Sunday, October 22nd, 2017


“A night we’ve been looking forward to since the schedule came out.” – Mike Tirico on Falcons-Patriots Super Bowl LI rematch

“If you have any type of pride about yourself, this has to mean something.” – Rodney Harrison on tonight being more than just another game for the Falcons

“This is a good, young aggressive team. I love their formula.” – Tony Dungy on the Rams

“When I think about a performance like that, it’s like, let’s make it a good time.” – Global Superstar Justin Timberlake on being the headliner for the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 22, 2017 – Following are highlights from Football Night in America, which aired prior to tonight’s Week 7 Sunday Night Football matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots in a Super Bowl LI rematch. Mike Tirico opened the show live from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Tirico was joined on site by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.

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 and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison; and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Kathryn Tappen reported from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on the Seahawks-Giants game.

Football Night featured Dungy’s interview with Falcons WR Julio Jones, and Tirico’s interview with global superstar Justin Timberlake, who announced tonight that he will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show on Feb. 4 on NBC.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:


Tirico: “A night we’ve been looking forward to since the schedule came out.”

Michaels on watching Super Bowl LI: “We all have different memories. I’m sitting on my couch at home, I didn’t go to the game, and it’s 28-3. You know what I’m thinking? Thank God its Fox’s turn to do the Super Bowl.”

Collinsworth: “If I were Dan Quinn, I know what I’d be doing. I’d have 28-3 (the deficit the Patriots overcame to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI) written on everything. I’d have bulletin-board material. They should come in here angry tonight. They should come in here disappointed with what happened in that Super Bowl because they’re going to need every emotional edge they can find to knock these guys off in this stadium.”

Harrison: “If you have any type of pride about yourself, this has to mean something. I played my last Super Bowl in 2007, we lost. I had two Super Bowl rings and it still hurts me to this day. Every time I look at the Giants on television, I get reminded of that (game), and I have two Super Bowl rings.”

Dungy: “I agree with you. For the Falcons, it’s not just another game.”


Harrison: “This is a bend-but-don’t-break defense. They’re used to their offense scoring 30 points, and they can’t stop anyone in the critical moments.”

Dungy on QB Brett Hundley: “I thought he was okay, but unfortunately this is what Packers fans are going to have to get used to. They aren’t going to score 30 points a week now. They’re going to have to run the ball, use his legs, and play defense.”


Collinsworth on QB Case Keenum: “What does he have to do in order to keep that job? When you have a defensive-oriented football team, don’t make the big mistakes. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Harrison, who chose the Vikings to win the NFC North: “They have a defense that’s good enough to make a strong run in the playoffs.”

Dungy: “Their defense is playing well enough to overcome their quarterback problem.”


Dungy: “Dallas got back to their formula — run the ball and use the play action pass off of Ezekiel Elliott.”


Harrison: “I’m excited about Matt Moore. He came in and instantly gave them a spark…It seemed like his teammates got really excited…He’s not afraid to throw the ball down the field.”


Harrison, who says the Jaguars are the team to beat in the AFC South: “Their biggest challenge is bringing that same emotion each and every week because they are a young team.”


Patrick: “The Rams have won in four different time zones: Pacific, Central, Eastern, and Greenwich Mean Time.”

Dungy: “The Rams are sneaky. They have an old school formula…This is a good, young aggressive team. I love their formula.”


Harrison on TE Jimmy Graham’s drops: “All that talent just wasted. Just catch the ball.”


Patrick: “The Chargers have new life.”

Dungy: “Yeah, they do. And you have to credit Anthony Lynn, their coach. They had all those tough losses early in the year and we’re saying, ‘Gosh, what’s wrong with the Chargers?’ He kept them playing hard, and Kansas City now losing two in a row, the Chargers are back in it.”’

Harrison: “I have always been a fan of the San Diego Chargers (since the start of) this year. I felt like with their quarterback, they have a lot of speed on offense, and they’ve got great pass rushers.”


Florio: “The process of awarding the Super Bowl has always been about multiple different cities coming to the table…multiple cities competing for the Super Bowl. There’s going to be a new procedure going forward. The NFL will approach specific cities about specific Super Bowls and say, ‘Here are our terms. Are you interested?’ If so, they get it. If not, then they will look to other cities.”


Jones on his start with football: “It started at an early age for me. A single parent, my mom’s just working a lot and things like that. I would occasionally sneak out and play football and stuff. I knew I was pretty good at making the older guys miss, and pretty tough just playing in the streets.”

Jones on his last catch of Super Bowl LI: “No, I didn’t. I didn’t know the ball was coming to me. But for me, every play I have an opportunity to get the ball so I go hard on every play.”

Jones on ranking that catch against others in his career: “It’s just so routine to me, it is. It was a routine catch for me.”

Jones on the Falcons confidence right now: “We had a great week of prep, it’s through the roof. Everybody is stuck on last year. You were Super Bowl contenders; you were in the Super Bowl. This is the 2017 Atlanta Falcons. We have to prove ourselves this year.”

Jones on playing the New England Patriots: “It’s the next game. It’s just the next game for me. I’m not going to out here and make up nothing. No. Everybody is ‘oh, this is the revenge game’ or this and that. You can put whatever you want to put on it but it’s just another game for us. Just do what you do.”


Tirico: “Thinking of a set list in your mind, and thinking about it all the time?”

Timberlake: “Yeah, I’m already contemplating the set list, and what we could possibly put together. And in the midst of all of that…my son told me the other day he wanted to go as an octopus for Halloween. That’s the dilemma, Mike.”

Tirico: “Priorities.”

Timberlake: “You have to have your priorities straight. When I think about a performance like that, it’s like, let’s make it a good time.”