THE NFL ON CBS: WEEK 6 (SUNDAY, OCT. 16)
AUDIBLES WITH “NFL ON CBS” LEAD ANALYST PHIL SIMMS, DAN DIERDORF AND STEVE TASKER
The CBS Television Network continues its 52nd year broadcasting the NFL with coverage of THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday, Oct. 16 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s one-hour studio show (12:00 NOON-1:00 PM, ET), live from THE NFL TODAY studio in New York City.
THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action from the Buffalo Bills-New York Giants game live from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.
Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports, and serves as Executive Producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
* * * * *
(On Buffalo-New York Giants): The Giants are 3-2 and, yes, everybody has great aspirations, but they’ve played like a 3-2 team. There are many things that can be fixed. They have not been unlucky. The ball has not bounced against them. The reality is they can improve because they have a group of special players. A lot of teams can’t say that. Buffalo is 4-1 and I admire what they’ve done. I am a believer. They have a lot of solid players. But I have to see more from their elite players. Do they have a group of elite players to make them truly a factor in a long NFL season? The thing that has caught me by surprise about Buffalo is their toughness. The Bills are tough. They’re hungry. They’re eager. Their hustle is phenomenal. It’s not perfect, they give up a lot of plays, but they never quit hustling. It’s fun to watch. It’s a credit to Chan Gailey that they play hard for him.
(On Bills leading NFL with 16 takeaways including 12 interceptions): Turnovers come from the speed. Never giving up on a play also causes turnovers. The Giants talked all off-season about not turning the ball over and they’ve done a decent job of that with the exception of the last game. Sometimes you are unlucky when it comes to turnovers. Or, you just have to be more careful and make sure you’re not unlucky. The Giants have to protect the football against a Buffalo team that thrives on momentum. When the Bills get it going, they can roll. And the biggest thing is, they have a coach in Chan Gailey that can roll with it. He’ll call plays and do things on both sides of the ball to keep it going in their favor.
(Keys to Bills-Giants): Two more things about the game; pass protection from the Bills will be a huge part of the game. And, the Giants want to run the football again. Everybody wants to run the football in the NFL. Let’s see if the Giants are determined enough, patient enough and tough enough to do it. That’s what it takes.
(On Houston): The Texans are trying to get over the hump. They are a team that is trying to say, ‘We deserve to be on the big stage and are contenders.’ They haven’t been to the playoffs in their 10 years and are trying to get to the top of the mountain for the first time. Here they are with all these expectations going into the sixth week of the season without their best defensive player, Mario Williams, lost for the season, and their best offensive player, Andre Johnson, on the sideline with a hamstring injury not sure when he is coming back. And of all the places they have to go play, Baltimore is one of the most physical teams in football. When a team has never really punched through to the other side, until they do it, there’s always going to be a question mark. That’s going to follow Gary Kubiak’s team around until they do it. That’s the harsh reality.
(On Baltimore): Baltimore is big, strong, physical and coming off their bye week. So they are rested and at home. They humbled the Steelers and the Jets – two teams that pride themselves on also being physical. And for all the talk about Joe Flacco and his completion percentage being under 50%, they are still scoring 30 points-a-game. Now some of those are defensive touchdowns, but this is a team that is putting points on the board and getting it done.
(On Houston-Baltimore): Given the holes in the Texans’ passing game without Andre Johnson, a lot of the burden falls on their ability to run the football, and nobody runs very effectively against the Ravens. The real pressure in this game will be on the Houston defense. The key for them is to somehow keep this a low-scoring game. Houston is still looking for that really quality road win and this is another opportunity for them to get it. But Baltimore is a heckuva place to have to do it. This game is quite an uphill struggle and a sizable undertaking for the team from Houston.
(On importance of game for Buffalo against N.Y. Giants): It is a big game. They’re trying to keep pace with New England, and that’s a tall order. New England is very, very good. If Buffalo is going to win the division, they have to keep pace with New England. They can’t afford to fall behind. New England’s team is good enough to go 13-3 this year. And if Buffalo wants to hang in there for the division, or for the wild card, they have to hang tough with them. Every game is important for Buffalo. And it will say a lot about them around the country if they beat teams like the Giants on the road.
(On whether a Buffalo win over N.Y. Giants will be a “statement” win): The Giants are a team with a winning record, and that as much as anything goes a long way. Plus, the Giants are a team in one of the most notable divisions in the league right now with Washington playing well and Dallas. So yes, it will be kind of a “statement game” for the Bills to go into New York and beat that team.
* * * * *
Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for Week 6, Week 7 and Week 8 (subject to change).
WEEK 6 – Oct. 16
1:00 PM, ET starts:
·Buffalo @ N.Y. Giants Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
·Indianapolis @ Cincinnati Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots
·Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts
4:00 PM, ET starts:
·Cleveland @ Oakland Marv Albert/Rich Gannon
·Houston @ Baltimore Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
WEEK 7 – Oct. 23
1:00 PM, ET starts:
·Denver @ Miami Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots
·San Diego @ N.Y. Jets Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
·Houston @ Tennessee Marv Albert/Rich Gannon
4:00 PM, ET starts:
·Pittsburgh @ Arizona Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
·Kansas City @ Oakland Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts
WEEK 8 – October 30 – CBS DOUBLEHEADER
1:00 PM, ET starts:
·Miami @ N.Y. Giants Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf
·Jacksonville @ Houston Marv Albert/Rich Gannon
·Indianapolis @ Tennessee Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots
4:15 PM, ET starts:
·New England @ Pittsburgh Jim Nantz/Phil Simms
·Cleveland @ San Francisco Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts
·Cincinnati @ Seattle Bill Macatee/Steve Tasker