer for in the football standpoint for a long time. We’ve made playoff appearances and had good seasons around here, but it’s really nice when you can get the hat and the t-shirt and win the championship of your division. It’s something I’m looking forward to, and hopefully we can get it done on Sunday.”

MIKE TIRICO WITH JORDY NELSON

Tirico: “Four and six. Aaron (Rodgers) says run the table. Is there a little preview for the rest of the locker room where Aaron says, ‘Hey guys, I’m going to say this.’?”

Nelson: “I think I heard about it when he got done doing his press conference, and they all came over to my locker to do my press conference.”

Tirico: “So, when the rest of the media come over and say ‘Hey Jordy, the team is 4-6, but Aaron said he thinks you guys can run the table,’ you think?”

Nelson: “Absolutely. I agreed with him. It shows the confidence. We knew we just needed to get one win and build off that. We had a very high quality win in Philly, and we could go from there.”

Tirico: “You’ve got 14 touchdowns, which has the chance to lead the league this season in terms of receptions. What would that mean coming off last season and the injury?”

Nelson: “Another cool number to have, but if we don’t make the playoffs this season it won’t be worth it.”

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA