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FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA – WEEK 12 NOTES & QUOTES

“When you are defending him, he’s not trying to just beat you, he’s trying to flat out embarrass you.” – Rodney Harrison on 49ers TE George Kittle

“This one was as sloppy as the weather.” – Mike Tirico on Cowboys-Patriots

“They can’t seem to get over the hump, and can’t do the right things to win the big games.” – Tony Dungy on the Cowboys

“He’s definitely getting better, maturing in front of our eyes. And he’s a big-time playmaker.” – Chris Simms on Bills QB Josh Allen

“He’s passionate about his Hall of Fame case, and he has a good one to make.” – Mike Florio on Bills RB Frank Gore

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 24, 2019Mike Tirico hosted the Week 12 edition of Football Night in America tonight from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., in advance of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers (8-2) and San Francisco 49ers (9-1). Tirico was joined on the set by analysts Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, and Chris Simms, as well as NFL Insider Mike Florio.

Liam McHugh co-hosted Football Night in America from an outdoor set outside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. He was joined by SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth, with Al Michaels and Michele Tafoya also reporting from inside the stadium. McHugh interviewed Packers RB Aaron Jones, 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders, and former 49ers RB Ricky Watters.

FNIA also included highlights, analysis, and news from around the league.

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:

ON 49ERS

Collinsworth on the atmosphere at Levi’s Stadium: “We’re kind of back at Candlestick (Park) at this point. We came here a couple of years ago to do a game and there was no emotion, it wasn’t raw, it didn’t feel like a football game. Now, with this team back in San Francisco and the way they’re playing, we’re back to this (high-energy crowd).”

Michaels on the 49ers: “It’s interesting when regimes come in, a general manager (John Lynch) and head coach (Kyle Shanahan), they have priorities…and their number one priority was to build a Super Bowl defensive line. Cris (Collinsworth) and I looked at one another, and we had never heard that before…now they can send four and cover seven, and that will be an interesting chess match to watch between the San Francisco defense and Aaron Rodgers tonight.”

Simms on 49ers TE George Kittle: “Best tight end in the NFL right now.”

Harrison on Kittle: “He’s the best tight end in the National Football League…his ability to block…When you are defending him, he’s not trying to just beat you, he’s trying to flat out embarrass you.”

Ricky Watters to McHugh on the Packers-49ers matchup: “Great storied franchises, great players, and this is a playoff atmosphere.”

Watters on the 49ers: “This does feel like a championship team because championships are won on the defensive end.”

Tirico on the relationship between Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh: “A friendship that goes back 15 years. Graduate assistants together at Central Michigan. Each was the best man at the other guy’s wedding. LaFleur texted Saleh this week, ‘Give me a call. I have a couple questions about your defense.’ There was no return call made.”

ON PACKERS

Tirico on Rodgers: “Rodgers grew up in Chico, California, about three hours north of here. Draft day in 2005, they asked him how disappointed were you that your hometown team didn’t draft you? He said not as disappointed as the 49ers will be.”

ON PATRIOTS

Tirico on Cowboys-Patriots: “This one was as sloppy as the weather.”

Simms on rookie WR N’Keal Harry: “They need this guy. We know they’re not dangerous at the wide receiver position. N’Keal Harry can add something.”

Harrison on Matthew Slater: “I think he’s the greatest special teams player I’ve ever played with. A hard-working guy, very humble, and just a smart football player.”

Harrison: “I give Stephon Gilmore a lot of credit. He held Amari Cooper to zero catches today. That’s very difficult to do.”

ON COWBOYS

Dungy on the Cowboys: “This is what we’ve been waiting to see, go on the road to a good opponent and win a tough game. They played well, but they can’t seem to get over the hump, and can’t do the right things to win the big games.”

Harrison: “When I played (for the Patriots), I always felt that we had the advantage in November and December because dome teams didn’t like coming in…it’s very difficult, and the Dallas Cowboys struggled with that weather.”

Simms: “That was one of the big things that jumped out to me. It’s like Dallas didn’t read the weather report all week.”

ON SAINTS

Harrison on Michael Thomas: “Michael Thomas has over 100 catches in 11 games. Why don’t you double-team this guy? He’s the best wide receiver in the league.”

ON STEELERS

Simms on QB change from Mason Rudolph to Devlin Hodges: “This is the right move for the Pittsburgh Steelers moving forward.”

Harrison on Hodges: “What was missing in this offense was the big play. He came in and gave them a spark.”

Dungy: “Pittsburgh plays Cleveland next week. The winner of that game is going to be that last Wild Card team.”

Dungy on the Steelers: “Mike Tomlin made a big decision to take Mason Rudolph out of the game, and (Delvin) Hodges rewarded him. I believe he’ll stay with him next week for that big game against Cleveland.”

ON BILLS

Simms on QB Josh Allen: “He’s on fire right now…he’s definitely getting better, maturing in front of our eyes. And he’s a big-time playmaker.”

Harrison on Allen: “He puts a lot of pressure on a defense (with his scrambling ability)…and then you have to come up and hit him. He’s 6-4, 250 pounds.”

Harrison on Frank Gore: “Future Hall of Famer … passes Barry Sanders for third all-time in rushing. It’s a credit to him how he’s taken care of his body for 15 years.”

Florio on Gore: “He’s passionate about his Hall of Fame case, and he has a good one to make.”

Dungy on Barry Sanders following clips of Sanders juking John Lynch and running over Rodney Harrison: “Two of the great ones, John Lynch barely got a hand on him, Rodney Harrison got run over. That was the greatness of Barry Sanders.”

ON BEARS

Simms: “We like their defense, but I don’t think I feel any better about their offense. I don’t know what to think of them. I just don’t know if their offense is good enough to get in the playoffs.”

ON EAGLES

Simms: “The Eagles offense is stagnant, and (Carson Wentz) is off target.”

ON BROWNS

Dungy: “This is what the Cleveland fans have been waiting for, those young stars on offense to come through...They were awesome today…This is the offense Cleveland envisioned when they put all these young stars together, great running game, and two big-time receivers making plays.”

ON BUCCANEERS

Simms on WR Chris Godwin: “He is having a Pro Bowl-type year. He’s becoming the go-to weapon for Jameis Winston.”

ON TITANS

Tirico on today’s win: “Don’t sleep on Tennessee…right in the mix.”

Harrison: “Forget about the quarterback, it’s about running the football when you’re with the Tennessee Titans. A big physical back, no one wants to come up and hit Derrick Henry.”

ON JETS

Tirico: “The Jets offense is all of a sudden starting to hit a rhythm…Don’t count out the (4-7) Jets. Their schedule is soft enough…9-7 may be good enough for a Wild Card.”

ON COLTS

Dungy on the Colts: “The Colts are going to win their division.”

ON JAGUARS

Simms: “What happened to this Jags defense…Falling apart.”

Dungy: “They look terrible.”
FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA