Air Date: Sunday, December 23, 2007
Time Slot: 8:15 PM-11:30 PM EST on NBC
Episode Title: (#2116) "Washington at Minnesota"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]

Vikings control playoff fate; Redskins face must-win game


Vikings control playoff fate; Redskins face must-win game

"It's like watching a high school kid who dominates everyone he plays against." � "Football Night's" Tiki Barber on Peterson

NEW YORK � Dec. 19, 2007 � The Minnesota Vikings (8-6), led by the NFC's rushing leader Adrian Peterson, host the Washington Redskins (7-7) in a key NFC match-up with major playoff implications 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.

For the Vikings it's simple. After beating the Bears 20-16 on Monday, if they win their last two games they will clinch a Wild Card spot in the NFC. For the Redskins, who beat the Giants 22-10 last week on "Sunday Night Football," this is a must win. Should the Redskins lose they will be eliminated from playoff consideration.

Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call all the action from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. 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.

BARBER ON ADRIAN PETERSON: "It's like watching a high school kid who dominates everyone he plays against."

BETTIS ON PETERSON: "He's big and fast. He runs like a little guy sometimes. He runs like a big guy sometimes. He's got it all."

MADDEN ON CLINTON PORTIS: "He's just a heck of a runner, and as great a runner as he is, he's a better blocker. I think he is the best blocking back in the NFL."

MADDEN ON TODD COLLINS' PERFORMANCE LAST WEEK VS. GIANTS: "Here's a guy who hadn't started a game in 10 years and he managed the game well. He didn't force anything and he didn't make any mistakes. He just ran a very efficient offense in some very tough weather conditions."

MICHAELS BACK IN MINNY: The last time the NFL's premier primetime network game (ABC's MNF 1970-2005, NBC's SNF 2006-present) traveled to Minneapolis was in Week 10 of the 2001 season with Al Michaels, Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller calling the Vikings 28-16 victory over the Giants on ABC's Monday Night Football.


According to Nielsen Media Research, "Sunday Night Football" is the No. 5 rated program in all of primetime television for 2007.

1) American Idol � Wednesday
2) American Idol � Tuesday
3) Dancing With The Stars � Monday
4) Dancing With The Stars � Tuesday
5) NBC Sunday Night Football


The Vikings are making their first ever appearance on NBC SNF. Overall they hold a 22-22 all-time record on the NFL's premier primetime network package (ABC's MNF 1970-2005, NBC's SNF 2006-Present).

Washington is making its second consecutive appearance on "Sunday Night Football" after appearing one time last year, a 27-10 loss to the Cowboys. Overall, the Redskins are 26-29 on the NFL's premier primetime package.


This is only the 14th regular season match-up of these two teams with the Skins holding a slim 7-6 lead in the series. The Vikings beat the Redskins last year in D.C. 19-16. These two teams have also met five times in the NFC playoffs with the Skins winning three times and the Vikings twice


The 2007 NFL schedule is utilizing 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" 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.

Sunday, Dec. 23 � Washington at Minnesota (Flex Game)
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."

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