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NOTES & QUOTES FROM WEEK 8 EDITION OF FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA ON NBC

“What the heck was Coach Belichick doing with an onside kick?” – Rodney Harrison

“They’re not perfect, but Mike Tomlin has these guys convinced that they can do whatever it takes.” – Tony Dungy on the Steelers

“When it’s a got-to-have it throwing moment, can that passing offense deliver for them? I still think that’s a big question.” – Chris Simms on the Ravens

“Every time we watch Joe Burrow he gets better and better.” – Mike Tirico

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 1, 2020 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season began tonight from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Cowboys-Eagles on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Mike Tirico hosted FNIA from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn., and was joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Two-time Super Bowl-winner Rodney Harrison and NFL Insider Mike Florio joined Football Night remotely from studios in their respective homes. Liam McHugh co-hosted the show on-site from Lincoln Financial Field and was joined by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth.

In addition, McHugh narrated a piece about new Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci.

Al Michaels (play-by-play), Collinsworth (analyst), Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s Cowboys-Eagles game.

***

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

ON NFC EAST

Dungy: “I’ll give you a history lesson. Back in 1984, I was an assistant with the Steelers. We were terrible at the beginning of the year…Get on a winning streak, go to the AFC Championship. 1999, I was head coach of the Bucs. We were playing terrible football, 3-4 (record), both of our quarterbacks, Trent Dilfer and Eric Zeier, get hurt. Season’s over, right? Have to go with a rookie quarterback, Shaun King – we get on a winning streak and go to the NFC Championship Game…It can happen (for) Philadelphia and Dallas, you have to keep the faith.”

Simms: “I don’t think it can happen in Dallas, I’m sorry. But I’ll join you in the Philadelphia conversation. Super Bowl-winning coach, a lot of players left over from that Super Bowl team…Carson Wentz is by far the best quarterback in the division, have some pieces on defense…you at least can get behind them to say, ‘watch out.’”

ON COWBOYS

Tirico on RB Ezekiel Elliott: “If Ben DiNucci is going to get help, Zeke has got to show up tonight.”

McHugh on QB Ben DiNucci: “Interesting twist -- DiNucci lost his last college start to North Dakota State and tonight he is going to go against the best player to ever come out of North Dakota State in Carson Wentz.”

Dungy’s advice to DiNucci: “Relax, go out there and have fun. You’ve got some playmakers, get the ball in their hands.”

ON EAGLES

Harrison: “Offensively, the most impressive guy has been starting center Jason Kelce. He’s been outstanding…He’s been the rock of that offensive line – and I’m not saying the offensive line is good – but just imagine where they’d be if Jason Kelce was not the starting center. I think he’s been fantastic.”

ON AFC EAST

Tirico: “When we look back at this NFL season, we will look to this week as a bit of a movement point. The AFC South became a race because of what happened today, the AFC North, maybe Pittsburgh has enough cushion heading into the second half of the season, but to that AFC East point, it’s weird to look at the standings with Buffalo at 6-2 and New England at 2-5.”

Dungy: “Do we have a changing of the guard in the AFC East? … Are the Patriots done?”

Dungy: “Big win for Buffalo, but I was more impressed with Miami. Watching them, they may be the best team, the most complete team in the AFC East.”

Simms: “I’m going to say Buffalo is king (of the division) for now…But I worry about them being more than just a playoff contender.”

Harrison: “Brian Flores has been absolutely terrific. He’s done a great job of keeping his team competitive. They have weapons on offense, good veteran players on defense, but the most important thing they have is good people in the locker room.”

Simms: “It was Tua (Tagovailoa) time in Miami, but it was the defense who was the star of the show…This defense shut the Rams down.”

ON DOLPHINS

Simms on Aaron Donald’s strip sack on Tua Tagovailoa’s first time dropping back to pass: “Welcome to the NFL. I know the SEC is tough, but they don’t have Aaron Donalds there.”

Tirico: “Felt like Brian Flores had a feel for what (the Rams) were doing on offense. Bringing pressure that (Jared) Goff couldn’t get.”

Dungy on QB Tua Tagovailoa: “He didn’t have to do much because of that defense. What he did was handle the blitz better than Jared Goff did…He’s just going to get better and better.”

ON PATRIOTS

Dungy: “Tie score, third quarter, onside kick, really?”

Harrison: “What the heck was Coach Belichick doing with an onside kick? I just didn’t understand why he would do an onside kick and give the advantage back to the (Bills) offense? I just didn’t understand it.”

Harrison on QB Cam Newton: “Cam still gives the Patriots the best chance to win.”

ON STEELERS

Collinsworth on the defense: “They were unbelievable today…I’m not one to brag, but I did say the Pittsburgh Steelers would be representing the AFC in the Super Bowl and right now that team is looking awfully tough.”

Simms on WR Chase Claypool: “When it’s one-on-one, he’s a little like DK Metcalf, don’t make it complicated. Throw the ball to that guy.”

Dungy: “They’re not perfect, but Mike Tomlin has these guys convinced that they can do whatever it takes.”

ON RAVENS

Simms on the game’s final play: “On these types of plays, it’s hard to drop back and throw the ball on rhythm because there’s eight guys in coverage. I would have liked to see Lamar (Jackson) scramble, buy some time, manipulate the coverage a little and then maybe make a play.”

Simms: “I’m a little concerned with one thing with the Ravens. When it’s a got-to-have it throwing moment, can that passing offense deliver for them? I still think that’s a big question.”

ON CHIEFS

Dungy on fake punt by P Tommy Townsend: “Who needs Patrick Mahomes when you’ve got a rifle like that at your punter position?”

ON SEAHAWKS

Tirico: “Maybe they didn’t go to DK Metcalf enough last week.”

Simms on WR DK Metcalf: “He’s the best receiver in football.”

ON RAIDERS

Simms on RB Josh Jacobs: “His vision, makes the right cuts…Falls forward for three, four yards after every play and the run game was huge (in the victory) in those (weather) elements today.”

ON BENGALS

Tirico: “Every time we watch Joe Burrow he gets better and better. He was really good today.”

Simms on Burrow: “He’s just never flustered, and he makes so many plays throughout the game. I just can’t say how impressed I am with this young quarterback.”

ON COLTS

Tirico on RB Nyheim Hines’ touchdown celebration: “That’s worth celebrating. What in the name of Simone Biles are you doing?”

Tirico: “Don’t look now, but Indianapolis is tied with Tennessee for the lead in the division.”

ON PACKERS

Harrison: “I look at Green Bay’s defense, I had no idea coming into the season that they were going to be this soft.”

ON VIKINGS

Harrison on RB Dalvin Cook: “He was absolutely outstanding…He ran all the way through Green Bay’s defense.”

ON CHARGERS

Tirico: “Oh, to be a Chargers fan. Exhausting.”

–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–