AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME REMATCH: PATRIOTS VS. CHARGERS ON "NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"They dominated in every category and took the pressure off of Matt Cassel." � NBC's Collinsworth
"With all that talent they should not be sitting at 2-3." � NBC's Michaels
NEW YORK � Oct. 8, 2008 � "NBC Sunday Night Football" in its third season as the NFL's premier primetime package, heads to San Diego as the Chargers (2-3) host the New England Patriots (3-1) in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game in which the Pats continued their undefeated march to the Super Bowl with a 21-12 win over the Chargers. Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action. Coverage on NBC begins at 7 p.m. ET with "Football Night in America," with Bob Costas (host), Cris Collinsworth (co-host) Keith Olbermann (co-host), Dan Patrick (co-host), Jerome Bettis (analyst), Tiki Barber (analyst) and Peter King (reporter).
PARTIOTS-CHARGERS IN PRIMETIME: Both the Chargers and Patriots are making their 2008 debuts on NBC "Sunday Night Football." Since the NFL's premier primetime package moved to NBC in 2006 the Patriots are 3-2 overall and 3-0 last year including a 38-14 win over the Chargers in Foxboro in Week 2. The Chargers are 4-1 since 2006 on SNF, their only loss to the Pats. Each team has two more SNF games scheduled this season � the Pats with two more SNF road games at Indianapolis in Week 9 and Seattle in Week 14 (Flex Week). The Chargers host the Colts in Week 12 (Flex Week) and travel to Tampa Bay in Week 16 (Flex Week).
PATRIOTS VS. CHARGERS: The Patriots hold a 20-14-2 overall edge over the Chargers in the series, including wins in 13 of the last 15 contests, in what has become one of the NFL's bitter rivalries. The Patriots have ousted the Chargers from the playoffs each of the last two seasons including last year's AFC Championship Game as they remained undefeated and advanced to Super Bowl XLII with a 21-12 victory.
COLLINSWORTH ON PATRIOTS GOING DEEP TO MOSS: "They needed to show that they can go deep because defenses react back. Randy Moss is one of the biggest difference-makers in this league but if you're not hitting him deep you don't have a chance to stretch the defense."
COLLINSWORTH ON PATRIOTS DEFENSE VS. 49ERS: "The story of the game against the 49ers was the defense of the Patriots. They dominated in every category and that took the pressure off of Matt Cassel."
MICHAELS ON LaDANIAN TOMLINSON'S SLOW START: " It is one of the mysteries about this game. Not long ago he was inarguably the best running back in this league. Now he just appears to be human."
MICHAELS ON CHARGERS: "This is an extremely important early-season game for the Chargers. They've dug a hole similar to the one they dug last year and they should be playing better. With all that talent they should not be sitting at 2-3."
TASTE OF THE NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL COOKBOOK BRUNCH IN SAN DIEGO: This Sunday, executive chef Jonathan Hale of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, will host The Taste of the NFL Sunday Night Football Cookbook Brunch to raise money for the San Diego Food Bank. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased by calling 619.233.6623.
Taste of the NFL is the premier food and wine event at Super Bowl, a "party with a purpose" that raises awareness and funds for hunger-relief organizations including Feeding America and its affiliates nationwide. Since 1992, Taste of the NFL has donated more than $10 million to local and national hunger-relief organizations.
NEW ENGLAND & SAN DIEGO COOK UP SUNDAY NIGHT MEALS: The "Sunday Night Football" Cookbook features recipes from NFL stars including Chargers LB Shawne Merriman who contributes his recipe for Shepherd's Pie and WR Chris Chambers who offers his Fruit Bowl recipe. Former Patriot and Hall of Famer Andre Tippett contributes his lobster pizza recipe. The Sunday Night Football Cookbook also features recipes from prominent chefs from each NFL city including executive chef Jonathan Hale of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine and Jeff Thurston of The Prado at Balboa Park restaurants in San Diego. Executive chef Chris Schlesigner of New England's East Coast Grill & Raw Bar also contribtues to the Cookbook.
Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse represent their favorite NFL teams and NBC's "Sunday Night Football" crew have added their favorite Sunday Night recipes to the Cookbook. Faith Hill and John Madden not only provide some of their favorite recipes, but also write special introductions. The book contains full meals and a section on Super Bowl parties, just in time for the next Super Bowl on NBC. Proceeds from the cookbook, which is available wherever books are sold or at SundayNightFootballCookbook.com, go to support local food banks across the U.S. through Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest).
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXTRA": Each Sunday Night Football game is available on NBC as well as streamed live on NFL.com and NBCSports.com, marking the first time complete NFL games will be widely available in the U.S. via live online streaming.
The live NFL.com and NBCSports.com coverage comes from NBC's TV coverage of Sunday Night Football. Complementing that stream are a number of extra features to enrich the viewing experience including additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology, live statistics and other interactive elements. "Sunday Night Football Extra" also includes in-game studio updates from NBC's Football Night in America team and NFL Network.
ROTOWORLD.COM'S WEEK 6 SLEEPER PICKS: Rotoworld.com managing editor Gregg Rosenthal, who was named 2007 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, picks his fantasy sleepers for Week 6.
1. Chad Pennington, Dolphins QB vs. Texans: "With a strong running game at his back, Pennington can pick on single coverage over the middle from a weak Houston secondary."
2. Kyle Orton, Bears QB vs. Falcons: "Atlanta's defense has overachieved, but the formerly neckbearded one is playing the best football of his life."
3. Steve Slaton, Texans RB vs. Dolphins: "This will be Slaton's last time on a "sleeper" list. The versatile talent is now an every-week fantasy starter."
4. Justin Fargas, Raiders RB vs. Saints: "Off fantasy waiver wires and into the starting lineup. The Raiders do one thing well - run block - and new head coach Tom Cable is the man responsible. Play Fargas over hobbled Darren McFadden."
5. Vincent Jackson, Chargers WR vs. Patriots: "With Chris Chambers hurt, Jackson will see more targets. His size will be a big problem for New England's smurf-like cornerbacks."
6. Brandon Stokley, Broncos WR vs. Jaguars: "Few pass defenses are worse than Jacksonville, and Stokley will pick up targets over the middle with Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler hurt."
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Al Michaels, the commentator called "TV's best play-by-play announcer" by the Associated Press, is joined in the "Sunday Night Football" booth by John Madden, the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time with 16 Emmy Awards, and on the sidelines by Andrea Kremer, whom the Los Angeles Times has called "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL."
"FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA": The Washington Post calls NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show the "Gold Standard" of NFL studio shows and "must-see television for NFL fans." Bob Costas, the most honored studio host of all time with 19 Emmy Awards, hosts "Football Night in America" alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history; co-host Keith Olbermann, named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 by Television Week; newcomer and co-host Dan Patrick, reuniting him with Olbermann who together redefined sports highlights during their time together on ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992-97; and analysts Tiki Barber, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler for the New York Giants, and Jerome Bettis, one of the most popular players in recent NFL history. 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 2008 NFL SCHEDULE:
("NBC Sunday Night Football" kickoff, 8:15 p.m. ET preceded by "Football Night in America," 7 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Oct. 12 � New England at San Diego
Sunday, Oct. 19 � Seattle at Tampa Bay
Sunday, Oct. 26 � No game scheduled due to World Series Game 4 (FNIA airs 7-8 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 2 � New England at Indianapolis
Sunday, Nov. 9 � New York Giants at Philadelphia
Sunday, Nov. 16 � Dallas at Washington (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 23 � Indianapolis at San Diego (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Nov. 30 � Chicago at Minnesota (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 7 � New England at Seattle (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 14 � New York Giants at Dallas (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 21 � San Diego at Tampa Bay (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 28 � Flex Week � teams TBA