The defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, led by QB Kurt Warner, make their first ever appearance on “NBC Sunday Night Football” as they host Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in a battle of two of the NFL’s most potent offenses. 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 University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host FNIA 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 Dolphins-Chargers game in San Diego.
COLLINSWORTH ON THE MATCHUP: “A great pitchers duel. For my money it’s worth the price of admission to see either Manning or Warner but both! This is a good early test for the Cardinals to see if they’re for real.”
DUNGY ON THE MATCHUP: “This is an explosive matchup and both quarterbacks know they’ll have to keep putting points on the board. These are two playoff ready teams.”
DUNGY ON CARDINALS AND IF THEY ARE FOR REAL: “They had a lot of doubters after week one but they showed me a lot last week. I don’t think last year was a fluke. They are a very explosive team and Kurt Warner is too much of a leader. I think they are for real and they will be in the mix at the end.”
DUNGY ON COLTS: “Jim Caldwell has put his stamp on this team, particularly on defense. This is a veteran group that is mentally tough.”
COLTS VS. CARINALS: The Colts and Cardinals have met only 13 previous times dating back to 1961 when they were the Baltimore Colts and the St. Louis Cardinals respectively. The Colts hold a 7-6 in the series and have wins in three straight matchups including a 17-13 win in their last meeting in 2005.
COLTS-CARDINALS IN PRIMETIME: This is the Cardinals first ever appearance on “NBC Sunday Night Football” and their first time on the NFL’s premier primetime package (SNF 2006-Present, MNF 1970-2005) since 1999. This is the first of two Cardinals games on SNF this season. They will travel to the Meadowlands in Week 7 to take on the Giants. The Colts are making their first of three 2009 appearances on “Sunday Night Football.” They travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in an AFC South battle in Week 5 and host Tom Brady and the Patriots in Week 10. They are now 7-3 overall since the NFL’s premier primetime package moved to NBC in 2006 and their 11 SNF appearances ties them with the Cowboys for the most for any team.
NBC SPORTS OFF TO RECORD START WITH NFL: Last Sunday night’s Giants-Cowboys game drew 24.8 million viewers, the most ever for a “Sunday Night Football” game surpassing last year’s Giants-Cowboys game (23.1 million on Dec. 14, 2008) and the best delivery for any primetime regular-season NFL game in 12 years (Broncos-49ers, 27.0 million on Dec. 15, 1997).
The “Sunday Night Football” season-to-date average of 22.3 million viewers is the best start to a season in SNF history and the best two-week NFL primetime start dating back to 1996 (23.1 million on ABC).
“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 3 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 3.
1. Trent Edwards, Bills QB vs. Saints: New Orleans’ offense will torch Buffalo, which will have Edwards playing catch-up all game against a shaky Saints secondary.
2. Byron Leftwich, Bucs QB vs. Giants: The new king of garbage time figures to be trailing early against the Giants – and throwing often.
3. Chris Wells, Cardinals RB vs. Colts: Indy’s rush defense has struggled to get off the field, and don’t have the size to deal with Arizona’s bruising rookie.
4. Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars WR vs. Texans: Formerly just “Walker” the new single hyphenate is Jacksonville’s most talented wideout and he’s back in the starting lineup. Pick him up!
5. 49ers Defense vs. Vikings: Young, improving unit + Brett Favre = Turnovers.
2009 “NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” REMAINING SCHEDULE
Football Night in America begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET
Sun. Sept. 27 Week 3 Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
Sun. Oct. 4 Week 4 San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers
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