Sunday, December 30th, 2012


"Adrian Peterson is the sole reason why this team made the playoffs." - Rodney Harrison "He wanted Indianapolis and he's got them now." - Tony Dungy on John Harbaugh "You lose to a team that has lost five straight. There has to be a sense of doubt with the Atlanta Falcons." - Rodney Harrison "Andrew Luck is the difference between a two-win Colts team last year and an 11-win team this year." - Tony Dungy

NEW YORK – December 30, 2012 – Following are highlights for Football Night in AmericaBob Costas opened the show live from inside Fed-Ex Field in Landover, Md., where the Washington Redskins are hosting the Dallas Cowboys. Costas was joined on-site by Sunday Night Football commentators Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth (analyst), andHines Ward, the former 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 onEagles – Giants, from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Alex Flanagan reported on Packers – Vikings, from Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minn.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


King on Rex Ryan: I believe Rex Ryan will save his job and will be back for a fifth year with the New York Jets. He won’t have his two coordinators back. They will both be gone.”

King on Eagles: “On a very short list to replace Andy Reid, Oregon coach Chip Kelly.”

Florio on Andy Reid and Norv Turner: “I’m told Andy Reid would love to coach the Chargers. It is not known whether or not the Chargers would love Andy Reid to coach them. Money could be the issue there. Either way, Norv Turner is out in San Diego.”

Florio on Browns: “In Cleveland, yet another new coach. Pat Shurmur out with the Browns.”

King on Ron Rivera: “I think he saved his job by winning the last four games of this year in Carolina.”

King on Jaguars: “Gene Smith, the GM in Jacksonville, will be fired. His replacement will determine the fate of head coach Mike Mularkey. The leader to replace Smith is Tom Gamble of the San Francisco 49ers.”

King on Chiefs: “Black Monday is going to be off to an early start. I expect Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs to be fired by owner Clark Hunt.”

King on Bills: “In Buffalo, Chan Gailey is going to be gone on Monday.”

Florio on Jason Garret: “Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said head coach Jason Garrett is safe. An ugly showing tonight, failing to miss the playoffs, who knows what happens. Keep an eye on John Gruden if Jones decides to move on from Jason Garrett.”

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Harrison on Falcons: “You lose at home. And not only do you lose, but you lose to a team that has lost five straight. There has to be a sense of doubt with the Atlanta Falcons.”


Harrison: “This was a devastating loss against the Colts today. Houston was the No. 1 seed and they dropped to the No. 3 seed. Quite frankly, I think they bowed down to the pressure.”


Dungy: “I’m a little surprised that John Harbaugh is saying that they were not playing for more. They had a chance to get to the No. 3 seed. He was very comfortable at No. 4 and that tells me that they want to play in Indianapolis. I would have played my guys to go ahead and get a chance to get to the No. 3 spot.”

Harrison: “I believe it was the right move. What is the difference between Cincinnati and Indianapolis? It’s not like the difference between Cincinnati and the Patriots.”

Dungy on Harbaugh: “He wanted Indianapolis and he’s got them now.”


Harrison: “They have struggled the last couple weeks, but they are starting to gel. I think they need that going in to the playoffs. Denver has a better defense, but the front seven of New England is better. The Patriots have a better offense.”


Dungy on Peyton Manning: “The MVP for today and the season is Peyton Manning — 11 wins in a row, he has made them a believer. Taking them from an eight-win team to 11 straight wins, Peyton Manning is the most valuable performer of the year.”


Dungy on Andrew Luck: “Andrew Luck is the difference between a two-win Colts team from last year and an 11-win team this year.”


Ward on Romo: “He reminds me a lot of Ben Roethlisberger. Both quarterbacks are very good, but they are even better when they get outside the pocket. The one difference is that Ben wins the big games. For Romo, tonight could be a big game. He needs to step up.”

Ward on Dez Bryant: “I’m very surprised that Dez Bryant did not get selected to the Pro Bowl.”


Dungy: “I don’t know if the Packers want to see Adrian Peterson again.”

Harrison: “I don’t know if Minnesota wants to go back and play Green Bay at home.”


Harrison: “Adrian Peterson is the sole reason why this team made the playoffs. He runs hard and he runs tough.”

Harrison: “Adrian Peterson should be the MVP of this league.”


Harrison on LaMichael James: “If I’m coach Harbaugh, there are two guys I have to get more involved in this offense. LaMichael James and Randy Moss. He (James) is fantastic.”


Michaels on Robert Griffin III: “You don’t want to go overboard on somebody, but this guy is the real deal on every level. I think 10-years from now, we will be sitting here talking about Robert Griffin III in very glowing terms.”

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interviews with Cowboys TE Jason Witten and Redskins head coachMike Shanahan.


On being in a win-or-go-home situation for the second consecutive year: “It’s tough to get to the situation we are in and play for the division title. It’s been an up and down year. There is no question about that. But to get this opportunity, hopefully our past experiences will allow us to make that jump and get a win.”

On Tony Romo taking blame when things go wrong: “I think it is something he handles really well and does a great job not allowing it to effect his game and his ability to lead our team.”

On Romo’s ability to improvise: “His ability to improvise is like none other. I know that those plays are always alive. It’s great to have a guy like that who you have such great chemistry with on and off the field.”

On being in a familiar win-or-go-home situation: “Our mind-set is one that we are going to find a way to win this game. Our team has embraced that opportunity, and this is why we have played football since we were little kids.”

On the outcome of the game having an impact on the playoffs: “The energy and emotion is going to be through the roof. You are so fortunate to be in that situation and I want our team to enjoy that. It puts chills down your arms just thinking about it. So much work has gone in to getting to this point.”

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On the Redskins game against the Panthers on November 4: “We lost four games in the fourth quarter, when we were ahead or tied. We could have easily been 6-3. I was a little disappointed in how we finished up that game. You find out more about your football team in the second half of the season. I told our players, ‘If we win the rest of our games, we have a chance to win the NFC East. The only thing that has to happen is the Giants have to lose a game.’”

On his relationship with Dan Snyder and the long-term plan to build the team: “When I came here, I looked at our football team and said to Dan, ‘If you plan to fire me before five years, then you are picking the wrong guy. This football team needs to be rebuilt. If you want me to do it the right way, I’ll do it the right way. If you want me to do it the quick way, then that’s not me. So if you are going to hire me, give me five years and I’ll do it right.’”

On the durability and longevity of Robert Griffin III: “I think it is the opposite of what most people think. Robert can run our offense and he will be very successful. When he first started with the option, he wanted to run guys over. He has got to learn how to slide. He can’t take the punishment that he did early in the season, but he has gotten much better at that.”

On RG III’s composure going in to the game against the Cowboys: “Based on my experience with him, it will just be another night. He’s a guy that doesn’t blink. He’s handled himself that way in every game he has played this year. I don’t see why this game will be any different.”

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