Sunday, November 8th, 2020


“The biggest thing about Antonio Brown is he will be held accountable by Tom Brady.” – Rodney Harrison

“This is not an audition. This is a great football player who is only getting better.” – Tony Dungy on Tua Tagovailoa

“He brought them back today, was very efficient, and I think everybody should just get off his back a little bit.” – Chris Simms on Lamar Jackson

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 8, 2020 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season began tonight from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Saints-Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn., and was joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison and NFL Insider Mike Florio joined Football Night remotely from studios in their respective homes. Liam McHugh co-hosted the show on-site from Raymond James Stadium and was joined by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth.

In addition, McHugh conducted a pre-game interview with Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski. Michael Holley and Michael Smith from Peacock’s Brother From Another commented on the return of Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown. See comments below.

Al Michaels (play-by-play), Collinsworth (analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s Saints-Buccaneers game.


Following are highlights from tonight’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC:


Harrison on Brees’ career and becoming the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader: “As a teammate of mine, he was always about his faith, his family, and his teammates. I was just so proud to see how far he’s come and what he’s overcome with that shoulder and everybody saying that he’s too short. He’s going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Congratulations Drew Brees, so proud of you.”

Collinsworth on RB Alvin Kamara: “He really has been the most valuable player on this Saints team to date.”


McHugh on the city of Tampa: “A town making a strong push for being the center of the sports universe. In the last six weeks, the Lightning captured the Stanley Cup and the Rays made a run to the World Series. And in February, this stadium will host Super Bowl LV, and the expectation is that Tom Brady and the Bucs will make it a home game.”

Collinsworth on QB Tom Brady: “He has been fantastic this year and he’s doing it the old-fashioned way. He’s doing it by throwing the ball deep down the field.”

Harrison on Tampa Bay’s defense: “Tampa Bay has a lot of speed at linebacker, they have an aggressive secondary, Todd Bowles wants to dictate what the offense does, and they have a great pass rush.”

ON ANTONIO BROWN                                            

Tirico on Antonio Brown: “Tonight, he makes his Tampa debut. It’s the latest chapter in a saga that’s lasted for nearly two years.”

Dungy on the Buccaneers bringing in Brown: “Everybody has to be comfortable, it does start with the coach. Bruce Arians knows Antonio Brown. He had him in Pittsburgh early in his career…Tom Brady being your quarterback, a veteran, and he vouches for him. He comes to you and says, ‘Coach, we need this guy.’ That definitely impacts your decision making.”

Harrison on Brady’s role with Brown: “I believe that Tom is the perfect person to help manage Antonio Brown because the thing about Brady is, he doesn’t judge people based on what everybody else thinks. He takes his time, he learns from personal experience and personal interaction with Antonio Brown. But the biggest thing about Antonio Brown is he will be held accountable by Tom Brady…If he starts to worry about his numbers and how many touchdowns and things like that, this situation will not work out.”

Dungy: “If it works, it’s going to be phenomenal. But do you want a powder keg in your locker room? That’s what you have to examine.”

Simms: “I’d be shocked if it didn’t work because of the Tom Brady factor. Antonio Brown has got to realize, if it doesn’t work with Tom Brady, the other 31 teams are going to go, ‘What? Well, we can’t have you either.’ On the field, how do you match up with them? … Brown, Gronkowski, Godwin, Evans, Fournette, and Jones in the backfield.”

Florio: “Antonio Brown is coming off an eight-game suspension, but he’s not in the clear. The NFL is monitoring a pending civil lawsuit against him alleging sexual assault and rape. That case due to go to trial in December, but at this point it is probably going to be delayed until after the season. That makes it highly unlikely the league will develop any evidence it could use to find another violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”

Peacock’s Brother From Another’s Michael Holley: “It is going to work in Tampa Bay…He needs the stage and now with this time away, it has caused him to reflect and really face the reality of his football mortality. I think he knows this is the last time he’s got to really make an impression…The presence of Tom Brady is going to push him over the edge, in a good way.”

Peacock’s Brother From Another’s Mike Smith: “I think the bottom line is, he needs the Bucs more than the Bucs need him. He’s got no choice but for this to work out. I do believe he’s capable of being on his best behavior when he wants to be…He needs this to work out and I think it will because he has no alternative in this situation. Before, people were counting on him. In this instance, the Bucs can wash their hands.”


Harrison on TE Travis Kelce: “He’s the best receiving tight end in the National Football League. And the crazy thing is, no one double teams this guy…He’s the key to this offense.”


Simms on Lamar Jackson: “I’m going to give Lamar Jackson some love. After last week, ‘Oh, the pass game. The Ravens can’t beat anyone with Lamar Jackson’s right arm.’ He brought them back today, was very efficient, and I think everybody should just get off his back a little bit.”

Simms on CB Marcus Peters’ interception, which was originally ruled an incompletion: “I give up. I don’t know what else to say. This doesn’t look like a catch to me. All I do is watch football.”

Florio on Peters’ interception: “I talked to John Harbaugh about that specifically because there’s no automatic review. The ruling on the field is incomplete so he had to decide to throw the red challenge flag. He told me, ‘I thought it was incomplete, but I looked up at the screen and I saw possession, I saw three feet down, I saw a catch.’ … The league office agreed, made it an interception.”

Simms on Baltimore’s offense and RB J.K. Dobbins: “You have to worry about that inside running game with Baltimore, and that’s where they’re scary because then they can hit you on the edge.”


Florio on Josh Allen: “Josh Allen looked like the MVP today, not Russell Wilson, and Allen had an emotional day. His grandmother passed away on Saturday and coach Sean McDermott told me he gave Allen the option not to play, and Allen obviously played and had a huge day.”

Harrison: “Buffalo’s defense was supposed to be the strength of this team. They’ve struggled this year, but today they were outstanding…They did a wonderful job today of preventing that big play from Russell Wilson and keeping him in the pocket.”

Tirico: “Statement game for the Bills offense.”

Simms on QB Josh Allen: “When you get him down here close to the goal line, his run-pass ability is pretty unstoppable.”


Tirico: “They’re going to need to be better defensively.”

Dungy: “We’re not used to seeing Russell Wilson turn the ball over and make mistakes, but when you feel like you’ve got to score touchdowns every single time you touch the ball because your defense can’t stop anybody, it’s hard to play quarterback.”

Simms: “It is hard. He becomes a one-man band. All the pressure of the Seattle Seahawks is on Russell Wilson drive after drive after drive because their defense, against good offenses we’re seeing, they can’t even slow them down right now.”


Tirico on QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray: “Brees is 41, Brady’s 43. Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray together are 45.”

Simms on Tagovailoa: “We saw what he’s about. Bootlegs, on the move, a lot of great throws down the sideline…We saw all of what we saw of Tua at Alabama today here with the Miami Dolphins.”

Dungy on Tagovailoa: “This is not an audition. This is a great football player who is only getting better.”


Tirico: “Beware the Vikings!”


Dungy: “Matt Ryan just found the rhythm with these guys and picked that (Broncos) secondary apart.”


Simms on Bears offense: “It’s bad. They don’t win the line of scrimmage, they’re not very creative and they really have to play through their defense throughout the game…It’s concerning. They have a Super Bowl defense, but their offense, you cannot rely on them to run the ball and then they’re not even taking care of the ball right now.”

Dungy: “They’ve got to get some running game going. They have to.”


Tirico on the Giants’ athletic trainers, who helped DB Logan Ryan’s wife last week as she experienced complications with her pregnancy: “It was their advice that helped save his wife’s life. The athletic trainers in the NFL, heroes that we don’t talk about often in this league.”