Sunday, October 25th, 2015


“How good was Tom Brady… You watch him play and you think he might actually be able to play 10 more years.” – Cris Collinsworth on Tom Brady 

This could be a playoff team.” – Rodney Harrison on Jets

“No one wants to play these guys, I promise you.” – Tony Dungy on Rams

STAMFORD, Conn. – October 25, 2015 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., 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. Carolyn Manno reported from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on the Cowboys-Giants game.

In addition, tonight’s edition of Football Night In America included a feature on Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen, and Costas reviewed the Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America:


Collinsworth on Tom Brady: “How good was Tom Brady. It’s unbelievable. A week ago he’s telling us that he wants to play 10 more years… and we’re thinking that statement is pretty funny. Then you watch him play and you think he might actually be able to play 10 more years. Every time they had to make a play today, he stayed with it and kept making plays. It was a great performance.”

Dungy: “I think the Patriots are still the class of the division. They showed that today.”

Patrick to Harrison on the jacket Tom Brady wore during his postgame press conference: “Would you have stopped him before he got to the press conference with that jacket on?”

Harrison: “I wouldn’t wear it. I mean it’s probably pretty expensive, but garbage can material (laughing).”


Harrison on Jets: “I look at the Jets, and even though they lost today, I was impressed with them. They played smart. They played tough and they’re not far off. I think this could be a playoff team.”


Dungy on Dolphins: “The team I was impressed with today was Miami. They’re playing with energy. We’ll find out if they’re for real when they play New England on Thursday night.”


Dungy on EJ Manuel: “He’s got to see the blitz. He can’t give up six points that way. He can’t throw into triple coverage. Their stars have to do a better job.”

Harrison: “Even with the turnovers and all the penalties that we talked about, they still had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They had the lead in the fourth quarter. They allowed Bortles to go down and score the game-winning touchdown. You expect your defense, if you’re Rex Ryan, to be able to pull that one out.”

Florio on Percy Harvin: “The team said all week that Percy Harvin didn’t make the trip to London for personal reasons, but I’m told from Harvin’s perspective this is an injury situation only. He’s got a lingering hip problem and that there’s no personal reasons. There’s no contemplation of retirement. Here’s where it gets a little bit strange. The fact that the team is putting out something to the contrary could create a problem between player and team down the road, so we’ll keep an eye on that one.”


Harrison: “This is a very scary team.”

Patrick to Harrison: “You think this could be the fastest defense in the NFL?”

Harrison on Rams defense: “On that turf they’re fast and physical. They fly around and will hit you in the mouth.”

Harrison on Todd Gurley: “He’s really, really good. And one thing I don’t see, I don’t see him favoring his knee. He’s not even 100% and I love his versatility. He gives them a dimension that they haven’t had in years.”

Dungy on Rams: “No one wants to play these guys, I promise you.”


Dungy: “A lot of touch football on the part of the Texans defense today.”

King on Ryan Mallett missing the team charter: “Mallett missed the team charter from Houston to Miami on Saturday, and paid his own way to fly commercial. He is not in the good graces of the coaching staff or the front office. In fact, if Tom Savage, the number three quarterback weren’t on injured reserve, Ryan Mallett would be in danger of losing his job this week. As it is, they’ve got to keep him because he’s the only experienced backup they have.”

Florio on Arian Foster: “Arian Foster went down today with a non-contact lower leg injury. I’m told the team currently believes it’s a torn achilles tendon. An MRI on Monday is expected to confirm it. If so, it will be the end of his season, and possibly the end of his career with the Houston Texans.”


Dungy: “This could be a Wild Card team.”


Dungy: “I’m loving the running game and specifically Devonta Freeman… He’s strong, tough and fast.”

Harrison on Devonta Freeman: “He’s been great. He runs, he’s trying to dish out punishment. He is a tough little guy.”


King on Josh McCown: “They will be doing an exam of Josh McCown’s right shoulder on Monday. His right shoulder is extremely sore tonight after he was hit and knocked out of the Browns game today. If McCown cannot go next week against Arizona, it’s another time for Johnny Football to come to the floor.”


Florio on Chuck Pagano: “Chuck Pagano was already under pressure in Indianapolis, and now they’re  3-4. This was a game they had to win today against the Saints. They visit Carolina, and then have Peyton Manning coming home again. Then a bye week after that. When you look at what the Dolphins have done with Dan Campbell, as the interim head coach who was installed during their bye week, that could be the moment that Colts owner Jim Irsay decides to move on from Chuck Pagano.”

Harrison on Andrew Luck: “If Andrew Luck is healthy, I’ll keep him in. He doesn’t look healthy to me. He looks like he’s laboring when he throws the ball.”


King: “I am without speech. Not good, not good at all.”


Collinsworth on Sam Bradford: “We have seen really great plays out of Sam Bradford, but sometimes when his body gets in a bit of an awkward position, he can look not so good. It has been that sort of inconsistency – nine turnovers – that has people a bit concerned in Philadelphia.”

Collinsworth on Bradford’s contract: “It’s really a one-year contract. It they’re not so happy at the end of this year, I think they’re going to be shopping again.”


(Note: FNIA profiled Panthers TE Greg Olsen and the courageous story of his 3-year-old son T.J., who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect. Olsen and his wife Kara Olsen discussed how T.J. has been able to overcome the disease and inspired The HEARTest Yard, a new initiative of the Greg Olsen Foundation that helps families with children affected by congenital heart disease.)

Following are excerpts from the feature:

Greg Olsen on his son T.J.: “T.J. really is our miracle baby. Not only that he’s here with us, not only that he’s living, he’s thriving.”

Kara Olsen on T.J.: “Now, he couldn’t be a happier kid and couldn’t be a healthier kid. The joy that he has with every little aspect of his life is something I’ve never seen before.”

Kara Olsen on starting The HEARTest Yard: “We’re so fortunate that we are able to bring help in. I don’t know how some families do this. I said, ‘What if we started a new initiative with our foundation?’”

Greg Olsen on mission of The HEARTest Yard: “How amazing would it be if we could provide that level of in-home care to every family (with a child) who was born with a congenital heart defect?”