BRADY, MANNING LEAD PATS AND COLTS IN BATTLE FOR AFC SUPREMACY ON 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'
NBC's Madden on NFL's best QB: "You say Peyton Manning and I'll say Tom Brady. Not winning the Super Bowl is Peyton's, 'yeah but.'"
NEW YORK � November 1, 2006 � The NFL's two best quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, square off as "NBC Sunday Night Football" travels to Foxboro for a matchup between fierce AFC rivals the New England Patriots (6-1) and the Indianapolis Colts (7-0), Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET, presented in high definition. NBC's coverage kicks off at 7 p.m. ET with the "Football Night in America" studio show, a complete recap of the top stories in the NFL, with highlights, analysis and reports from around the league.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action. Bob Costas (host) and Cris Collinsworth (co-host), analysts Sterling Sharpe and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, and reporter Peter King of Sports Illustrated, comprise the "Football Night in America" studio team.
The Colts have started the season 7-0 after winning 13 straight games to start the 2005 season. Last week, Manning directed the Colts on a fourth quarter game-winning drive for the third time this season and 26th time in his career in a 34-31 victory over the Denver Broncos.
In Brady's last outing, he tossed for 372 yards, including 257 in the first half, and four touchdown passes in a 31-7 New England thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings.
MADDEN ON WHO IS THE NFL's BEST QB:
"You say Peyton Manning and I'll say Tom Brady. Not winning the Super Bowl is Peyton's "yeah but.' That being said, the things Peyton is doing this year are incredible. His supporting cast is not as strong as it's been. They put so much on his shoulder. It's kind of like the Broncos with John Elway before they got Terrell Davis. They kind of flop around until the end of the game and then they ask Peyton to go win it and he does.
"They have Peyton, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne. When you play the Colts, you better be ready to score 30 points or you're going to lose."
COLLINSWORTH ON BRADY VS. MANNING:
"This is a 51-49 vote for me. But I think that today, you have to take Tom Brady, just because of what he's done and his ability to win big games. What I always think of is that first Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXXVI), when Bill Belichick stuck the ball in his hands. Everybody -- me, John Madden, everyone-- was thinking 'they're going to take a knee because this kid Tom Brady is at quarterback.' And all he did was take them down the field for the Super Bowl win. He's built his career really off of that one game."
INDY-NEW ENGLAND RIVALRY
Last year, Indy entered its showdown with the Patriots also sporting a 7-0 record and defeated the Pats in a Monday Night shootout, 40-21. The game earned a 14.3 rating and 23 share, the second highest rating of the year for Monday Night Football on ABC.
The Patriots lead the overall series 41-25 and hold a 2-0 postseason advantage, winning a Division Series game in 2004 and the AFC Championship Game in 2003.
MICHAELS ON THE RIVALRY:
"This is one of those things through a quirk in scheduling, they seem to be meeting every year. Well here we go again. It's something that's become a very, very special out-of-division rivalry," said Michaels.
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" PACING 9% AHEAD OF 2005 MNF
Through eight games, "NBC Sunday Night Football" is averaging 17.3 million viewers, up nine percent from ABC's "MNF" average through eight games in 2005, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Last week's come-from-behind Cowboys victory over the Panthers drew 17.3 million viewers, up 22 percent from the comparable Monday Night Football game in 2005.
"FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA" STUDIO
The "Football Night in America" studio, just down the hall from the famed Studio 8H, home of "Saturday Night Live," was built in the former studio home of first the Philco Television Playhouse (1948-1955) and later for game shows Concentration (1958-1973) and Jeopardy (1964-1975), and talk shows Donahue (1984-1996) and The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996-2002), and shares the "SNL" control room for the football season. The "Football Night" set was designed and built by Jeremy Conway, the former set designer for "Sex in the City." Two 103" high definition Panasonic plasma screen televisions � roughly the size of a queen-size mattress � are two of the set innovations.
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"NBC Sunday Night Football," the premier primetime game of the week, is preceded by the "Football Night in America" studio show, which kicks off NBC's regular season coverage each Sunday at 7 p.m. The unprecedented six-year NFL deal includes innovative flexible scheduling and continues through the 2011 season with Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012. NBC has assembled the most honored broadcast team ever: Joining Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, and John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 15 Emmy Awards, are Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, who will host NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with six Emmy Awards; and analysts Sterling Sharpe, a five-time Pro Bowler and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. "NBC Sunday Night Football" coverage also includes sideline and feature reporter Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL." Peter King, who covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated and is considered one of the country's foremost NFL reporters, serves as a reporter for the "Football Night in America" studio show.
NBC'S REMAINING 2006 NFL SCHEDULE
(Sunday coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with "Football Night in America" studio show)
Sunday, Nov. 5 � Indianapolis at New England
Sunday, Nov. 12 � Chicago at New York Giants*
*Flexible Scheduling Weeks 10-15
Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) � Philadelphia at Dallas
Flexible Scheduling Week 17