FIRST PLACE STEELERS BATTLE DIVISION RIVAL BENGALS ON 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'
"This isn't a talk league, it's a do league."- Sunday Night Football's Madden
"They have to start playing well now." - Madden on Steelers
NEW YORK � November 29, 2007 � Ben Roethlisberger and the AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) fresh off their 3-0 victory over the Dolphins at soggy Heinz Field, host Chad Johnson and the Cincinnati Bengals (4-7), who have won two of their last three games, on "NBC Sunday Night Football." Coverage begins Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET with the "Football Night in America" studio show.
The Steelers kicker Jeff Reed hit a 27-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to defeat the Dolphins on Monday on a sloppy, muddy field in Pittsburgh. With the win the Steelers maintained a one-game lead in the AFC North over the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals are coming off a convincing 35-7 win over the Tennessee Titans in which WR Chad Johnson caught 12 passes including three for touchdowns. The Bengals are hoping a win jump starts their bid for a wild card spot in the muddled AFC.
Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. 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.
FOOTBALL NIGHT'S PETER KING ON BENGALS WR CHAD JOHNSON: "He thinks the Bengals have an 'excellent chance' of running the table and a good chance to make the playoffs at 9-7. He then said he thinks the Bengals can beat the Steelers on NBC and if they do they will 'run the table.'"
MADDEN'S RESPONSE: "This isn't a talk league this is a do league, and it's not only a do league, but it's when you do it. With all due respect to Chad Johnson, it doesn't make a difference what they say, they have to go do it, they have to go do it in this 4th quarter of the season."
MADDEN ON ROETHLISBERGER AND PALMER: "They are in the top 10. You go Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and Brett Favre; they are the ones having special years this year, and then I think Ben Rothlisberger is right there. Carson Palmer, a couple years ago I thought he was going to be a top quarterback, before he got hurt. These guys are top guys.
MADDEN ON COACH TOMLIN: "I think Mike Tomlin is doing a good job and has adjusted well to the players and the players to him. Every time I talk to him, watch practice, or have done a game, I've been impressed with him."
MADDEN ON IF THE STEELERS ARE A THREAT IN THE AFC: "They are at a crossroads now, are they going to be a legitimate playoff team? Their goal is to be a playoff team and win playoff games, and maybe even a Super Bowl. They have to start playing well now. They have a chance to play at that level, and it's going to be determined by how they play the rest of the season, starting this week."
BENGALS-STEELERS IN PRIMETIME:
This is the second "Sunday Night Football" game for the Steelers this season. They lost to the Broncos 31-28 Week 7 in Denver. Last year Pittsburgh appeared twice on NBC, defeating the Dolphins 28-17 in the opening game of the season and losing to the Chargers 23-13 in Week 5. The Bengals have not appeared on the NFL's premier primetime package (MNF 1970-2005, SNF 2006-present) since 2004.
The Steelers are 34-23 all-time on the NFL's premier primetime network franchise, while the Bengals are 8-16.
BENGALS VS. STEELERS:
This is the 75th regular-season meeting between these two teams in a rivalry that dates back to 1970. The Steelers hold a 44-30 edge in the series including a 24-13 win Week 8 in Cincinnati. The Bengals have been successful at Heinz Field having won two straight and three of the last four played there.
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, Dec. 2 � Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (Flex Week, No Change)
Sunday, Dec. 9 � Indianapolis at Baltimore (Flex Week, No 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."