Sunday, November 27th, 2016


“They don’t have one legitimate pass rusher and I think that’s going to come back and haunt them in the playoffs.” – Rodney Harrison on the Patriots

“He’s the first pick in the draft. The only way he is going to improve is being on the field.” – Tony Dungy on the Rams waiting too long to play Jared Goff

“This is one of the more incredible stories that I’ve been around and I’ve been around football for a long time.” – Cris Collinsworth on the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov., 27, 2016 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. Bob Costas opened the show live from inside Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., wearing a Goorin Bros. fedora. He was joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and SNF sideline reporter Michele Tafoya.

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. Kathryn Tappen reported from Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on the Panthers-Raiders game.


Football Night coverage also included Costas’ interview with Chiefs TE Travis Kelce.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Harrison on if the Patriots are better than the Raiders: “They play a lot of clean football. They don’t get penalized. They don’t make a lot of big mistakes. Tom Brady looked a little rusty. My big concern with the Patriots, and I still believe that they’re a better team than the Raiders — experienced coaching staff, I think they have the better quarterback — but my concern is those two tight ends being injured.”

Harrison: “They don’t have one legitimate pass rusher and I think that’s going to come back and haunt them in the playoffs.”


Dungy: “Oakland is a very, very good team, and they’re explosive. But they’re not quite as good as the Patriots.”

Florio on city of Oakland announcing a deal that could keep the team there: “This is being viewed within the NFL as political cover by the folks in Oakland so they can say we tried to keep them around, it just didn’t work out. Mark Davis is intent on going to Las Vegas. It’s going to come to a head sooner than later, and the thinking is there will be enough votes to allow him to move to Las Vegas regardless of anything Oakland tries to do.”


Dungy on predicting Buccaneers upset over Seahawks: “I thought last week winning on the road in Kanas City did a lot for the Buccaneers confidence. And then I looked at what Seattle had gone through: Sunday night, Monday night on the road, coming back from a big game, and then they had to travel back east again. It was a perfect storm. I thought the Bucs would be ready and they did a great job. The other thing about it is the Bucs strength upfront and Seattle playing on the road with a banged up offensive line. Russell Wilson was miraculous in what he did today to just stay up. That Bucs defense harassed him all day.”


Harrison: “This is a game they should have won…You don’t want to go on the road in the playoffs. This game is going to come back and haunt them…this is just physically and emotionally not coming and being prepared to play. They are a better team than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but sometimes it’s just about who wants it more.”


Harrison on Terrell Suggs’ ugly win comment: “Basically what he is saying is no one is afraid of this offense. The kicker is the best player on the team. But you can’t depend on your kicker to make 50+ yard field goals every week to win football games.”


Dungy on if he’s buying Miami as a playoff team: “I am. They have won six games in a row, they are playing much better than they did in the beginning of the year, and they have confidence.”

Harrison: “Everyone thinks that Ryan Tannehill is just a game manager, but he’s getting a lot of big plays down the field.”


Harrison: “Center Alex Mack has had the biggest impact on this offense.”

Patrick on WR Taylor Gabriel: “It looks like Atlanta has another weapon, as if it needed another one.”


Dungy on Marcus Mariota: “Because of the running game…they’ve given him a lot of options. He’s throwing the ball when he wants to and he’s been very efficient. I think he was under a lot of pressure not to take hits, not to get hurt. You’ve got to protect yourself. I think he is playing looser and more like himself.”

Harrison on Mariota: “I’ve seen an improvement in him because at the beginning of the season he was very conservative, guarding the ball, not wanting to take chances. Now you can see more of his college personality coming out…He wants to be known as a legitimate passer and he’s working his way towards that.”


Dungy on whether Jeff Fisher waited too long to start Jared Goff: “I believe he did. You heard Jared Goff say, ‘We need to improve.’ He needs to improve. He’s the first pick in the draft. The only way he is going to improve is being on the field. He has talent. He made some mistakes. He’s going to make mistakes, he’s a young player, but the only way you get through that is to play, and to me they should have had him in. They were not going to go to the playoffs with Case Keenum. To me, he needed to be in there. They were wasting time, wasting his time, on the bench.”

Harrison: “He has to get on the field…this team offensively was built for him to come in…And if he is a good kid, he comes in and works hard and stays humble, the team will rally behind him.”


Dungy on Josh Bellamy’s dropped touchdown in game’s final minute: “You cannot drop this ball. As a professional receiver, you can’t drop that ball.”


Florio on Marvin Lewis’ job status (he has one more year on his contract): “I don’t expect Mike Brown to pay Marvin Lewis to not be his head coach and pay someone else to be the coach of the team.”


Dungy: “I was talking to Mike Tomlin on Thursday before their game and he said, ‘Yes, everyone in the division has struggled, but somebody is going to get healthy and get hot in December.’ He thinks it is going to be the Steelers and I agree with him.”


Collinsworth: “Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are legitimate MVP candidates in their rookie year.”

Collinsworth on the team’s success this year: “In my mind, this is one of the more incredible stories that I’ve been around and I’ve been around football for a long time.”


Florio: “They’re not going to make any decisions about Kirk Cousins until after the season is over.”


Dungy: “A big plus for the Broncos is having Aqib Talib back. He’s missed the last couple of games, but he is healthy now. He is a lockdown, shutdown corner. He makes plays on the football, a turnover machine.”

Harrison on Emmanuel Sanders: “What impresses me the most about him is he is not a physically imposing guy, but he is not afraid to go across the middle and he will make those tough catches.”


Harrison on Travis Kelce: “He’s a top-five tight end…He runs excellent routes and he has enough strength to beat the one on one.”

Dungy on Kelce: “I love him because he’s so versatile. He can work in the middle of field. He can handle all that traffic, but he can flex out and beat you outside like a wide receiver.”



Bob Costas: “If we throw these names into the elite category: Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Reed – how close do you think you are to that category?”

Travis Kelce: “I’m in that category.”

Costas: “In it?”

Kelce: “In that category. Just because stats are a little different — there might be more stats over there than there are in Kansas City — that shouldn’t take away from the talent level that I’ve been able to put out on the field.”

Costas: “Week 9 against the Jags, you don’t get a call to go your way, you’re jarring with the official. You take a towel as if it’s a flag and you throw your own penalty ‘flag.’ He tosses you, plus it cost you nearly $25,000 as a fine.”

Kelce: “$25,000, I think it was 30-40 yards in penalties. I feel like an idiot when I look back on it. You can’t watch it without laughing, but I still feel stupid that I ever had the thought in my mind to do that.”

Costas: “I love what you said to Rich Eisen. First you said, ‘The moment was priceless,’ because it was funny, but then you said, ‘No, there’s an actual price on it.’”

Kelce: “[Laughs] Yeah, there’s a tag on it.”

Costas: “Von Miller, a guy you have to respect, said about [tonight’s] game, that he really enjoys going up against you because there’s a game within a game.”

Kelce: “It’s fun. You start getting into guys’ heads, you start jarring back-and-forth. It’s just me going out there and being a competitor. Hats off to him for what they’ve been able to do, Super Bowl MVP, it’s impressive. But it’s one of those things where in football you have to have the mindset of dominating the man in front of you.”

Costas: “When you were younger and still in college and you had some missteps, it was interesting what your dad said to you, ‘either you grow up and realize that you aren’t invincible, and you let this ruin you and let your dreams slip away. But one day you’ll realize you’re a Kelce boy, and a Kelce boy can’t be stopped.’”

Kelce: “Gives me chills every time I hear it. Big papa Kelce, he’s the one that ignited all of that in there. It’s fun going out there and playing for him, playing for my mother, playing for everyone back in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a true pleasure. I’m an emotional guy, I’m a passionate guy. Stuff like that really hits home. It keeps me going every day.”