"Someone is going to beat the Patriots."- Sunday Night Football's Madden
THE UNDEFEATED PATRIOTS BATTLE THE RESURGENT BILLS ON "NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
"The Pats are going to run the table." Football Night's Barber
Game is First Week of NFL FLEX Scheduling
NEW YORK � Nov. 14, 2007 � Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots (9-0) travel to Buffalo to take on the surging Bills (5-4) winners of three straight and five of six on "NBC Sunday Night Football." The NFL announced last week that this game would be moved to Sunday night as part of the league's flexible scheduling. Coverage begins Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET with the "Football Night in America" studio show.
The Patriots, who have played in the two highest-rated games this season, are the NFL's only remaining undefeated team at 9-0. They are coming off a bye week, following a come-from-behind 24-20 victory over the previously undefeated Indianapolis Colts in the much-hyped "Super Bowl 41.5" which registered a 20.1 rating and 36 share. Pats quarterback Tom Brady has thrown 33 touchdown passes this season, on pace for 59 which would shatter Peyton Manning's NFL record of 49 set in 2005.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y. Bob Costas (host) and Cris Collinsworth (co-host), Keith Olbermann (co-host), analysts Tiki Barber and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, and reporter Peter King of Sports Illustrated, comprise the "Football Night in America" studio team.
MADDEN ON IF THE PATS CAN GO UNDEFEATED:"I think someone is going to beat the Patriots. The decision is going to come at the end of the season when they clinched the playoffs and they clinched home field and everyone tends to rest their players. That's going to be a dilemma for them. Do you go for the all-time record or do you go for the championship? In my mind, you always go for the championship."
MADDEN ON BILLS CHANCES VS. PATS:
"They could keep it close and make it a pretty good game."
"FOOTBALL NIGHT'S TIKI BARBER ON PATS: "I think the Pats are going to run the table. They're special. Without a doubt they're the best team I've ever seen."
SHUFFLING OFF TO BUFFALO: The last time the NFL's premier primetime network game (ABC's MNF 1970-2005, NBC's SNF 2006-present) traveled to Buffalo was more than a decade ago, in Week 4 of the 1994 season when Al Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf called the Bills 27-20 victory over the Denver Broncos on ABC's Monday Night Football.
This Sunday will mark John Madden's first broadcast from Buffalo in more than 11 years. He last served as an announcer in Buffalo on September 22, 1996 as the Bills defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-7.
VIEWERS FLOCK TO PATRIOTS: New England has played in the two most-viewed games of the 2007 NFL season. The Nov. 4 Patriots-Colts game earned a 20.1 rating and a 36 share topping the Patriots-Cowboys game from Oct. 14, which drew an 18.0/34 overnight.
NEXT WEEK ON "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL": The Patriots will make two consecutive appearances on SNF as next week they host the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Pats are the 23rd team in NFL History to start a season 9-0. Should they defeat the Bills this week, they will go into next week's SNF game against the Eagles as one of only 17 teams to start 10-0. Below is a list of undefeated streaks to start a season:
9-0 23 teams
10-0 17 teams
11-0 11 teams
12-0 5 teams
13-0 4 teams
14-0 1 team
PATRIOTS-BILLS IN PRIMETIME:
This is the Bills first appearance on "Sunday Night Football," and the first time they appear on the NFL's premier primetime network package since the 2000 season and the first time at home since 1994. Overall, the Bills hold a 17-20 record on the NFL's premier primetime network package (ABC's MNF 1970-2005, NBC's SNF 2006-Present).
This is the Patriots second appearance this season on SNF. They defeated the Chargers 38-14 in Week 2 in Foxboro. The Pats, who were winless in two SNF appearances last season, hold an all-time record of 13-23 on the NFL's premier primetime network franchise.
PATRIOTS VS. BILLS:
This is the 95th regular-season meeting between these two original American Football League franchises in a rivalry that dates back to 1960. The Patriots hold a 52-40-1 edge in the series including wins in eight straight and 13 of the last 14 games. The Pats beat the Bills 38-7 in week 3.
The 2007 NFL schedule will utilize flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.
As an indication of the success of the inaugural year of flex scheduling, three of the final four games on NBC achieved ratings more than 20 percent higher than the comparable games in 2005.
"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. ET. 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 hosts NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show alongside co-host Cris Collinsworth, the most honored studio analyst in history with eight Emmy Awards; co-host Keith Olbermann, named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 by Television Week; 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. "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 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" REMAINING 2007 NFL SCHEDULE:
Sunday, Nov. 18 � New England at Buffalo (Flex Game)
Sunday, Nov. 25 � Philadelphia at New England (Flex Week, no change)
Sunday, Dec. 2 � Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change) v
Sunday, Dec. 9 � Indianapolis at Baltimore (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 16 � Washington at NY Giants (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 23 � Tampa Bay at San Francisco (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
Sunday, Dec. 30 � Kansas City at New York Jets (Flex Week, Teams Subject to Change)
CREDITS: Fred Gaudelli is the producer of "NBC Sunday Night Football" and Drew Esocoff is the director. This is Gaudelli and Esocoff's second season at the helm of "Sunday Night Football." The Emmy Award-winning duo came from ABC where they worked together for five seasons on "Monday Night Football."