— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 21, 2020
LOS ANGELES – Week 2 of the 27th season of FOX NFL coverage kicked off today with a singleheader slate at 1:00 PM ET, featuring the Falcons at Cowboys, 49ers at Jets, Rams at Eagles, Panthers at Buccaneers, Lions at Packers and Vikings at Colts, and the lone 4:05 PM ET Washington at Arizona game. Today, FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY analysts and NFL insiders weighed in on the day’s biggest games, moments and storylines.
In addition, below is a transcription of FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer’s interview with Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera from FOX NFL SUNDAY:
What a win the other day, but this team in the past – when they got down the way you did in the first half (last week) — this team wouldn’t have come back:
Coach Ron Rivera:
“On the sideline when it was 17-0, I kind of went up and down the sideline and noticed guys weren’t bickering, guys weren’t pointing the finger at anybody. The one thing that I did say was ‘Hey guys, sustain the success. You make a good block, make another good block. Make sure everybody understands, we don’t have a 17-point play. We gotta take it one at a time.’”
Take me inside that halftime locker room, exactly what happened. When you went in there, you got an IV? All the way through.
“Yes, I did. I came in and talked to Malcolm Blacken, our director of player development, and said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to come out of the training room in time to do a halftime speech so make sure we have someone who’s ready to roll. So, all of a sudden, everybody gets up and I hear this high-pitched voice; “Let’s go out and do our thing, let’s go out and hammer away, let’s go out and get it.” I didn’t hear the whole thing, but it was pretty inspirational. So, I come walking out and as I’m walking to the bench, somebody leans over and says, ‘You know that was Dwayne (Haskins) at halftime.’ That was a heck of a speech.”
Did it surprise you that it was [Haskins]?
“A little bit; but it doesn’t surprise me now just because I started thinking of all the things he and I have talked about since January, about him stepping up, him putting himself out there. One of the things I told him was, ‘These guys are going to follow you for who you are, for the position you play. But also make them follow you because of the way you are, because of the things you do and the things you do the right way.’”
It’s amazing — you’re looking at both Arizona and the Washington Football Team and wow, these are 1-0 teams. I know it’s just 1-0, but for fans of both teams, that’s a big deal.
“It is a big deal because you know why — they’re both young football teams, too.”
It hasn’t been a normal year, but your team is watching you fight a different fight right now. You’re going through treatment every day for cancer. For a team a lot of people like to root against in the Washington Football Team, to see how happy everybody was that you won in that first week, that is really a sign of you, of the man who’s leading this team.
“I appreciate it, Jay. There are a lot of people that are working with me to try and create a positive situation here, and that’s what we want to do. We want to build a sustainable winning culture here, and hopefully we can do that.”
Glazer on Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians’ comments on quarterback Tom Brady this week:
“I talked about it this morning with coach (Arians), and he said, ‘Why is this a surprise to anybody? Everybody knows I have no filter, and that includes (Tom) Brady. Tom and I laughed about it. The one thing it actually helped us with is that Tom Brady went up there and game planned with Bruce Arians, with (offensive coordinator) Byron Leftwich this week and allowed him (Brady) to take out things they didn’t like from last week. This was the first time they had live action, but everything with me and Tom is all rosy.’”
Dave Wannstedt on Patriots quarterback Cam Newton’s Week 1 performance:
“I don’t believe they’ll (Patriots) win their division. I do think they’ll make it to the playoffs. Cam ran 15 times last week. You can’t do that every week and win in this league. I believe he’s going to have to throw it, and I don’t believe he has a good enough supporting cast.”
Michael Vick on whether he thinks Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will start 16 games this season:
“No, I don’t. I do root for Mitchell and I like him, but I do think Nick Foles will show up at some point.”
Tony Gonzalez on whether Ravens QB Lamar Jackson will win MVP honors again this season:
“It’s a tough question. I think he’s got a shot, yes. If there’s a knock on Lamar, it’s they said he couldn’t throw the ball deep and with consistency. Last week against the Browns, he proved he could throw the ball deep. Yes, he’s on his way to another MVP, I would think. There are other guys that will have a claim to that (MVP award), but yes, I like him.”
Peter Schrager on who the most complete team is in the NFC:
“I’m going to go with the Saints as the most complete team in the NFC. I think New Orleans, who absolutely dismantled the Buccaneers last week, is the most complete team, even without wide receiver Michael Thomas this week. The Saints are the best team in the NFC coming off of Week 1.”
Jimmy Johnson on the strengths and weaknesses of the Los Angeles Rams:
“Without question, the strength has to be defensive tackle Aaron Donald. He’s the best defensive player in the entire league. Even when he’s double teamed, he can wreck an offense. On top of that, he opens up opportunities for the other defensive players. As far a weakness, I guess I would say the offensive line because they are inconsistent. I also think the weakness is they don’t have a bell cow on offense, a superstar. (Head coach) Sean McVay makes it work with that offense”.
Howie Long on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson never winning an NFL MVP award:
“The only thing that’s more egregious than (NBA’s) Lebron (James) only getting 16 votes for the MVP this season is Russell (Wilson) having never ever received a vote for the MVP.”
Terry Bradshaw on the strengths and weaknesses of the Arizona Cardinals:
“This is a football team that, when they drafted Kyler Murray No. 1 pick in the draft from Oklahoma, I thought it was a mistake. (Head coach Kliff) Kingsbury, just an average coach in college, looks like he’s better suited for the NFL than college, and Steve Keim, the general manager, has done a great job. The negative is they (Cardinals) have to have someone else to rush the passer to go along with linebacker Chandler Jones on defense.”
Michael Strahan on the strengths and weaknesses of the San Francisco 49ers:
“Their strengths are up front. Their defensive line with Rookie Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa. You have five first-round picks on that defensive line which is by far the strength of that team. The weakness would be the wide receiver position. Emmanuel Sanders is now in New Orleans playing for the Saints, Deebo Samuel is out with a foot injury and they (Cardinals) just lost George Kittle, at least for this week with a knee injury. They bring in Mohamed Sanu, and Brandon Aiyuk, the first-round pick (25th) overall for the 49ers, is going to play his first game today. In Sanu, you worry about the chemistry he’s going to have with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo because they don’t have a lot of experience playing together.”
BIG NOON KICKOFF unveiled the entire Big Ten schedule during Saturday’s show. Highlights and reaction can be found below.
Highlights on FOX include the Week 1 showdown between Nebraska and Ohio State, Michigan at Ohio State to close out the regular season, and the Big Ten Championship.
Urban Meyer reacts to the Big Ten schedule:
“Some teams were dealt serious body blows. When you look at the East and West contenders, it’s very clear who has the easier schedule, the easier run. Ohio State has two speedbumps, that’s it. They could be two-to-three touchdown favorites in every game except for Penn State and the Wolverines.”
Reggie Bush reacts to the conference’s nine-week schedule:
“Here’s the thing about this conference – they have to play nine games in nine weeks. And they play defense in the Big Ten, so you’re going to get a lot of those guys in the training room.”
Meyer makes his Big Ten predictions based on the schedule:
“The two favorites – Ohio State, easiest schedule in the East; Wisconsin, easiest schedule in the West. Those two will be playing for the championship.”
“That’s an easy schedule. I don’t want to put too much pressure on the Buckeyes, but that’s an easy schedule. They have two speedbumps.”
The BIG NOON KICKOFF crew discusses who can challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2020
Meyer on Ohio State’s offense:
“The word in Columbus is, offensively, they could be one of the greatest of all time.”
Leinart on Penn State as a challenger:
“I love [Penn State quarterback] Sean Clifford. I’m excited to see his development this year. He can beat you running the football, and that’s what you need against a really good and fast Ohio State defense.”
Meyer on Michigan quarterback Joe Milton:
“That is a Cam Newton lookalike. He’s got a hose and he can run.”
Bruce Feldman reports on how the College Football Playoff selection committee will consider the Big Ten:
“I talked to a CFP selection member, and his rationale on this was, ‘Our job is to rank the best teams, period.’ To me, that sounds a lot like that old term the eye test, which, I think that’s encouraging if you’re a Big Ten school.”
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2020
Leinart expects the best four teams to make the Playoff:
“The four best teams are going to make it. If Ohio State plays seven games and the SEC plays 10 games, but Ohio State looks like the best team, then they deserve a shot.”
Bush expects Ohio State to go undefeated and with the title:
“This is the year where Ohio State can run the table. We’ve seen their conference schedule, and we know what they have in front of them. I think they can run the table, and I think they’ll be able to get into the Playoff and get a win – I have them winning it all.”
Urban’s Playbook examines how opt-outs have impacted college football, examining Nick Bosa’s decision in 2018.
How have opt outs impacted college football historically?@CoachUrbanMeyer, @ReggieBush and @Brady_Quinn analyze Nick Bosa's decision in 2018 and more in this week's edition of Urban's Playbook 📝 #BigNoonKickoff pic.twitter.com/4xqbHG2knq
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2020
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day reacts to the Big Ten’s decision to start play in the fall and previews the Buckeyes this season.
"I'm so happy for these kids"@ryandaytime joins #BigNoonKickoff to discuss the fight to bring back Big Ten football and how @justnfields never wavered in his commitment to @OhioStateFB 💪 pic.twitter.com/hjKTFopFOv
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2020
Penn State head coach James Franklin checks in with what to expect from the Nittany Lions this season:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 19, 2020
The Big Ten’s 2020 week-by-week matchups will be unveiled live Saturday on BIG NOON KICKOFF.
⚠️ Big Ten Schedule Announcement ⚠️#BigNoonKickoff will unveil the entire Big Ten schedule live on Saturday.
📺 10:00 AM ET on FOX pic.twitter.com/EfUBGWmM0H
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 19, 2020
Saturday’s show also features interviews with Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Ohio State Coach Ryan Day and Penn State Coach James Franklin.
BIG NOON KICKOFF airs each Saturday during the college football season from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM ET on FOX.
For this week’s NFL broadcasters and regionalization, click here.
GLENDORA, Calif. – The National Hot Rod Association and FOX Sports have announced a multi-year extension of their agreement to telecast all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series competitions across FOX, FS1 and FS2 well into this decade. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“FOX is thrilled to extend our relationship with the NHRA as we enhance our coverage for drag racing fans,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports. “The NHRA on FOX has achieved record audiences for the sport, and we look forward to working with the NHRA to continue to expand the audience and grow the sport beyond the middle of this decade.”
The NHRA and FOX relationship began in 2016. The updated deal will see NHRA and FOX Sports continue collaboration in the production and telecasting of NHRA competition in the United States and Canada, including expanded coverage on the FOX broadcast network and FS1, an NFL adjacent event, and five hours of Finals coverage at the NHRA U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend each year.
“The FOX broadcast team understands motorsports and consistently delivers an incredible production to racing fans across the globe,” said Glen Cromwell, President of the NHRA. “With expanded coverage on the Fox broadcast network and FS1, and an NFL adjacent event, we think we’ll not only bring our fans the drag racing coverage they expect but also ignite entirely new NHRA fans over the next years.”
The multi-year extension continues FOX carriage of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Lucas Oil Sportsman, and E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series on FS1 and FS2 and multiple encore telecasts of all events designed to enable motorsports fans to watch the NHRA at their convenience. The NHRA and FOX will each market advertisements in NHRA programming to NHRA national sponsors, race sponsors, and other advertisers.
Host Shannon Sharpe welcomes VIP guests Sterling Sharpe, Floyd Mayweather, Ice Cube and more to Club Shay Shay, the hottest new podcast in sports and entertainment, dropping Tuesday, Sept. 22 on FOX Sports digital and social platforms.
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK Ranks as the Most-Watched Telecast Since Super Bowl LIV on FOX with More than 25 Million Viewers
Network Delivers Increases in Key Ratings Demographics Led by A18-34
FOX’s Most-Streamed NFL Regular-Season Sunday Ever
LOS ANGELES – FOX Sports ushered in its 27th season of NFL coverage Sunday with an average of more than 25 million viewers for AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK (AGOTW), combining with FOX’s best Week 1 regional performance in four years to score the network’s most-watched opening week since 2016.
According to Nielsen Media Research, AGOTW, the No. 1 show on TV for 11 consecutive years, scored the most-watched telecast since Super Bowl LIV on FOX in February. The game, pitting Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Brady’s debut as a Buc, drew an average audience of 25,848,000, up +7% over last year’s Week 1 performance of 24,216,000 viewers.
FOX’s regional games posted their best Week 1 performance since 2016, scoring an average viewership of 13,530,000, up +6% over last year’s 12,723,000 viewers between the Giants and the Cowboys.
“What a way to start the FOX NFL season. Our NFC package is about storied brands and Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and those factors came together to produce a four-year Week 1 high and television’s biggest audience since the Super Bowl,” said FOX Sports’ Mike Mulvihill, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Analytics. “Sports is leading America’s comeback from a challenging summer, and FOX Sports’ powerful fall lineup is just getting started.”
On the streaming side, Week 1 accounted for FOX’s most-streamed NFL regular-season Sunday ever — an +84% increase over last year’s opening Sunday with an average minute audience (AMA) of 592,144 across regional and national windows. AGOTW drew an AMA of 647,000 and 3.5 million unique streamers, leading to the network’s most-streamed NFL regular-season window ever. FOX also set a record for its regional windows, with an AMA of 537,000 and 3.8 million unique streamers.
Key highlights are below:
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK
- AGOTW drew an average audience of 25,848,000 million, up +7% over last year’s Week 1 performance of 24,216,000 viewers
- Most-watched telecast of any kind since Super Bowl LIV on FOX
- FOX’s most-watched Week 1 national game since 2016
- Key demographic ratings increases over 2019 include:
- A18-34 +8% 6.09 vs. 5.66 rating
- A18-49 +3% 7.88 vs. 7.62 rating
- A25-54 +4% 9.41 vs. 9.08 rating
FOX REGIONAL GAMES
- Average viewership of 13,530,000, up +6% over last year’s 12,723,000 viewers
- FOX’s best Week 1 regional performance since 2016
*All linear viewing is according to Nielsen Media Research.
*Digital streaming is according to Adobe Analytics.
The star-studded showdown between Brady’s Buccaneers and Brees’ Saints led America’s Game of the Week to a strong start.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 14, 2020
LOS ANGELES – The 27th season of FOX NFL coverage kicks off today with a doubleheader highlighted by Tom Brady’s debut as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer against Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints in AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK. Below, FOX NFL studio analysts Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan, Michael Vick, Tony Gonzalez and Dave Wannstedt weigh in on the start of the season, important moments and the day’s biggest games:
"Whenever you have this conversation and people who are not black and brown join, it goes from a conversation to actually action. And we are seeing action now because of that." – @michaelstrahan pic.twitter.com/pIt9RCeO2f
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 13, 2020
Strahan on the Black Lives Matter Movement:
“Right now the difference between then and now is the fact that people who aren’t Black and brown are actually joining the fight as well. So, whenever you have this conversation, and people who are not Black and brown join, it goes from a conversation to actual action. We are seeing the action now because of that. Sometimes when you look at athletes, and people say ‘just play your sport, be quiet and don’t have an opinion because you make plenty of money;’ you (athletes) are not immune to it. You are still affected by it in some shape or form because of the color of your skin. Sports teaches us camaraderie, it teaches us teamwork, it teaches us about relationships and getting along with everybody, so those guys who are preaching this from the field or the courts are taking from what they are taught in and their life and their lessons from their job, and they are taking it to real life outside of their work so everybody can receive the message. I just hope that people receive this message in their everyday life — that we all are human beings, we love each other, and we get along as if we are brothers, and that doesn’t have anything to do with the color of our skin.”
Long on when Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem:
“History is difficult to comprehend as it’s happening. Four years ago, most folks across the country missed the message and maybe the meaning when Colin Kaepernick took a knee. I’m a guy who played 13 years in the NFL in locker rooms that were predominantly Black, which gave me what I thought was a unique perspective that most White people don’t get. I’m embarrassed to say the very first time Colin (Kaepernick) took a knee, I wondered, ‘why during the National Anthem?’ because for someone who looks like me, this is the greatest country on earth. But for the last 400 years, that hasn’t been the reality for Black Americans. Calls to secure that reality should never be controversial. It’s a time for change as Michael (Strahan) talked about. If you can’t see that, you’re either uninformed or you’re a lost soul. That’s the bottom line.”
Bradshaw on skin color and loving each other:
“The minute we all realize we must get along, it’s easy if you search yourself and love people. Color should not be an issue. As long we learn to love and understand there are problems right now; let’s reach out to get along. If we do that, then there will be change. If we keep having the fighting and the pulling apart, we won’t.”
Menefee on current NFL players and Black Lives Matter:
“These players are a reflection of the lives that they live. Seventy-seven percent of the NFL is minority, so you’re going to have those voices be a little bit louder right now. Young people are taking to the streets and these are 24- and 25-year-old men who have the same feelings, and they want to get it out. I think the one thing that was misconstrued was why players were protesting during the National Anthem. First of all, players aren’t protesting the National Anthem; they’re demonstrating during the National Anthem. What they’re protesting is what’s off the field; police brutality, social injustice, and they’re demonstrating during the National Anthem, and words matter. We use the words’ protesting the National Anthem’ too much and allowed it to get hijacked and taken way off the rails, and that had nothing to do with the issue that’s out there. I hope as we go forward, in addition to loving each other, we also use the right words when we refer to what the other person is doing. Whether we agree or not, you have the right to disagree. But I want to use the right words, rather than try to frame it to make you look like a bad person.”
Gonzalez on whether the NFL can be part of change:
“Absolutely. One of my favorite things about being in an NFL locker room was you had people from Alabama, New York, California coming together and all different races, religious backgrounds coming together to work for a common goal of winning a game. In order to be heard, you must listen, and that goes on in a locker room. No better example of that was when Drew Brees made some remarks about kneeling for the flag and that he was not really for that. Well, he got a lot of backlash and people were tweeting at him, but somebody from his own team, Cameron Jordan, called him up on the phone and said ‘let’s talk about this. I need you to listen to me and I’m going to listen to you and maybe we can get on the same page.’ That’s a great example of how a good society works and I think the NFL and all sports are doing a great job of using their platforms to go out there and create change.”
Wannstedt on lack of preseason games:
“I talked to a couple of the newly hired head coaches and I think that’s the group that’s going be at a disadvantage. Why? No OTAs, no mini-camp and you’re putting in a new system on offense with a new quarterback. With no preseason games, you lose that learning curve.”
Vick on who benefits from no preseason games:
“The lack of preseason really benefits the offense because the offense dictates the pace of the game. I’m looking for the high-powered offenses to come out and be very explosive. Those teams who have great offenses like the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Saints, Steelers, those teams should flourish at least the first part of the season.”
Gonzalez on no fans in the stands:
“I don’t think it’s going to affect anyone (players) at all, or at least it shouldn’t. The way I was always taught, you practice like you play.”
Vick believes Patrick Mahomes is setting an important tone among his fellow players:
“First of all, shout out to Patrick Mahomes for being committed to change in these trying times. Being the face of the National Football League, being very courageous. What I hope is that his peers are watching what he is doing, and they’ll step up. They’ll let their actions speak louder than their words. The fact that Patrick is biracial, he can reach a broader audience so that’s reach beyond reach and I expect him to use his platform on a higher level.”