Sunday, November 11th, 2012


“Atlanta has flaws. They finally paid the price for those flaws today.” – Dan Patrick “Eli is not getting protection. It has been Eli, but it has been everyone else as well.” – Tony Dungy on Giants troubles “I had ACL surgery. What Adrian Peterson is doing right now is absolutely amazing.” – Rodney Harrison “They are not very good. Bill Belichik has to be worried. We heard Tom Brady. He’s not frustrated with the offense. He’s frustrated because they can’t protect a lead.” – Tony Dungy on the Patriots defense “The Saints and the Vikings are alive and well. Both had big home wins today.” – Tony Dungy

NEW YORK – November 11, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in America. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., where the Bears are hosting the Houston Texans. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), and Hines Ward, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Super Bowl MVP.

Dan Patrick
co-hosted the program from Studio 8G at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios and was joined by Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL insiders Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of Carolyn Manno reported from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. on Eagles-Cowboys.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Patrick: “Atlanta has flaws. They finally paid the price for those flaws today.”

Dungy: “Atlanta has great skill position players and great passing, but if you can’t stop the ball, it will come back to haunt you.”

Harrison: “My biggest issue with Atlanta’s defense is the missed tackles and the open-field tackles. The effort is there, but you have to do a better job of making tackles in the open-field.”


Dungy: “Everyone is pointing the finger at Eli Manning, but it is more than that.

Harrison: “It’s the defense and special teams. Corey Webster is a leader on this team, but he flat out gave up on a play today. You always have to finish every play.”

Dungy: “Eli is not getting protection. It has been Eli, but it has been everyone else as well.”


Dungy: “There are a lot of offensive stars for New Orleans, but Jabari Greer comes up with the big fourth-down stop. I really believe this saved their season. Jabari Greer was the most valuable performer today.”

Dungy on Saints: “The Saints and the Vikings are alive and well. Both had big home wins today.”


King: “A lot of speculation on the future of New Orleans coach Sean Peyton. I believe he is going to end up in the 500-mile corridor between New Orleans and Dallas. He will not go beyond those two teams. He’s going through a very contentious divorce. He has two kids. They live in Dallas. He will end up with the Cowboys or Saints.”

Florio: “If it comes down to the Cowboys or the Saints, the Saints have a huge advantage. They have a 13-week exclusive window to try and fix the problems with that contract extension that was rejected by the league office. The Cowboys can’t even talk to Sean Peyton until his suspension ends after the Super Bowl.”


Dungy on Ryan replacing Sanchez with Tebow: “Rex believes in Mark Sanchez, but in my opinion, it is too late. You went past your window to change quarterbacks. They had 14 days to make the change.”

Harrison on Tebow: “Why is it too late? Let him (Tebow) be a quarterback. You don’t even have to change the playbook. Let him lineup and he has proven that he can be a quarterback. He did it in Denver last year. You don’t have to change the playbook.


Harrison: “I like Tony Romo. He has the ability to make people miss, keep his vision down the field and make plays.”


Dungy: “The Saints and the Vikings are alive and well. Both had big home wins today.”


Harrison: “I had ACL surgery. What Adrian Peterson is doing right now is absolutely amazing.”

King: “Another big day for Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. He told me after the game that he breaks scar tissue every week, which means that his knee is still rehabbing and still getting better. He told me that he really thinks the best is yet to come.”


Dungy on the defense: “They are not very good. Bill Belichik has to be worried. We heard Tom Brady. He’s not frustrated with the offense. He’s frustrated because they can’t protect a lead.”


Dungy: “They are all excited about Coach Shiano. Offense, Defense, each week it is somebody new.”


Harrison: “The Chargers and the Lions are two teams that will not make the playoffs. The Chargers because they are not very good, and the Lions because they play in a tough division. They are done.”

Patrick: “After the game, Norv Turner sounded like he was auditioning for a beer commercial.”

Harrison: “It’s the same Chargers and the same mistakes over and over again: Bad decision making, guys are wide open, two interceptions in the second half. You have got to be able to make plays. They need to run the football and take some pressure off of him. They just don’t want to run.”


Dungy on Harbaugh’s decision to fake the field goal: “John Harbaugh said, that’s who we are. We’re going to go after it. Doesn’t matter what it is, we’re going to pour it on so you better be ready and you better stop us.”

Dungy: “I’ve been critical of their run defense, but they were all over the Raiders. When they stop the run, they have plenty of guys that can rush the passer and create problems for you.”


Harrison: “We talk a lot about Peyton Manning, but really it is his offensive line. They have only given up one sack in the last four games. You have to give them a lot of credit.”


King on Jeff Fisher: “Fisher suspended two players last night. He made them report to the stadium early and run the stadium stairs as punishment while the fans were walking in. So now you know, that’s what you get when you hire Jeff Fisher.”


Dungy: “My policy was, ‘always be with your wife. Your wife is much more important than any football game.’”

Harrison: “Belichick didn’t say anything. Had he said anything, I would’ve said I don’t care how important the game is. Even if it’s the Super Bowl, I’m going to be there when my baby is born. It was understood. I was going to be there for my kids.”


Collinsworth: “It’s a little crazy.When you get the wind blowing, it’s not so bad when it’s coming in one direction. But on this field it goes crazy, and then it calms down, and then it swirls up again, and then it calms down. You don’t really know how they’ll complete a deep ball tonight. Once this ball is thrown up in the air, anything can happen to it.”


Dungy on Urlacher: “If you let Brian Urlacher roam, you are going to be in big trouble. The zone defense of the Bears is predicated around Urlacher roaming around the middle, seeing the quarterback and causing havoc. The way to handle him is to force him to defend the run. Use the play-action to make him come to the line of scrimmage. Then you will open up some holes in the Tampa-two defense that Chicago plays.”

Harrison: “Lance Briggs is the best linebacker on this team. He has great vision. When Lance Briggs has the ball, he is a running back. He has tremendous skill.”


Harrison on J.J. Watt: “Watt is a dominant player. You can’t block him one-on-one. He can beat you with power, and he can also beat you with speed and quickness.

Collinsworth: “The big issue tonight is going to be the turnovers. The Chicago Bears are as good as anybody, and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman is the guy that is unbelievable in getting the ball out. We have seen a demonstration; he showed us how to do it.”


Tillman on possibly missing the game to be present for the birth of his child: “It’s still up in the air. I can’t control when the baby comes. We are scheduled to get induced on Monday.”

Tillman on his wife’s plans to attend the game on Sunday:“She’s a football fan. What can I say, she has never missed a game.”

Tillman on being considered the best defensive player in the NFL: “No. I don’t really care for it. The only thing I’m worried about is winning a Super Bowl. You can have all of the other accolades and awards.”

Urlacher on Tillman: “Right now, he is the defensive player of the year. There is no doubt about it. His teammates believe he is the best defensive player in the NFL. The star of our defense is him.”

Tillman on Urlacher’s pick six last week: “He might have been a little tired, but he got in the end zone. We got the end result. We got the six points.”

Urlacher on his pick six last week: “I wasn’t tired, I was setting up the quarterback. I’ve been tackled by the quarterback before, so I was trying to make him think I was slow. Which I am, most of the time, but I was really trying to cut back.”

Tillman on his nickname: “Genghis. No, that’s what coach Marinelli calls me. The nickname you are probably referring to is ‘Peanut’. My aunt Renee gave me the nickname ‘Peanut’. I was a small baby.”

Urlacher on Tillman’s nickname: “‘Nuts’, ‘dummy’, ‘fool’. Those are good ones. We never call him ‘Charles’.”

Tillman on Urlacher’s nickname:“‘Meathead’ or ‘Dummy’. Or we call him ‘Lach’.”


Foster on being able to say that he is one of the best in the NFL: “I don’t think I’ve had that moment yet. I think I have had a moment where I’m in the NFL, but I have never had a moment like I have made it. There have been players who have been to the pro bowl, but then you don’t remember their names. There are players who have had great games, but you don’t remember their names. I’ve always felt that there is this fire inside of me that is never going to die. I have never felt like I have made it.”

Foster on his thoughts about Tillman and Urlacher: “I think they are right behind our defense. I stand firm on that. I feel like we have the best defense in the NFL.”

On being able to tie a bow tie: “Not many, but everyone secretly wants to know how to tie a bow tie.”

Costas: “Can you give me a demonstration?”

Foster:“It’s really simple. Can you hold a mirror up for me?”

Costas: “Sure.”

Foster: “First, you cross the tie over like this. Can you hold the mirror up a little higher?”

Costas: “No problem.”

Foster:“Thank you. Then you want to go underneath. Once through, which should give you a nice little knot, you fold it up. That gives you the nice bow tie look. Then you come over the top with it. Then you come back underneath.”

Costas:“George Will and Bruce Bowen know this already, but nobody else does.”

Foster: “It’s a well-kept secret, but everyone should know how to do it. Bada Bing.”

Costas: “Bada Boom.”

Foster: “Bada Boom.”

Foster: “The key to bow ties is that they can always be crooked.”

Costas: “It’s a little jaunty.”

Foster: “Yeah. I don’t know what that means (laughs), but I assume that means crooked.”

Costas: “You are a gentleman and a scholar.”

Foster: “Thank you. Likewise.”