Sunday, October 11th, 2015


“You need a complete team to beat Green Bay.” – Tony Dungy on the 5-0 Packers

“This is a completely different team. They’ve finally found mental toughness… This team is believing they can win those close games in the fourth quarter.” – Rodney Harrison on the 5-0 Bengals

“If I’m Pete Carroll, I’m really worried about my defense.” – Dungy on the Seahawks

“Right now, he is probably the most inaccurate passer that we have in the National Football League.” – Cris Collinsworth on 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick

STAMFORD, Conn. – October 11, 2015 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward.

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 Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insiders Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on and Peter King. Kathryn Tappen reported from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on the Patriots-Cowboys game.

Dungy interviewed Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Harrison on the Bengals mental toughness: “This is a completely different team. They’ve finally found mental toughness. I don’t think I can ever remember saying that during the last five years. Now this team is believing they can win those close games in the fourth quarter.”

Collinsworth on watching the game: “I’m going to go to confession a little bit here (laughing). I turned it off. I was a little bit excited about that game, and when it got to 24-7, I did say ‘same old Bengals.’ I turned it off, but checked it one last time and the Bengals were back in it. Then I jumped right back on the bandwagon again.”

Collinsworth: “Tyler Eifert today is proving how much he was missed last year, and Giovani Bernard every week keeps getting this done. This was a big confidence game for the Bengals.”


Dungy: “If I’m Pete Carroll, I’m really worried about my defense. Three times this year we’ve had the lead, and lost it in the fourth-quarter. That’s not like Seattle.”


Patrick on QB Aaron Rodgers two interceptions in today’s game: “Yes, Aaron Rodgers is human.”

Dungy: “You need a complete team to beat Green Bay. They are very, very good.”


Dungy on Andy Reid’s job security: “The Chiefs are in trouble. They have a lot of guys hurt. They’ve lost their best player. I’ve worked for Clark Hunt. He’s patient. He’s in Andy Reid’s corner. Andy’s going to be fine. I don’t know about the team though.”


Harrison: “Without Terrell Suggs they’re forced to blitz a lot, and they can’t stop anybody. They leave their defensive backs in a lot of one on one situations, but are undisciplined in the back end. Also the missed tackles. It’s not just Terrell Suggs’ absence.”


Dungy: “Even without Matt Ryan having a big day, they were able to win. That’s a great sign.”


King: “I’m told categorically that Stephen Ross will not pursue Jim Harbaugh at the end of this year to be the Dolphins head coach.”


King on CB Joe Haden: “Joe Haden suffered a concussion in today’s game. He will enter the NFL’s concussion protocol on Monday. His status is unknown.”


King on DE Chris Long: “Defensive end Chris Long will have an MRI and they will determine how serious a knee injury he suffered in Green Bay today.”


Florio on Replay Review: “Plenty of talk about improving the replay review system. It was a hot topic among owners who met this weekend in New York. There are two possible changes that could be made. Look for coaches to possibly have the ability to challenge anything except true judgment calls. Also, the communication system in place now between the league office and stadiums, for helping with replay review, could be used as an emergency option even for plays that aren’t reviewable. The owners want to ensure that big calls are accurate as often as possible.”


Collinsworth on Colin Kaepernick: “Right now, he is probably the most inaccurate passer that we have in the National Football League.”

Ward on Kaepernick: “Clearly you can see the frustration by the 49ers wide receivers, because Colin Kaepernick struggles reading defenses. You see guys wide open, but the ball is thrown late, thrown at their feet, or it’s thrown over their heads. Colin Kaepernick won’t make it if he continues to play backyard football. At some point, he has to learn how to throw within the pocket and understand how to read coverages.”

Harrison on Kaepernick: “He has to learn that preparation is the key. You can’t just rely on athleticism.”

Florio on Kaepernick’s contract: “Last June the 49ers signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a contract worth well over $100 million, but there’s a catch. In each of the next three years, the 49ers have until April 1 to decide whether or not to keep Kaepernick around before his guaranteed money becomes fully and truly guaranteed. Having that deadline of April 1 allows the 49ers to explore the possibility of a quarterback in free agency, and it gives the 49ers a window to explore whatever options may be out there.


Collinsworth on Giants TE Daniel Fells, and the effect on the team as a result of Fells’ MRSA infection: “It’s so frightening. You obviously feel for your teammate, so that is a very tough thing on a football team. I mean we are talking about amputating your foot, over what, what did he do? He did nothing to deserve anything like that, and you’re also thinking is it still around? Is it part of something in the environment where I’m working? So I’m sure it was a disruption for the Giants this week.”


Coughlin on continuing to coach as long as it’s still fun: “It’s a lot of fun for me right now. It’s a lot more fun when we win, obviously. It’s the competitiveness, it’s the young people, it’s the players, it’s the organizational thing. There’s constant change and you better be able to keep up with that change.”

On coaching Eli Manning for over a decade: “It’s 12 years and God bless Ernie (Ernie Accorsi, New York Giants GM, 1998-2007). He made the call, and it was a hard one at that point in time because of the nature of the trade, but thank God for it. There’s a guy that’s been everything. Not only just as a football player for this franchise, but out in the world and out in the community. He’s been everything you could possibly want in a young man in terms of his virtues, his values, his ability to say exactly what’s on his mind. He’s very, very sharp. He’s very intelligent. He’s the type of guy  that the more difficult the challenge the better he responds.”

Coughlin on where he sees his team in the NFC East race: “We’re relevant. That’s as far as I’d go. What I do like is our energy, I like our effort. They’re a scrappy bunch. They have grit. That really gives us something to build on.”

Dungy: “So you’re having fun with this group?”

Coughlin: “I am having fun. Winning is a lot more fun than the other way, though.”