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

“‘Are they a run team? Are they a pass team?’ Philadelphia is a winning team. They just go and win games any way that they can.” – Devin McCourty on the Eagles

“There have been too many instances this year where Patrick Mahomes has to do a little too much on his own.” – Chris Simms on the Chiefs

“The last few weeks have exposed the Niners a little bit.”– Jason Garrett

“To have the opportunity to add our country’s biggest sport and one of the biggest sports in the world to the (Olympic) program was amazing.” – LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman to Mike Tirico on addition of flag football to 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

Peacock Sunday Night Football Final Streams EXCLUSIVELY on Peacock Following Bears-Chargers and Every Sunday Night Football Game During 2023 Season

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 29, 2023 – NBC Sports’ presentation of Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season began tonight from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., with Football Night in America leading into coverage of Bears-Chargers on Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock.

Maria Taylor hosted FNIA from NBC Sports’ Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. She was joined by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, three-time Super Bowl Champion Devin McCourty, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, NFL Insider Mike Florio and fantasy sports industry pioneer Matthew Berry. Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison joined co-host Jac Collinsworth and at the site of the game.

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

Pre-game coverage also included Tirico’s interview with Casey Wasserman, Chairperson of the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to discuss the inclusion of flag football in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, as well as Michael Smith’s interview with Bears QB Tyson Bagent in this week’s edition of ‘Gets It.’

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

ON BEARS

Jac Collinsworth on QB Tyson Bagent: “How about when your highlight film is in standard definition? They don’t even have it in HD, and now he’s going to be playing primetime tonight.”

Dungy on Bagent: “He wasn’t just given the (backup quarterback) job. He beat out veteran quarterbacks. P.J. Walker was signed with the hopes he would be able to run the same offense as Justin Fields, but Bagent was so smooth and so poised they elevated him to the No. 2 position…the Bears believe in him. Talking to the guys on the field, they’re not worried about him. He has been so poised and so confident.”

Harrison: “You don’t get undrafted free agents that start on Sunday Night Football. This is a life-changing opportunity.”

ON CHARGERS

Dungy: “Justin Herbert is going to be fine – he’s going to throw the ball well. What’s got to change is that defense. They’re not stopping the pass and it starts with the people up front. Their front four is designed to put pressure on the quarterback and limit big plays. They haven’t done it. Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa have not been the guys that we have seen in the past.”

Harrison: “The problem I have is the way they are playing Derwin James. Last week he should have had Travis Kelce one-on-one. He is a generational safety. Put him down at the line of scrimmage, let him come off the edge and blitz. No way am I putting him back 25 yards in the deep part of the field. That’s crazy to me.”

McCourty: “There’s no connection from the coaching staff on whatever they’re teaching Wednesday to Friday to showing up in the game. You see so many plays where you ask yourself, ‘What is this guy doing?’”

ON EAGLES

McCourty: “Every week, it’s ‘Are they a run team? Are they a pass team? What are they going to do? They didn’t run it enough.’ Philadelphia is a winning team. They just go and win games any way that they can.”

ON DOLPHINS

McCourty on WR Tyreek Hill: “Every week they know he’s the No. 1 target guy and every week he continues to dominate.”

ON CHIEFS

Simms: “I don’t care who you are. You turn the ball over this many times…there have been too many instances this year where it feels like Patrick Mahomes has to do a little too much on his own…there’s never plays within the rhythm of the offense.”

ON COWBOYS

Garrett: “Dak Prescott was unbelievable today. The vertical passing game for the Cowboys is back. Those red zone woes go away when you score from far out. They threw it down the field 11 times, and four of those were touchdowns.”

ON BENGALS

Simms: “They had the answers all day long. They diced up this 49ers defense and Joe Burrow looked great. He looked like the Joe Burrow we’ve seen the last two years, that MVP-ish Joe Burrow…he’s totally healthy…the Bengals look like they are back.”

ON 49ERS

McCourty: “They have some nice plays on offense – the razzle-dazzle, the motion – but this team is built on its defense. Their defense hasn’t shown up the last two weeks. They can’t win that way.”

Garrett: “The last few weeks have exposed the Niners a little bit. They have to play to their defense, they have to run the ball, and Brock Purdy plays best in that environment. When they put too much on him, that’s when the turnovers start to happen.”

ON BRONCOS

McCourty: “They showed this is a week-to-week league. Kansas City was 3-of-10 on third down, they came up with stops in the red zone…that was the difference.”

ON VIKINGS

Florio on plans at QB with Kirk Cousins reportedly out with a torn Achilles: “QB Jaren Hall, the rookie out of BYU, came in today but head coach Kevin O’Connell did not commit to Hall moving forward. Nick Mullens is on injured reserve and he’s got one more game before he can come back, Sean Mannion is on the practice squad, and keep an eye on Colt McCoy. He had three years with O’Connell in Washington, he was in for a workout recently, he’s a guy they could add. Then there’s the trade deadline that’s two days away. Ryan Tannehill from the Titans is a name to possibly watch, as well as Jacoby Brissett from the Commanders and Vikings fans remember one name out there very favorably – Case Keenum, third-string quarterback for the Texans, may be another Minneapolis Miracle to come from Keenum down the road.”

Simms: “They’ve got to do something, but they’ve got to figure out what it’s going to cost. They don’t want to mortgage too much of the future, but this is a huge blow. Kirk Cousins is their offense…they don’t run the ball that well. This is going to be a different team…what’s crazy is I feel like this team is better now at 4-4 this year than they were last year with that great record.”

Garrett: “There’s too much football left and they’re too close, they’re still in this thing. Go get a Colt McCoy, let’s investigate Ryan Tannehill, Case Keenum…it’s all hands on-deck.”

McCourty: “I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer, but this offense isn’t easy to pick up. We can name anybody we want, and I know they have the No. 7 seed right now, but they probably won’t in a couple of weeks.”

ON FALCONS

Simms on if the Falcons should make a change at QB: “I would. I feel like they’ve been winning in spite of Desmond Ridder. I know he’s young, I know it’s not easy, trust me. But the way (Taylor) Heinicke looked, he’s a veteran player, they can win the NFC South, they’ll be a player in the NFC. I would make the switch.”

Garrett: “I agree – there’s something about the Heinicke magic. There’s a spark, there’s a different energy that he provides. Atlanta’s defense let them down today, but I would make the change.”

McCourty: “I wouldn’t make this change (at quarterback). Once you make the change to Heinicke, if it doesn’t work out, then you go back to Ridder and his confidence is shot. You know what you have with Heinicke. Let Ridder keep spinning it.”

ON TITANS

Simms on QB Will Levis: “Your first start ever in the NFL and you throw four bombs to DeAndre Hopkins? Three touchdown passes…they didn’t ask him to throw it a lot, but when they did ask Will Levis to throw the football, it was for big plays down the field and he delivered.”

ON SAINTS

Simms on WR/KR Rashid Shaheed: “Everyone knows about Chris Olave and Derek Carr, but Rashid Shaheed just scares every defensive coordinator every week. How about three targets, three receptions, and 150 yards? Kind of a good average yards-per-catch.”

CASEY WASSERMAN WITH MIKE TIRICO

Tirico: “Flag football is one of the sports added to the (2028 Olympic) program. How big is that for the NFL and L.A.?”

Wasserman: “It’s a huge deal. Our opportunity is to make this the most important Games in this country. To have the opportunity to add our country’s biggest sport and one of the biggest sports in the world to the program was amazing…and the accessibility of American football now for kids around the world with LA28 as a launching pad.”

Tirico: “We were with Tyreek Hill last week and he said, ‘Hey, I’d love to put a team together with Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa.’ But the impact could be right there – with kids, especially here in Southern California. What’s the impact of flag football in the Olympics?”

Wasserman: “It’s the accessibility. You can play in a park with a football. It makes it like soccer. It’s not expensive to play. It’s not dangerous to play. Boys and girls can play. And we can play it in a park and anywhere there’s a field of grass, so that makes the sport open to everybody which is not always the case with tackle football.”

Tirico: “LA28 is five years away. Paris has our attention, but LA28 is every day of your life. Give us a little bit of a hint of what we can look forward to.”

Wasserman: “Well, 1,720 days from today, you and I will be in this building pretty close to now lighting the torch. It’s an incredible journey. We’re going to have the biggest sports program in the history of the Olympics, more tickets sold than in the history of the Olympics, and we’re excited to welcome the world to L.A. It’s a great stage.”

TYSON BAGENT WITH MICHAEL SMITH

Bagent on the difference in resources at Division II Shepherd University compared to a major Division I school: “You have two trainers for all sports in the whole school. We didn’t have any cold tubs or anything like that…we built a dam in the local stream that went through the city, just because it stayed cold year-round, so we just used that as ice tubs.”

Smith: “Do you carry a chip on your shoulder? Given that you didn’t get more offers from bigger schools, or that you were undrafted after throwing more touchdown passes than anybody in NCAA history?”

Bagent: “If I would’ve gotten an offer from the University of Alabama, I think I would’ve had the same chip on my shoulder that I do now. I will say the whole undrafted thing probably stung a little more than not getting an offer by West Virginia. But the same day you don’t get drafted is the same day you’re in the NFL…I’m still trying to figure that out. I figured out a long time ago that that’s not for me to figure out. I just got to continue to just show up and put my best foot forward, and try my very hardest, and I’m usually okay with however it turns out after that.”

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Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL post-game show produced by NBC Sports, streams exclusively on Peacock following every Sunday Night Football game during the 2023 season. The show is hosted from the game site by Jac Collinsworth, Harrison, and Dungy, who will provide instant reactions to each Sunday game along with highlights and interviews, while Berry will host a weekly segment called “DraftKings Crowning Moments,” where the fantasy sports analyst will discuss his successful bets from that day; he will also provide fantasy advice and an early look at the waiver wire. Football Night in America’s studio team will also provide recaps and insights into the day’s biggest moments, while Florio will provide injury and news updates.

-- Football Night in America --