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FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA – WEEK 14 NOTES & QUOTES

“I’m still really concerned about the Patriots. I’m used to the Patriots being able to line up and just beat people. They no longer can do that.” – Rodney Harrison

“If I have to vote today, I’m voting Russell Wilson.” – Cris Collinsworth on NFL MVP

“There is a very good vibe around the Seattle Seahawks. A third Super Bowl appearance in the Pete Carroll era would be no shock.” – Al Michaels

“These were two great defensive teams and both of them gave up over 40 points. I’d be a little concerned coming into December if my defense is giving up big plays like that.” – Tony Dungy on 49ers-Saints

“They’re a different team this year. It’s because of the run game and Aaron Jones.” – Chris Simms on the Packers

STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 8, 2019Mike Tirico hosted the Week 14 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 Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. 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 the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif. He was joined by SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth, with Al Michaels and Michele Tafoya also reporting from inside the stadium. McHugh interviewed Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Rams DT Aaron Donald.

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

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:

ON SEAHAWKS

Michaels: “Kudos to John Schneider, Pete Carroll and that whole staff. In 2012, they pick Bobby Wagner, second round out of Utah State – he was the eighth linebacker picked. Russell Wilson, quarterback out of Wisconsin – he was the sixth quarterback picked. Each guy, I think, has one foot right now in Canton…they are the centerpiece of this team. There is a very good vibe around the Seattle Seahawks. A third Super Bowl appearance in the Pete Carroll era would be no shock.”

Collinsworth on MVP battle between Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson: “Only a complete idiot would vote against Lamar Jackson, so that’s what I’m going to do…if I have to vote today, I’m voting Russell Wilson.”

ON PATRIOTS

Harrison on Patriots’ struggles: “I’m still really concerned about the Patriots. Today it just seemed like they played with a sense of desperation with all of the trick plays. I’m used to the Patriots being able to line up and just beat people. They no longer can do that.”

Simms: “It’s the middle of December and the Patriots offense is still a work in progress. They obviously have a little crack in the armor that they have to figure out…they have to get some of the rest of those receivers not named Edelman to help Tom Brady.”

ON CHIEFS

Dungy on Chiefs defense: “I loved what they did today. I’ve been on their defense the last three or four weeks, they’re not going to win if this defense doesn’t pick it up – today they made the big plays when they needed them.”

ON 49ERS-SAINTS

Dungy on 94 combined points: “I guess I’m old school. As a defensive coach, these were two great defensive teams and both of them gave up over 40 points. I’d be a little concerned coming into December if my defense is giving up big plays like that.”

ON 49ERS

Simms on QB Jimmy Garoppolo: “We know it’s a good team – will Jimmy G deliver in the big moments? Today in the fourth quarter there were a number of those moments and he proved himself worthy.”

Harrison: “Anytime you can go on the road and play well, whether it’s at Baltimore or today against the Saints, it starts to build confidence and you believe you can go on the road and beat anyone. It brings the team together.”

ON RAVENS

Dungy on Ravens defense: “They were not going to let Josh Allen make plays. They blitzed, they closed those running lanes and came after him – I thought (defensive coordinator) Wink Martindale had a great game plan…that defense showed up today.”

ON BRONCOS

Harrison on QB Drew Lock: “Seems like they’ve found their franchise quarterback.”

ON PACKERS

Simms on RB Aaron Jones: “Usually when you see Green Bay with lackluster stats from Aaron Rodgers, it means losses for the Packers. They’re a different team this year. It’s because of the run game and Aaron Jones.”

Harrison: “(Aaron Rodgers) is no longer the key to this offense – it’s Aaron Jones.”

ON STEELERS

Tirico on Steelers win in Arizona: “It was a Cardinals home game – it sounded like it was in Western PA…look at all of those terrible towels in the desert.”

ON PANTHERS

Florio on head coach and executive search: “The Panthers are going to be hiring both a head coach and an executive vice president of football operations. I’m told that the focus will be hiring the head coach first, then the executive VP. The net will be very wide – they will look far and wide for a potential replacement for Ron Rivera. With David Tepper putting his imprint on the organization, I’m told an outside-the-box hire isn’t out of the question.”

ON CHARGERS

Harrison on RB Austin Ekeler: “We know the Chargers are up and down, but one person that always comes to play and is very productive is Austin Ekeler. I love that kid.”

ON DOLPHINS

Simms on reversed pass interference call leading to Jets game-winning FG: “I don’t like the call. Just let them play in these moments.”

ON BUCS

Tirico on QB Jameis Winston’s 4 TDs and 3 INTs: “We had the full Jameis experience – picks and scores.”

ON ED REED

Dungy on Ed Reed, who was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team: “The greatest instincts in the middle of the field that I have ever seen.”
FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA