Air Date: Saturday, January 05, 2008
Time Slot: 4:30 PM-8:00 PM EST on NBC
Episode Title: "NFL Wild Card #1: Washington at Seattle"
[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.]



Football Night's Collinsworth: "Todd Collins is becoming a major story."

Football Night's Bettis: "I promise you you're going to see a different Steelers team in the playoffs."

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. � December 30, 2007 � NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of Saturday's NFL Wild Card doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. ET with a special Wild Card edition of the "Football Night in America" studio show followed by the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks (10-6) hosting the Washington Redskins (9-7) at 4:30 p.m., ET. At 8 p.m. ET, the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6), led by Ben Roethlisberger host Fred Taylor and the Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5).

The "NBC Sunday Night Football" team of Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) will call the Jaguars-Steelers game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Bob Neumeier (sideline reporter) will call the Redskins-Seahawks contest from Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. The NFL announced the Wild Card game matchups this evening.

Bob Costas (host) and Keith Olbermann (co-host), analysts Tiki Barber and Jerome "The Bus" Bettis, and reporter Peter King of Sports Illustrated, comprise the special Wildcard Saturday "Football Night in America" studio team.

NFC - NO. 6 REDSKINS (9-7) AT NO. 3 SEATTLE (10-6):

The Washington Redskins, who won their final four games following four straight losses, defeated the Dallas Cowboys today to claim the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. With career backup QB Todd Collins at the helm, the Redskins, led by head coach Joe Gibbs, travel to Seattle to take on the NFC West division champion Seahawks. Seattle was 6-2 over their last eight games and won the NFC West for the fourth straight season. The Seahawks are led by Pro Bowl QB Matt Hasselback who threw for more than 3,800 yards and career-high 27 touchdowns this season.

TIKI BARBER ON REDSKINS: "Washington is the most dangerous team in the NFC right now. They're playing inspired football and Todd Collins has been spectacular."

CRIS COLLINSWORTH ON TODD COLLINS: "Todd Collins is becoming a major story. He completely outplayed Tony Romo throughout the course of the ballgame. He really looks like he's a keeper."

JEROME BETTIS ON TODD COLLINS: "No one expected for him to play as well as he's played during this stretch. The key is that he is not turning the football over and he's giving his team a chance to win every week."

AFC - NO. 5 JAGUARS (11-5) AT NO. 4 STEELERS (10-6):

The Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the NFL's surprise teams this season, are led by a resurgent Fred Taylor, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards this season, and QB David Gerrard who threw for 18 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. The Steelers won the AFC North division for the third time in four seasons led by QB Ben Roethlisberger and the NFL's No. 1 ranked defense. In Week 15 Jacksonville went into Pittsburgh in a driving snowstorm and, as Football Night in America's Cris Collinsworth said, "they out-Steelered the Steelers." Jacksonville dominated the game, nearly doubling Pittsburgh in time-of-possession, first downs and yards gained. Pittsburgh scored two late TDs to keep it close with Jacksonville winning 29-22.

COLLINSWORTH ON JAGUARS-STEELERS: "The best game of this wildcard weekend is going to be Jacksonville at Pittsburgh."

BARBER ON JAGUARS: "The great thing about Jacksonville is they don't make mistakes. David Garrard doesn't throw interceptions and that makes a big difference in the playoffs."

BETTIS ON STEELERS: "I promise you you're going to see a different Steelers team in the playoffs."

BETTIS ON STEELERS-JAGUARS: "It's always to the advantage of the losing team the second time you play a team because now you understand what you need to do to not allow that team to beat you. From a Jacksonville standpoint, they're going to go in and run the same game plan because it worked the first time. The Steelers now are going to say, 'we can't allow them to run the football,' they're going to change their defenses and now Jacksonville doesn't know what to expect."

CREDITS: Fred Gaudelli is the producer of "NBC Sunday Night Football" and Drew Esocoff is the director. They will handle the Jaguars-Steelers game. 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."

The Redskins-Seahawks will be produced by Tommy Roy, who produced Super Bowl XXXII, the last NFL game on NBC prior to its return to the NFL in 2006. Roy also was executive producer for Super Bowls XXXII, XXX and XXVIII. John Gonzalez will serve as director. Gonzalez, currently the director for NBC's Notre Dame football broadcasts, directed four Super Bowls for NBC, including Super Bowl XXXII alongside Roy.

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