Sunday, September 18th, 2016


“This is a two-week problem.” – Rodney Harrison on the Patriots QB situation

“Adrian Peterson is going to be in great shape tonight because he is going to get more holes with Sam Bradford playing quarterback.” – Tony Dungy

 “This is a really exciting time for the Dallas Cowboys because for so long it had been Tony Romo or nothing.” – Cris Collinsworth on QB Dak Prescott

STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 18, 2016 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. Mike Tirico opened the show live from inside the new state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., which is hosting its first regular-season game tonight. He was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and SNF sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who provided viewers with a tour of the new stadium.

Dan Patrick 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 and Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk. Paul Burmeister reported from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Colts-Broncos game.


Pre-game coverage also included Dungy’s interview with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and a feature on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Harrison on Jimmy Garoppolo injury: “I think it is a big injury, but if you heard Bill Belichick (during his post-game press conference), he has a lot of confidence in his quarterback, regardless of who is playing.”

Dungy on Patriots QB situation: “Bill Belichick is the best adjustment coach in the NFL…He will have an offense in place. Houston, playing on Thursday night, they won’t know what that offense is.”

Harrison: “As much as we think they’re a passing team, they want to run the football. They have a lot of weapons…This is a two-week problem.”


Dungy on the Steelers’ defense: “They are playing a different style now under second-year coordinator Keith Butler. He has changed over from that ‘Blitzburgh’ mentality of bringing people and playing man coverage. They had a lot of help on A.J. Green today, and took away what Cincinnati wants to do, which is the deep ball to Green.”


Collinsworth: “(Dak) Prescott was so poised throughout the course of that game…This is a really exciting time for the Dallas Cowboys because for so long it had been Tony Romo or nothing.”


Dungy: “They’re 2-0 and winning with defense.”

Harrison: “Just because you go out and spend a lot of money doesn’t guarantee chemistry. They have chemistry, it’s early in the season, and they’re going to continue to build on it.”


Harrison on the defense: “I think it is similar to last year.”

Dungy on how the Colts blocked Von Miller: “You cannot single block Von Miller…There are not many tackles in the league that can handle him. You have got to take care of him first when you play the Broncos.”

Harrison: “Double Von Miller!”


Harrison on Seattle’s offensive problems: “They’re too dependent on the big play down the field.”


Harrison on Kirk Cousins: “He’s not playing with the same freedom he played with last year. I think he’s thinking about his contract.”


Dungy: “They are talented, but they have not been in this position. They won a big game on the road last week. You expect them to come out and play really well, and they did not play well today, especially on defense.”

Harrison: “It is really no excuse, whether you are a young team or not. You went out on the road, you had a big victory, but you come back and it almost seems like they started reading their headlines.”


Patrick on J.J. Watt fumble recovery: “Do you know what is worse than the ball going over your head? J.J. Watt coming after you, with the ball going over your head.”


Collinsworth: “This team was truly devastated when Teddy Bridgewater got hurt. Not just him as a player, but him as a person. He is probably the guy they love most on this football team.”

Harrison on Adrian Peterson’s limited preseason work: “It is obvious on the field that he misses those valuable reps. I don’t see him hitting the hole with precision and speed.”

Dungy: “Adrian Peterson is going to be in great shape tonight because he is going to get more holes with Sam Bradford playing quarterback.”

Dungy: “They’re excited to have Sam (Bradford) because they think he’s going to give them a chance for big plays tonight.”


Dungy on how Jordy Nelson’s presence will help Randall Cobb: “Last year, they (the Vikings) did not have to deal with Jordy Nelson. He’s back, and that is going to help Randall Cobb. Cobb got double covered a lot in the last game, but it is going to be dangerous (tonight). I think he is going to be in the slot, he will be in the backfield, they will move him all around. He will get opportunities to make big plays tonight.”




Zimmer on when QB Teddy Bridgewater got hurt before the season started: “When it happened, it was just devastating. He was dropping back and all of the sudden – I didn’t even see it – he was laying on the ground. He’s in pain, and the players are upset. Everybody loved the kid, he’s just an unbelievable person. I think all of those things combined really stuck a dagger into the team.”

On stopping practice and sending the team home after Bridgewater’s injury: “I knew we weren’t going to get much done that day. They were in such bad shape and we had to get the ambulance out on the field. I had a quick meeting with [the team] and I said, ‘Hey, we’re going to move on.’”

On what former NFL head coach Bill Parcells told him after Bridgewater’s injury: “He told me, ‘They’re not going to cancel the games, and no one is going to feel sorry for us.’ At the end of the day you have to go out there and play and win football games, and that’s your job.”

On how he has been able to contain Aaron Rodgers in the past: “I don’t know how much success I’ve really had against him. He’s pretty darn good. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s competitive, he sees everything, he can throw from anywhere. Obviously, we try to get him different looks, everything that you do like when you [Dungy] had Peyton Manning. It’s always a struggle. Everybody thinks how fun it must be, but it’s really a challenge.”

On going into the game as the reigning division champions: “[The Packers] aren’t used to being in second place, and I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with them. I think everybody expects Green Bay to be the best team, and I hear it all of the time how good they are. I remind our team that we are the defending champions and this team has a lot of heart.”