CHARGERS AND BRONCOS BATTLE FOR FIRST ON 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'
AFC WEST RIVALS CHARGERS AND BRONCOS BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE ON "NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
LT & Rivers Travel to Mile High City Off Memorable Comeback Victory
Bettis on Chargers Comeback: "I think the momentum will carry over for the rest of the season."
NEW YORK � November 15, 2006 � The San Diego Chargers (7-2), coming off a stunning comeback victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, travel to Denver to play their AFC West rival, the Broncos (7-2) on "NBC Sunday Night Football," Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET, presented in high definition. The winner moves into sole possession of first place in the division. 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.
Sunday the Chargers, trailing 21-7 at halftime in Cincinnati, scored 42 second-half points in rallying to beat the Bengals 49-41. Leading the comeback were QB Philip Rivers, who completed 24 of 36 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half, and RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who tied a personal best with four touchdowns.
Denver boasts the NFL's stingiest defense, allowing only 111 points through its first nine games.
"I think the momentum will carry over for the rest of the season," said Bettis of San Diego's second-half explosion. "There's a confidence that develops when you accomplish something like that. The Chargers now believe that regardless of the score, they can come back, and they have great confidence in Rivers."
BETTIS COMPARING RIVERS TO ROETHLISBERGER AND ELI MANNING:
"He was the most accomplished quarterback of the three coming out of college. Time will tell who will be the best from that draft class and I'm a big believer that who has the better team over the long run will determine that. But Rivers certainly has great ability and the chance to be the best."
LT EQUALS TD:
Tomlinson has scored an NFL record 15 touchdowns in the last five games, topping the previous five game best set by Jim Brown. Through nine games, "LT" leads the league with 18 total touchdowns, 16 rushing and two receiving. His 18 touchdowns are equal to or better than the offensive output of 17 NFL teams, including the Broncos, who have 17 offensive touchdowns.
OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS: TOMLINSON VS. NFL
Total TD's Rushing Receiving
TOMLINSON 18 16 2
Atlanta 18 6 12
Green Bay 18 5 13
St. Louis 18 5 13
Baltimore 17 4 13
Denver 17 7 10
Carolina 16 6 10
Houston 16 4 12
Washington 16 8 8
Cleveland 15 6 9
San Francisco 15 6 9
Arizona 14 4 10
Miami 14 6 8
Tennessee 14 8 6
Buffalo 11 4 7
Tampa Bay 11 3 8
Minnesota 9 2 7
Oakland 7 3 4
ABOUT FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING:
The NFL this season is implementing for the first time in its history a primetime "flexible scheduling" element on Sundays in Weeks 10-15 and in Week 17 to ensure quality matchups with playoff implications in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto Sunday Night. The NFL will announce the flex game no later than 12 days prior, except for Week 17, which will be announced no later than six days before, to ensure that the final regular season Sunday Night game has playoff implications.
"NBC SNF" PACING 9% AHEAD OF "MNF" IN 2005
Through 10 games, "NBC SNF" is averaging 18 million viewers, nine percent ahead of "MNF" through this same point last season (16.5 million).
Sunday night's "NBC Sunday Night Football" Bears-Giants matchup, won by Chicago 38-20, averaged 19.4 million viewers, up five percent from the Week 10 game on ABC's "Monday Night Football" in 2005 and driving NBC to win the night in primetime versus all other networks in both viewers and the Adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research.
A total of 48 million unduplicated viewers watched all or part of the Bears-Giants Sunday night, up 20 percent from the total audience for MNF's Week 10 game last season (40 million).
"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. 19 � San Diego at Denver*
Sunday, Nov. 26 - Philadelphia at Indianapolis*
*Flexible Scheduling Weeks 10-15
Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) � Philadelphia at Dallas
Flexible Scheduling Week 17