Peyton Manning, who will move into sole possession of third place for career touchdown passes with his next TD pass, and can become just the third QB in NFL history to start a season with five 300-yard games, leads the undefeated Indianapolis Colts into Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans in what has become a heated AFC South rivalry on “NBC Sunday Night Football.”
Manning can take over sole possession of third place for career touchdown passes by throwing for a score. He is currently tied for third with Fran Tarkenton (342) and trails only Brett Favre (472) and Dan Marino (420) on the all-time list.
Coverage begins with “Football Night in America,” Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host “Football Night” from NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “Football Night’s” Tiki Barber will report from the Patriots-Broncos game in Denver.
MICAHELS ON MANNING AND THE COLTS: “Right now I don’t think anyone is looking better than the Colts and nobody is playing quarterback better than Peyton Manning.”
COLLINSWORTH ON MANNING AND THE COLTS: “He’s making the game look too easy. It’s a show to watch him play the quarterback position, and, defensively the Colts are not that bad either with (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis playing the way they are.”
HARRISON ON MANNING: “He’s very consistent. He trusts his wide receivers AND he has a running game.”
DUNGY ON THE COLTS OFFENSE: “The offense has been sharp right from training camp. They have a lot of weapons and Peyton is using them all.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GAME TO THE TITANS:
MICHEALS: “Coaches don’t want to say that this is a ‘must win’ because there is always a game the following week but THIS is a ‘must win’ for the Titans.”
DUNGY: “It’s a must win situation for the Titans. They have to win this game to have any chance at the playoffs.”
HARRISON ON THE MATCHUP: “The Titans have struggled in the secondary and now they have to face Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark who is one of the best tight ends in the league and all those weapons. It’s impossible to stop these guys, they’re just so talented.”
COLTS VS. TITANS: The Colts have won nine of the last 12 matchups, although the teams split the 2008 series and the Titans won last year’s game at LP Field, 31-21. The Colts are 4-0 for the fifth time since 2000. No other team has accomplished the feat more than twice during that time. After posting the league’s best record in 2008 at 13-3, the Titans are still searching for their first win of the season.
COLTS-TITANS IN PRIMETIME: This is the second primetime appearance on NBC Sports this season for both the Colts and Titans. The Colts defeated the Cardinals on the road, 31-10, in Week 3 while the Titans lost the season’s opening night game to the Steelers, 13-10 in overtime, on the special Thursday night NFL kickoff game. The Colts are scheduled to appear on SNF one more time in 2009, hosting the Patriots in Week 10.
The Colts are now 8-3 overall since the NFL’s premier primetime package moved to NBC Sports in 2006 and their 12 SNF appearances are the most for any team. The Titans are 1-1 on NBC Sports in primetime having defeated the Colts 16-10 in Week 17 in 2007 and losing to the Steelers earlier this season.
SUNDAY NIGHT IS 300-YARD NIGHT: Winning quarterbacks have passed for 300-or-more yards in each of the last three ‘Sunday Night Football’ games this season. Peyton Manning, who accomplished the feat in Week 3, has a chance to continue the SNF streak and his own 300-yard passing streak this Sunday night.
Manning has thrown for 300-or-more yards in each of his first four games this season and can become just the third player in NFL history to begin a season with five such games, joining Kurt Warner (2000) and Steve Young (1998), who each accomplished the feat in their first six games.
Additionally, in the Week 3 Colts-Cardinals game, both Manning and Kurt Warner eclipsed the 300-yard mark. Following are the QBs who passed for more than 300 yards this season on SNF:
Week 2 Eli Manning, Giants, 330 yards vs. Cowboys W 33-31
Week 3 Peyton Manning, Colts, 379 yards vs. Cardinals W 31-10
Week 3 Kurt Warner, Cardinals, 332 yards vs. Colts L 31-10
Week 4 Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 333 vs. Chargers W 38-28
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” IS 4 FOR 4: After winning 9 of 16 Sunday night’s in 2006, 11 of 16 in 2007 and 13 of 16 in 2008, “Sunday Night Football” is a perfect 4 for 4 this season. SNF has been the No. 1 program across all of primetime television for four straight Sundays.
The “Sunday Night Football” season-to-date average of 20.8 million viewers is the best start to a season in SNF history.
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK 4:
2009: 20.8 million
2008: 17.8 million
2007: 17.1 million
2006: 18.6 million
“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL EXTRA”: For the second straight season, the 17-game Sunday Night Football schedule will be available to fans on NBC Sports as well as streamed live on NBCSports.com and NFL.com.
The live coverage on NBCSports.com and NFL.com will once again come from NBC Sports’ broadcast of Sunday Night Football plus four additional camera angles and several new interactive features. Sunday Night Football Extra will employ a full HD-quality player using Microsoft Silverlight and Smooth Streaming that will help set new benchmarks for live streaming video cross-platform. The video player, the highest quality yet, will include full DVR and functionality allowing the user to pause and scroll back-and-forth even review plays in “slo-mo” — all while watching live video.
ROTOWORLD.COM’S WEEK 5 FANTASY SLEEPER PICKS: Rotoworld.com managing editor Gregg Rosenthal, who was named Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, picks his fantasy sleepers for Week 5.
1. Mark Sanchez, Jets QB vs. Dolphins: Miami is so good defending the run, the Jets rookie starter will try out his new toy Braylon Edwards plenty.
2. David Garrard, Jaguars QB vs. Seahawks: Quietly, Garrard is playing excellent football. Seattle’s secondary is not.
3. Jerome Harrison, Browns RB vs. Bills: It doesn’t matter if Jamal Lewis returns; Harrison is the best running back on the team.
4. LeSean McCoy, Eagles RB vs. Bucs: Now splitting the workload with Brian Westbrook, McCoy could get a lot of carries in this likely rout.
5. Mohammad Massaquoi, Browns WR vs. Bills: With Edwards gone, this talented rookie deep threat will get most of Derek Anderson’s attention.
2009 “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” REMAINING SCHEDULE
Football Night in America begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET
Sun. Oct. 11 Week 5 Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Sun. Oct. 18 Week 6 Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Sun. Oct. 25 Week 7 Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Sun. Nov. 1 Week 8 NO SNF GAME (Football Night airs 7-8 p.m.)
Sun. Nov. 8 Week 9 Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Sun. Nov. 15 Week 10 New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
Sun. Nov. 22 *Week 11 Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
Sun. Nov. 29 *Week 12 Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Sun. Dec. 6 *Week 13 New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Sun. Dec. 13 *Week 14 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Sun. Dec. 20 *Week 15 Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Sun. Dec. 27 *Week 16 Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Sun. Jan. 3 *Week 17 TBA