Sunday, October 15th, 2017


“The whole landscape of the NFC North changed.” – Tony Dungy on Aaron Rodgers’ injury

“We all complain, ‘They take care of the quarterbacks too much, they protect them too much…’ But the game feels different when you’re going to the stadium, and it’s not Aaron Rodgers and it’s Brett Hundley.” – Cris Collinsworth

“It just seems like they get tired. They don’t have that emotional side of them to push through that.” – Rodney Harrison on the Falcons’ defense

“This is the (Adrian) Peterson we’re used to seeing, the vision, the burst …he’s made a huge difference in one week.” – Dungy

“You’re complacent, you’re 5-0, you’re undefeated, you think you can just show up, and guess what? That happens.” – Harrison on Chiefs’ loss to Pittsburgh

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 15, 2017 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos. Mike Tirico opened the show live from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. Tirico was joined on site by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.

Dan Patrick co-hosted Football Night, the most-watched studio show in sports, from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Kathryn Tappen reported from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on the Steelers-Chiefs game.

Football Night featured an interview by NFL Insider Peter King with Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian, as well as a feature on the Giants’ struggles this season. Click here to watch King’s interview with Siemian.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Dungy: “The whole landscape of the NFC North changed with (Aaron) Rodgers’ injury.”

Collinsworth on injury to QB Aaron Rodgers: “I’m always reminded in these moments, when we lose one of these star, marquee players, that we all complain, ‘They take care of the quarterbacks too much, they protect them too much, oh come on, let them play football.’ But the game feels different when you’re going to the stadium, and it’s not Aaron Rodgers and it’s Brett Hundley…I think occasionally, we need to take a step back and say, ‘You know what, those are good rules,’ because when the star quarterback isn’t playing, it’s a different game.”

Harrison on Packers QB Brett Hundley, who replaced Rodgers on Sunday: “He’ll be fine, because this week he’ll get get first team reps with the first group and he’ll have that communication. That’s the key when you’re running this offense. It’s about communicating to the wide receivers, the offensive line, and knowing where the pressure is coming from.”

Florio on possible replacements for Rodgers: “The Packers do insist that Brett Hundley is the guy, backed up by Joe Callahan from the practice squad. But some names to keep in mind in case the Packers change their mind; Tony Romo, the Wisconsin native who is retired unless of course he isn’t retired; Colin Kaepernick, who has run roughshod in past playoff games against the Packers. He could be a possibility, but he has that new grievance filed against the NFL for collusion that could complicate things. Trade possibilities are out there. Eli Manning’s name generally has come up as a possible trade candidate by the 0-5 Giants. Ultimately one name to scratch off the list is Brett Favre – he turned 48 last week, not coming back.”


Florio: “The top item for sure is the anthem controversy. The goal now is to build a consensus between the owners and the players. The NFL Players’ Association will have a seat at the table. The idea is to come up with a way that players can have a voice, can raise social concerns separate from the anthem. Hopeful that they will buy into that, and agree to stand for the anthem on their own. The idea of a mandate, an edict, a command that you must stand, that isn’t going to happen. One of the wild cards in all of this is Jerry Jones. The Cowboys owner has told his players ‘you will stand,’ and he’s had a recent history of dominating these meetings and being very forceful with his views. They want to try to find a way to work around his views and get it to a consensus that there is an alternative platform, and that the players will choose on their own to stand.”


Florio on RB Ezekiel Elliott and status of impending six-game suspension: “It depends on who you ask. If you ask the NFL, they’ll say he’s suspended. If you ask the NFL Players’ Association, he’s technically not suspended. Either way, I expect something from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Monday or Tuesday that could resolve part of the issue. It could end up in New York Federal Court by the end of the week. Either way, we should have some clarity as to if he keeps playing by Friday at the absolute latest.”


Florio: “Colin Kaepernick had been very patient about opportunities in the NFL, they haven’t come. He’s now run out of patience. I’m told he’s filed a grievance under the Collective Bargaining Agreement alleging collusion by the NFL’s teams against him. All of it arising from the fact that he was the first player to kneel last year and he’s been unable to find employment since then.”

Patrick: “Is this going to help or hurt his opportunity to play this year?”

Florio: “You can look at it two ways. The league office could look at it and say, ‘This is an easy way to get past this, if we get him a job,’ but it could also make teams more leery of him because ‘distraction’ is the word we’ve been hearing, and this is yet another potential distraction.”

Click here to watch Florio’s segments on the NFL owners’ meeting, Ezekiel Elliott’s impending suspension, and Colin Kaepernick.


Florio on TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ touchdown that was overturned and ruled a touchback: “The league views this as a very simple proposition. Any replay review requires clear and obvious evidence, the decision made by Senior VP of Officiating Al Riveron in New York. Two items here – clear and obvious evidence that Seferian-Jenkins lost the ball before he reached the goal line, and clear and obvious evidence that he failed to repossess the ball before he was out of bounds, so it becomes a touchback. You may say the rule is unfair, but that’s the rule, and that’s the way the league applied it.”

Dungy: “I didn’t see clear and obvious evidence.”

Harrison: “I thought it was a terrible call. It should have been a touchdown.”

Harrison: “If I’m the Jets, I’m still really excited about this team. Everyone said they were going to be 1-15, or 0-16. They play hard every single week, they have a lot of young talent, and they have a quarterback that’s a leader.”


Harrison on if the defense is improving: “Yes, because I think they’ve simplified the defense. There are still some miscommunications, you see some guys running free, but all-in-all – when I was there, Belichick didn’t care how many yards you gave up. His goal was to get sacks, turnovers, and average 16 points (allowed) or less, and he deemed that as successful defense.”


Harrison on the defense: “They continue to wear down in the second half. You see a lot of long, sustained drives, and it just seems like they get tired. They don’t have that emotional side of them to push through that.”


Dungy on RB Adrian Peterson: “Bruce Arians was the running backs coach when I was in Kansas City. He knows how to use backs, and Adrian Peterson got some carries and got some holes. This is the Peterson we’re used to seeing, the vision, the burst – he was outstanding today…he’s made a huge difference in one week.”

Harrison: “My only question is this – can he sustain that? Because this is the first game. He didn’t really play the first month of the season.”


Dungy: “Le’Veon Bell was the difference. Every time I watch this guy run, I see Franco Harris in my mind.”


Harrison: “That’s when you lose, because you’re complacent, you’re 5-0, you’re undefeated, you think you can just show up and guess what? That happens.”


Harrison: “I’m not sure what they are doing with Marshawn Lynch. Why did you bring him out of retirement if you’re only going to give him the ball 13 times? They keep thinking that Carr is the guy. Run the ball through Marshawn Lynch. That should open things up for Carr.”

Dungy: “Something is not opening up because they are not getting big plays from their passing. What has happened to Amari Cooper?”


Dungy: “They were a little sloppy today. You look at the stats, and you wonder how the game was close…it took a very controversial offensive pass interference penalty to salt it away for them.”

Harrison: “They need their wide receivers to be a bigger part of the passing game. It can’t be all checkdowns to the tight ends and the running backs.”


Dungy on Joe Flacco and the offense: “He was awful today…I am disappointed in Baltimore’s offense. They scored no points today, they turned the ball over three times, they made no big plays. I think it starts with Joe Flacco.”

Harrison: “I’m down on the Ravens defensively, because coming into the season, that was the strength of their team. You’re playing against a rookie quarterback, an offense that is one-dimensional, and you expect your defense to stop them in the critical moments…Joe Flacco has completely lost his confidence. He’s gotten worse.”


Florio: “They’re 0-6 this year, 1-21 since the latest overhaul of the organization, and I’m told the Browns have begun the process of reaching out to potential football executive hires who would come in and help this team finally turn things around. It’s not clear when it would happen, and it’s not clear whether it would simply be an addition, or an addition plus subtractions of people currently there. But the wheels are in motion for the Browns to yet again reboot that franchise.”

Patrick: “The good news is they always have draft picks. The bad news is what they do with those draft picks.”


Siemian on tearing his ACL in college against Purdue in 2014: “When you have an injury like that you kind of, you know, you get a little down, and I was thinking, ‘Well, shoot, this is probably my last time playing.’”

King: “That day on the field, you’re lying there, ‘This is probably it for me?’”

Siemian: “Yep. I thought that was it.”

Siemian on being alongside Peyton Manning in his final season as he struggled with his health: “For me to see (Manning) on a year when he wasn’t setting the world on fire statistically, when he had to battle through injury and be the kind of pro and teammate and leader he was, that was really cool for me to see. And ultimately (to) win a Super Bowl, I thought that was special.”

Siemian on what he was thinking when Von Miller first nicknamed him Peter Parker: “I think my attire isn’t as out there as Von’s. Maybe I get to step up my post-game dress.”

Siemian on if it ever occurs to him that John Elway can stand on his balcony and watch him during practice: “I pinch myself for a number of reasons. It helps when you’ve got Mr. Elway in the building. I’m like, ‘They’re paying us to be here.’ That’s pretty remarkable.”