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NOTES & QUOTES FROM WEEK 14 EDITION OF FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA ON NBC AND PEACOCK

“There’s something therapeutic about Lambeau Field in mid-December.” – Jac Collinsworth

“That’s why they got Tom Brady…Even though Buffalo was coming back, you always had a feeling that Brady was going to make that big play to win the game.” – Tony Dungy

“Not only are they at risk of not winning their division, but they may not make the playoffs…The Ravens are in trouble.” – Drew Brees

“No one can do what he does on a football field in the NFL, nobody.” – Rodney Harrison on Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons

STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 12, 2021 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 14 of the 2021 NFL season began tonight from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Bears-Packers on Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock.

Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. He was joined at the desk by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees. Co-host Maria Taylor was joined in Studio 1 by 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.

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

NBC News’ Steve Kornacki rejoined Football Night to break down the NFL playoff scenarios. Said Mike Tirico, “You know the signs when you know the holiday season is coming? For us, it’s when the playoff tiebreakers are coming and a bunch of elves come in with their khakis and calculators because Kornacki is here!”

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.

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

ON BEARS

Brees on rookie QB Justin Fields: “He’s got playmaking ability. He’s got moxie. He’s got all the makings of being a good quarterback that you can really build a system around…But it’s really the routine completions and the things that are just executing the offense on a consistent basis that you still need to see, and every young quarterback goes through it.”

Dungy on Fields: “I would be excited if I were a Chicago fan because as a coach, I’ve had a little success teaching quarterbacks to take the routine completion. I haven’t had success teaching them how to make those wild plays that he can make.”

Harrison on Fields: “I love his toughness. He can throw the ball down the field. The Bears need to do a better job of providing him with a more stable environment, continuing to build that offensive line, and he needs weapons around him.”

ON PACKERS

Jac Collinsworth: “There’s something therapeutic about Lambeau Field in mid-December.”

Harrison: “Yeah, it’s my first time at the North Pole.”

Dungy on the philosophy of defensive coordinator Joe Barry: “He has preached three things – be fast, physical and sound. They are playing tough defense to go along with Aaron (Rodgers).”

Brees on the running scheme with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon: “I think it rivals that of Kyle Shanahan and what the 49ers do. A lot of shifts and motions creating matchup (problems) and run seams.”

Brees: “There is no better receiver against the press in all of football than Davante Adams.”

ON COWBOYS

Dungy: “That Dallas defense. Time after time today, they made the big plays. They played great football and they’ve got Dallas in strong position to win the NFC East…they played with fury, they played with intensity.”

Harrison on having LB Micah Parsons as his defensive MVP right now: “He is a rookie and takes care of a lot of responsibilities, playing defensive end, learning linebacker, was dropping 30 yards down the field today…No one can do what he does on a football field in the NFL, nobody.”

Dungy: “The Dallas defense was playing outstanding. They were making (head coach) Mike McCarthy look like a prophet early on.”

Simms on LB Micah Parsons: “I haven’t seen a skillset like this since Lawrence Taylor. Off the ball linebacker, rush the passer, can do it all.”

Brees: “Who wants to block this guy? Certainly not a running back, not even a guard…he’s a gamechanger.”

ON CHIEFS

Tirico: “The Raiders jumped on the logo and the Chiefs jumped on them.”

Simms: “The Chiefs defense has been the star of the show the last few weeks.”

Dungy: “Energy and effort and moving Chris Jones back inside. He’s creating havoc. They’re dominating the line of scrimmage. You’re not able to run on them. This takes me back to when I was coaching there – Neil Smith, Derrick Thomas. People are excited about the defense in that stadium.”

Brees: “Giving up 11 points or less in six games on average is pretty remarkable and is a big part of their turnaround.”

Simms: “This is the most consistent we have seen Patrick Mahomes all year. Very efficient, no stupid plays or mistakes. Really clean game.”

ON BUCCANEERS

Dungy on the overtime victory: “That’s why they got Tom Brady. When they get in these situations, he kept his composure. Even though Buffalo was coming back, you always had a feeling that Brady was going to make that big play to win the game.”

ON BILLS

Brees: “I think they are going to have some problems going down the stretch here. When they lost Tre’Davious White, that really put them in a tough situation because they are a down-safety defense, which means a lot of one-on-one matchups on the outside. That didn’t bode well for them today with all those weapons on Tampa.”

ON CHARGERS

Simms on QB Justin Herbert: “He’s phenomenal. A rising superstar in our league and already one of the best quarterbacks in the game.”

ON SAINTS

Brees on QB Taysom Hill’s injured finger: “Getting (RB) Alvin Kamara back is such a game changer. He’s so electric for that offense what he does for the pass game and the run. The defense is a top-five defense. Really the question is, will his injured finger allow him the opportunity to push the ball down the field and give the Saints enough of a passing game to compete with a team like Tampa?”

Dungy: “They’ve got Tampa next week (on Sunday Night Football). Tampa is tough to run on, but…when Taysom runs the ball as a quarterback, you’ve got an extra blocker and that throws the defense into disarray.”

ON RAVENS

Brees: “Really disappointing for Baltimore. Not only are they at risk of not winning their division, but they may not make the playoffs…I think the Ravens are in trouble.”

Dungy: “It’s been seven or eight weeks since we’ve seen Ravens’ football. We haven’t seen them dominate or pound it on the ground and then Lamar (Jackson) making throws off the play action.”

Brees: “Not only that, but they’ve been turning the ball over at the same time with that lack of production.”

ON TITANS

Brees: “They’re really flying under the radar. I think they can control both lines of scrimmage and that’s something that can win a lot of games.”

Dungy: “It’s taken a little bit, but Mike Vrabel and Ryan Tannehill have figured out how to play without Derrick Henry.”

ON JAGUARS

Florio on reports surrounding tension around head coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff: “He has motivated enemies on his coaching staff and in the locker room. They have been talking and talking for weeks, and it finally hit critical mass yesterday with the NFL Media report. It’s been out there – people aren’t happy, and he isn’t just going to make this go away. There’s going to have be some serious changes within that staff during the offseason. As for the organization and how it views Urban Meyer, if you ask the team for comment, they send you to the personal spokesperson for owner Shad Khan and that person has no comment. But he did direct me to an article that was recently published by The Florida Times-Union where Khan made some comments that lead you to believe he is willing to stay the course, no matter how dysfunctional it gets. But right now, it is extremely dysfunctional between Meyer and the people who work for him.”

Simms on rookie QB Trevor Lawrence vs. Titans: “Tough day for him. Probably his worst day as a pro. Threw four interceptions, could have possibly been six or seven. They were outclassed by the Titans today.”

–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–