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FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA – WEEK 16 NOTES & QUOTES

“The high-end plays of Mitchell Trubisky are about what you’d see from Patrick Mahomes. The problem that he’s had is that he misses a lot of layups, and this offense cannot afford to miss layups.” – Cris Collinsworth

“He makes the really difficult look really simple…It’s like what we saw with Patrick Mahomes last year.” – Mike Tirico on Lamar Jackson

“I was worried about them at the beginning of the year, but that front is playing much better.” – Tony Dungy on the Chiefs defense

“I don’t know if I can sit here and say they’re going to make a serious Super Bowl run.” – Chris Simms on the Seahawks

“I think [the Cardinals] are in a dilemma because David Johnson is not as good as this guy. He’s one of the best running backs in the league.” – Rodney Harrison on Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake

STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 22, 2019Mike Tirico hosted the Week 16 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 Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears. 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 Solider Field in Chicago, Ill. He was joined by SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth, with Al Michaels and Michele Tafoya also reporting from inside the stadium. McHugh interviewed former Chicago running back Matt Forte.

Tonight’s FNIA included a special feature in which Peter King sat down with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre for a film session of the two quarterbacks’ most memorable plays. Watch the segment here.

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

Following are highlights from Football Night in America on NBC:

ON CHIEFS-BEARS

Michaels on Andy Reid and Matt Nagy: “Andy is quite the mentor and he has a few mentees around the league...Matt Nagy was an Arena League quarterback in the 2000s. He was selling real estate during the recession in 2008 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. That wasn’t working out very well, so Andy hired him. He spent 10 years with Andy in Philadelphia and Kansas City. The two are extremely close...One of the many, many subplots we have going tonight at Soldier Field.”

ON CHIEFS

Collinsworth on Patrick Mahomes: “We all know about Patrick Mahomes. He’s one of the spectacular players, generational talent.”

Simms on Mahomes-Favre comparisons: “Two of the greatest talents we’ve ever seen at quarterback, I’m already saying that with Patrick Mahomes. I mean, it’s two of the greatest arms we’ve ever seen, and they’re both gunslingers. The thing that’s impressive to me with Mahomes is he takes care of the ball for a gunslinger.”

Harrison on Andy Reid: “I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of players about Andy Reid, and never has any player ever said any negative word. I think that’s a big part about why Terrell Suggs decided to sign with the Chiefs.”

Dungy on Chiefs defense: “It has gotten much better. I was worried about them at the beginning of the year, but that front is playing much better. Suggs is going to give them another weapon up there.”

Harrison on S Tyrann Mathieu: “He’s come in and he’s really elevated that defense…He has been tremendous this year.”

ON BEARS

Collinsworth on Mitchell Trubisky: “The high-end plays of Mitchell Trubisky are about what you’d see from Patrick Mahomes. The problem that he’s had is that he misses a lot of layups, and this offense cannot afford to miss layups.”

Simms on why the Bears’ offense has struggled this season: “Lack of identity. What are they as an offense? It was kind of like a rolodex of picking plays throughout the year for Matt Nagy.”

ON RAVENS

Florio on if the Ravens will rest players in Week 17 after clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC: “No. 1 seed, nothing to play for next week and I asked (John Harbaugh) what are you going to do? He said tomorrow he’ll meet with his player leadership council and they’ll make a decision, striking a balance between keeping guys healthy, not putting them at risk and keeping guys fresh. With three weeks between playing, that’s the concern. He says, ‘We have to keep getting better, we can’t get better if we’re not playing.’”

Dungy: “If he asks the players, they’re going to say we want to knock Pittsburgh out. I promise you that…When I was in that position, we always rested our players.”

Harrison: “As a player, I don’t want to rest three weeks. Two weeks is fine. I want to play at least a quarter.”

Florio on Mark Ingram’s injury: “It’s a calf injury, they’re going to do an MRI tomorrow. Harbaugh’s hopeful it’s just kind of a strain, nothing structural. Maybe it was cramping. They’re going to find out tomorrow.”

Tirico on Lamar Jackson: “He makes the really difficult look really simple…It’s like what we saw with Patrick Mahomes last year. Opened everybody’s eyes.”

Simms: “That’s what’s really amazing about Lamar Jackson, you can call the perfect defense and it doesn’t matter.”

ON PATRIOTS

Florio: “I’m told NFL investigators were in Foxborough this week meeting with team employees, looking at electronic devices, trying to establish that link between the video crew that was at the Browns-Bengals game shooting the Bengals sideline and football operations. I’m told that some of the people who were interviewed sensed that maybe there’s some frustration because they’re not finding that link yet between the video crew and football operations.”

ON SAINTS

Dungy on Michael Thomas: “Just big plays all day long. Great off the line of scrimmage, hand movement, foot movement. Tremendous.”

Florio on Michael Thomas’ ‘@Cantguardmike’ Twitter handle: “I asked him how he came up with that. He said after he left Ohio State -- remember he went to the second round, chip on his shoulder -- he developed that mindset. And here he is, 145 (catches) and who knows how high it’s going to go next week.”

Dungy on Alvin Kamara: “He’s the guy I think they have to get going…He brings the juice that they’re going to need in the playoffs.”

Simms on Taysom Hill: “Just weapon X for this Saints team. But how do you matchup with all of the weapons?”

ON TITANS

Simms on Titans’ playoff chances: “Tennessee Titans are the team I look at and I think are dangerous if they can get in…To me, I would much rather face Pittsburgh than Tennessee in the playoffs.”

Simms on WR A.J. Brown: “He’s a rising star for this Titans team.”

ON STEELERS

Harrison on Steelers’ offensive struggles: “You’re rotating quarterbacks and it’s Week 16. You have a veteran offensive line and you can’t run the ball. Also, JuJu Smith-Schuster is your number one wide receiver and he only had two catches.”

ON SEAHAWKS

Simms: “They might be a team that can be a little annoying in the playoffs, but I don’t know if I can sit here and say they’re going to make a serious Super Bowl run.”

ON EAGLES

Dungy on Eagles stopping the run: “With all the emphasis on the Dallas passing game and all the numbers they put up, it still comes down to stopping Ezekiel Elliott.”

Harrison: “They’ve had some injuries to the veteran players, but these young guys have really come in and given them a spark.”

ON COWBOYS

Harrison: “To me, I look at Amari Cooper. He doesn’t show up when you need him most. If you’re the number one receiver, you need to show up.”

ON CARDINALS

Simms on Kenyan Drake: “You think they’re happy they traded for this guy? I mean what he’s doing is amazing.”

Harrison on Drake: “I think they’re in a dilemma because David Johnson is not as good as this guy. He’s one of the best running backs in the league.”

Simms on Chandler Jones: “He’s a man on a mission and he’s been one of the best pass rushers in football the last few years.”

ON JETS

Simms: “The Jets, dealing a severe blow to the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff chances. The Steelers defense, we know they’re big-time, but the Jets were the story today.”

Dungy on Jets allowing a long TD pass right before halftime: “Look at this, inside technique. You want to protect the sideline and the end zone, not the middle of the field. This is terrible coaching.”

ON GIANTS

Simms: “I’m so impressed with Daniel Jones, DJNY. I mean, coming off a few weeks of being injured and throws five touchdown passes. Amazing performance.”

ON DOLPHINS

Simms on Ryan Fitzpatrick: “Fitzpatrick played really well throughout the game, made a number of big plays. His grittiness and toughness were enough for the Dolphins, and helped them win this game.”

ON BENGALS

Tirico on Bengals clinching the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 NFL Draft: “With four months and a day until the first pick, Cincinnati, your Bengals are now on the clock.”

ON FALCONS

Tirico: “This Atlanta team does not give up or give in.”

Harrison on Devonta Freeman: “The Falcons have struggled running the football this year, and they did a really good job today of getting him involved not just in the run game, but also in the pass game.”

ON CHARGERS

Tirico on Chargers’ last game at Dignity Health Sports Park: “This is why the Chargers are ready to go to a new home. They had to call a timeout because Raiders fans are making too much noise.”

ON BRONCOS

Dungy on Phillip Lindsay: “I love Phillip Lindsay. He just plays with heart and energy no matter what.”
FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA