PEYTON MANNING AND THE RESURGENT COLTS FACE LT AND THE CHARGERS ON 'NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'
"It's an old clich� that it's a must win game but this really is a must win game for the Chargers or their playoff chances are over." � Football Night's Bettis
"I said a couple of weeks ago that the Colts could get on a roll and go on a long winning streak." � Football Night's Collinsworth
NEW YORK � November 19, 2008 � "NBC Sunday Night Football," in its third season as the NFL's premier primetime package, heads to San Diego as LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers (4-6) look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they host Peyton Manning and the resurgent Colts (6-4) winners of three straight. 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).
COLLINSWORTH ON THE MATCHUP: "If there's one team that has Manning's number it's San Diego. They're sort of his achilles heel. Since Ron Rivera took over as defensive coordinator, San Diego is a markedly better football team. This is the one team, no matter what you say, always beats the Colts. But you wonder without Shawne Merriman and the defense not being the same if this is the year that changes."
COLLINSWORTH ON THE COLTS, WINNERS OF THREE STRAIGHT: "I said a couple of weeks ago that the Colts could get on a roll and go on a long winning streak and I still believe they have a big run in them."
BETTIS ON THE CHARGERS: "It's an old clich� that it's a must win game but this really is a must win game for the Chargers or their playoff chances are over."
BARBER ON THE CHARGERS: "I wish I could put my finger on what's wrong with them. One of the big reasons is that their defense is not the same without Shawne Merriman reeking havoc. And L.T. is not the same player he was."
COLTS-CHARGERS IN PRIMETIME: The Colts are making their third 2008 appearance on NBC "Sunday Night Football." In the first week of the season, the Colts lost to the Chicago Bears 29-13 and defeated the Patriots 18-15 in Week 9. They are now 6-3 overall since the NFL's premier primetime package moved to NBC in 2006. This marks the Colts 10th "NBC SNF" appearance, the most for any franchise. The Chargers are making their second SNF appearance in 2008. They beat the Patriots 30-10 in Week 6 and are now 5-1 overall on NBC SNF.
COLTS VS. CHARGERS: This is the 25th meeting between these two franchises with the Chargers holding a 14-8 series lead. The Chargers have won the last three contests including a 28-24 win in the AFC Divisional Playoffs last season.
RATINGS INCREASE FOR SNF: Last Sunday's Cowboys-Redskins generated the second highest SNF rating and viewership of the season with an 11.6/18 and 19.3 million viewers. SNF is seeing season to date ratings gains over last year in both household rating (10.3/16 vs. 10.0/16, up three percent) and viewers (16.7 million vs. 16.0 million, up four percent).
"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 12 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 12.
1. Sage Rosenfels, Texans: Despite tough matchups, he would rank in the top-five in yards-per-attempt if he qualified. Look for 300 yards against a weak Cleveland secondary.
Jeff Garcia, Bucs: He's averaging roughly 280 yards per-start since returning to the starting lineup. Against the hapless Lions, he'll finally throw for some touchdowns.
Warrick Dunn, Bucs: If it seems like we're picking on the Lions, well, you should too. Dunn is running very well and will get all the carries with Earnest Graham hurt.
Derrick Ward, Giants: The steady backup may get more work than usual with Brandon Jacobs less than 100%.
Brandon Jones, Titans: The Jets will force Tennessee to pass, and Jones' physical style gets in the end zone.
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars: Minnesota's zone defense struggles to cover tight ends
INDIANAPOLIS & SAN DIEGO COOK UP SUNDAY NIGHT MEALS: The "Sunday Night Football" Cookbook features recipes from NFL stars including the Colts Bob Sanders, who contributes his Lemon Pepper Tilapia recipe and Dwight Freeney, who offers his Brown Stew Chicken recipe. The Chargers Shawne Merriman contributes his Shepherd's Pie and teammate Chris Chambers offers his special Fruit Bowl recipe. The Sunday Night Football Cookbook also features recipes from prominent chefs from each NFL city including Indianapolis' Greg Hardesty of Elements and Tony Hanslits of Malibu on Maryland, as well as San Diego's Jonathan Hale of Blue Point Coastal and Jeff Thurston of The Prado at Balboa Park.
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: 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, Nov. 23 � Indianapolis at San Diego (Flex Week, No Change)
Sunday, Nov. 30 � Chicago at Minnesota (Flex Week, No 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