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“Don’t look now, but guess who’s in first place in the AFC East? It’s déjà vu. The Patriots are playing better football every week.” -- Tony Dungy

“The Green Bay Packers defense has probably been one of the most under-the-radar stories of the season…they’ve got it all right now.” – Chris Simms

“This was a big, missed opportunity and it was a game they had to win.” – Drew Brees on the Eagles

“They were outstanding today. They physically dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers.” – Rodney Harrison on the Bengals defense

STAMFORD, Conn. – November 28, 2021 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season continued tonight from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Browns-Ravens on Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock.

Maria Taylor hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. She was joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees, and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison joined co-host Jac Collinsworth at the site of the game. NFL Insider Mike Florio provided reports from his home studio.

Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), Kathryn Tappen (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s game.

For the first time ever, Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football are streaming on Peacock Premium every week this season. Viewers can sign up here. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.

NBC Sports’ new post-game show Peacock Sunday Night Football Final streams tonight exclusively on Peacock following Sunday Night Football.


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


Dungy on the Browns: “Cleveland is a physical, run-first football team. They lost their two running backs for a while; they lost their two offensive tackles and it put a lot of pressure on Baker Mayfield. That’s not who they are. They have to get back to pounding the football and then let Baker make complementary plays.”

Brees: “Baker needs to quit worrying about the perception that others are putting on him, the passing numbers they think he should have. Recognize what your team is and how are you going to win each game. You are a run-first team…Find ways to win each game. That’s how you’re going to be measured as a quarterback in this league.”

Brees on Mayfield’s recent lack of passing accuracy (click here to watch Brees’ demonstration): “You see the brace that is on the left arm from the separated shoulder. As he goes back, typically you want to tell a QB to be ‘equal and opposite,’ 90 degrees on each side. But he has a kind of chicken wing on his left side (because of the brace), so he’s not able to make it equal and accurate…you see that Baker is really favoring and tucking that left arm. It’s not allowing him to get that full rotation, full power and accuracy.”

Dungy on how Cleveland should defend Lamar Jackson: “Well, it’s not your M.O., but (blitzing) is the blueprint. Miami did it very well. They came after Lamar, they made him make quick decisions, they took away the running lanes for him and just brought one more guy than they could pick up.”

Harrison on impact of RB Kareem Hunt’s return to lineup: “He brings that spark to this offense. I think he is their best playmaker…get him the ball in open space…and you can follow him up with Nick Chubb? That’s a dangerous, dangerous matchup.”


Harrison on RB Devonta Freeman: “He hasn’t put up big numbers, but he’s been steady, he’s been reliable, he’s been a pro, he’s been dependable.”


Simms: “The Green Bay Packers defense has probably been one of the most under-the-radar stories of the season…Dominating a talented Rams offense…They’ve got it all right now.”


Dungy: “This has got to be a disappointing day for them. They played in the playoffs in Green Bay and lost. They knew they had to retool and make some changes. So, they go out and get Matt Stafford, they get Von Miller, they get Odell Beckham Jr., and it’s basically the same result.”

Brees: “Just because you have a bunch of great players doesn’t mean you have a great team.”


Dungy on the Patriots: “Don’t look now, but guess who’s in first place in the AFC East? It’s déjà vu. The Patriots are playing better football every week.”

Brees: “They are running the ball very effectively, the defense is playing lights out, and that allows Mac Jones just to play efficient, which is exactly what he’s doing and that’s exactly what they need from him.”

Dungy: “Tell me if you’ve heard this story before – the New England Patriots have a smart, accurate quarterback who makes plays and doesn’t make mistakes. They’re playing physical on defense, they play great in the red zone, they get takeaways, they’re the most consistent team in the AFC and they’re looking toward the No. 1 seed.”


Simms: “(Head coach Kyle) Shanahan is the run-game genius of the NFL. There’s nobody better at designing run plays…I’d say watch out for the 49ers because Shanahan seems hot calling plays.”

Dungy: “I definitely agree with Chris. I thought whoever won this game was going to catapult themselves back into the talk of the playoff race. San Francisco is getting back to their identity…This is a running football team, and they are running the football like we know they can.”

Dungy on using WR Deebo Samuel in the backfield: “I love that. To me, that’s coaching. ‘Hey, we’re a running team, our best runners are hurt, let me take my best guy and give him the ball.’”


Dungy on the Titans’ struggles against the Patriots defense (click here to watch full segment): “I’ve been in (head coach) Mike Vrabel’s spot. You’re on the bus on the way to the airport thinking, ‘What happened? We don’t have Derrick Henry. We ran for 270 yards, we moved it up and down the field, but we got blown out? How’d that happen? What did we do wrong?’ And you can’t figure it out.”


Brees: “How about the Cincinnati Bengals? They were ballin’ today…They ran the ball all over the place.”

Simms: “Big play Bengals were back today. They tore up the Steelers defense -- did whatever they wanted.”

Harrison on the defense: “I thought they were outstanding today. They physically dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers…If the Cincinnati Bengals want to get to the playoffs and get to that next level, it’s not going to be about offense. It’s going to be about that defense.”

Brees: “They really don’t have any weaknesses right now.”


Harrison on what he’d be thinking about if he were Mike Tomlin: “I need another quarterback and I’m definitely concerned about my defense because they’re not very good right now.”


Simms on WR Jaylen Waddle: “You better watch out for this guy. He is the go-to guy, the best player on the Dolphins offense…Waddle is dangerous.”

Simms on Dolphins’ four-game winning streak: “(Head coach) Brian Flores has got the defense going. They are creative, they’re young and talented so they make plays every week, and when you look at the offensive side of the ball, Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle are the key to their success. Tua has been very consistent, not making a lot of mistakes, and Waddle always seems to make a few splash plays in every game.”


Simms on RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson: “He is the key to the Falcons offense. We know they have Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts, who is phenomenal, but it’s Cordarrelle Patterson who is the Swiss Army Knife that can do everything. Running back or wide receiver, he’s a mismatch for defenses.”


Brees: “Cam Newton really struggled today. He was successful the first two games, but today was a different story. Down the stretch, when you look at teams they’re going to play like Buffalo and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice, those teams really try to make you one dimensional and have to throw the football. So, can Cam Newton make the plays in the passing game they need down the stretch to help them win?”

Dungy: “To me, it doesn’t matter who their quarterback is. Carolina has to run the football, get Christian McCaffrey involved, and play defense.”


Dungy on controversial no-call on Giants CB Darnay Holmes’ interception: “I thought illegal contact should have been called.”

Brees on the Eagles: “This was a big, missed opportunity and it was a game they had to win. A chance to only be a game out from Dallas, who loses on Thanksgiving. This was your opportunity…knowing you’re going to host the Cowboys down the road. We know they are a run-first team, but they have to be able to make enough plays in the passing game.”