FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 9th, 2019
49ERS TE GEORGE KITTLE DISCUSSES HIS GAME-CHANGING PLAY WITH PETER KING IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN; PLUS MORE FROM TIRICO, DUNGY, HARRISON, FLORIO & SIMMS EXCLUSIVELY ACROSS NBC SPORTS
“He reminded me of Mark Bavaro in that 1986 Giants-49ers game, carrying Ronnie Lott for 12 yards and needing three Niners to bring him down.” – King on George Kittle’s fourth-and-2 catch
“Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have the coaching job of this era on their hands if they want the Patriots to be factors in January.” – King on the Patriots offense
“The Broncos have been searching for the heir to Peyton Manning for four years, obviously, and (Drew) Lock’s the closest thing they’ve found.” – King
“They’re in trouble…You can start to see that Tom Brady, he’s just not the same player” – Rodney Harrison on the Patriots on The Mike Tirico Podcast
STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 9, 2019 – Peter King speaks with San Francisco tight end George Kittle following the 49ers’ pivotal Week 14 victory over New Orleans in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also hands out his Week 14 awards and reacts to the rest of the NFL weekend as three weeks remain in the regular season.
Additionally, across NBC Sports, on The Mike Tirico Podcast, Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio recap Week 14, while Florio and Chris Simms break down all of the action across the NFL on PFT Live and Chris Simms Unbuttoned.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King: “It’ll take days to digest what happened in New Orleans on Sunday in the game of the year…The fact that something happened on fourth-and-2 that immediately takes its place in all-time 49ers lore, and vaulted San Francisco from fifth to first in the NFC playoff race with three games to go, well, that makes it all NFL Filmsy/tingly and massively important in the playoff race at the same time.”
King on the importance on the 49ers’ Week 17 matchup with the Seahawks in Seattle: “That game might mean more than the one Sunday in New Orleans, but I have no idea how it could be any more fun and compelling.”
King on Kittle’s fourth-and-2 catch on the game-winning drive: “He reminded me of Mark Bavaro in that 1986 Giants-49ers game, carrying Ronnie Lott for 12 yards and needing three Niners to bring him down.”
Kittle to King on what he was thinking during the run: “Get as many yards as I can, and hold onto the damn football.”
Kittle: “The whole day, for me, was one of the best experiences of my life. The place was crazy, fans were nuts, you couldn’t hear. Such a fun environment.”
King on Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance: “Jimmy G played on the Brees stage, in the Brees house, and acquitted himself quite well. And I’d have written that regardless of what happened in the last 39 seconds in New Orleans.”
King on Drew Brees’ performance: “How many more games like this he has left a month shy of turning 41 I do not know. But this one, with the stakes involved, was an all-timer for him.”
King on the Ravens: “The Ravens can win when Lamar Jackson is good and not superior…Two months ago, the Ravens embarked on a hellscape of a schedule that even the optimistic Baltimoreans would have been thrilled going 5-2. The Ravens went 7-0.”
King on Broncos QB Drew Lock: “The Broncos have been searching for the heir to Peyton Manning for four years, obviously, and (Drew) Lock’s the closest thing they’ve found.”
King on Chiefs-Patriots: “The biggest difference between this year and last year is simple. Both defenses look like they can win multiple playoff games. While you trust Kansas City’s offense to be at least good enough against a strong defense, that trust in the New England offense is gone.”
King on the Patriots’ postseason outlook: “Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have the coaching job of this era on their hands if they want the Patriots to be factors in January. The best idea? More gadgetry.”
King on the Steelers: “I think, this morning, Mike Tomlin’s the coach of the year…The Steelers started 1-4 and now have gone 7-1 since, all while enduring the biggest personnel changeover since Tomlin’s taken the job and a major spate of injuries on the offensive side of the ball.”
KING’S WEEK 14 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Drew Lock, Denver, Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco, & Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers.
King on Garoppolo: “This is the kind of game the 49ers are paying Garoppolo the very big money to win, and putting up 48 points in a huge spot like this was justifies all the hype the Niners bought with Garoppolo.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Danielle Hunter, Minnesota, & Jeremiah Attaochu, Denver.
King on Hunter: “The third-round pick from LSU in 2015 has been one of the great bargains in recent Vikings history.”
Coaches of the Week: Matt Nagy, Chicago, & Steve Spagnuolo, Kansas City.
King on Nagy: “Now, it looks like Nagy’s endless votes of confidence in his battered quarterback were smart and important.”
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of The Mike Tirico Podcast:
Tony Dungy on the Saints: “I said at the beginning of the year that I thought they were going to win the Super Bowl because you can’t beat them there (at home)…What has happened to them? Where has this homefield advantage gone?”
Rodney Harrison on the Patriots: “The Patriots, they have a lot of problems. They’re in trouble…You can start to see that Tom Brady, he’s just not the same player.”
Mike Tirico on the Titans: “Tennessee has a good feel about them right now with Derrick Henry back in his dump truck mode.”
The following are clips from last night’s edition of Football Night in America:
- Simms Breaks Down Kittle’s Catch: Chris Simms breaks down San Francisco tight end George Kittle’s catch-and-run on the 49ers’ game-winning drive.
- My Cause, My Cleats with Tony Dungy: Tony Dungy, along with players from the Seahawks and Rams, show their support for charities that are important to them through the My Cause, My Cleats campaign.
- Thanks Mom: DK Metcalf: Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf thanks his mother for her love and guidance, and for always steering him in the right direction as he begins his NFL career.
- Mike Florio on Emmanuel Sanders: Mike Florio discusses Emmanuel Sanders‘ big Week 14 performance against the Saints, and how his flexibility had a big impact on the 49ers’ 48-46 win.
- Florio on the Panthers’ coaching search: Florio provides an update on how the Panthers will approach finding their next head coach and their thoughts on other changes in the front office.
- Week 15 Preview: Mike Tirico, Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy preview Week 15 as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Buffalo Bills in an important AFC playoff race matchup on SNF.
- Week 15 Sunday Night 7 Picks: The Football Night in America crew make their Sunday Night 7 picks for Week 15’s Steelers-Bills matchup.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage heading into Week 15:
- Mike Florio and Chris Simms, with guest Peter King, discuss all things NFL on PFT Live, including handing out their Week 14 superlatives, sharing updated power rankings, and making their Week 15 game picks.
- On Chris Simms Unbuttoned, Simms deep dives into film of two games from Week 15 decided by the fans.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.