via press release:
NBC SPORTS GROUP BEGINS COVERAGE OF NFL POSTSEASON WITH WILD CARD SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER
COVERAGE OF BENGALS-TEXANS & LIONS-SAINTS BEGINS SATURDAY AT 4 P.M. ET
NBC BROADCASTS 2012 PRO BOWL ON JAN. 29 & SUPER BOWL XLVI ON FEB. 5
“It will be a shootout.” – Dungy on Saints-Lions
“It will be fun to watch and see who can handle the big stage.” – Harrison on the young Texans & Bengals
NEW YORK – January 5, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group kicks off its NFL postseason coverage with a Wild Card Saturday doubleheader featuring the Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans at 4:30 p.m. ET and the Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints at 8 p.m. ET. NBC’s NFL postseason coverage also includes the 2012 Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 29 and Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, Feb. 5.
NBC Sports’ live coverage begins Saturday at 4 p.m. ET with a special edition of Football Night in America co-hosted by Bob Costas and Dan Patrick, who are joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com.
The Sunday Night Football broadcast team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya will call Lions-Saints while the NBC Notre Dame Football broadcast team of Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan will call Bengals-Texans.
The Sunday Night Football production team of Fred Gaudelli (producer) and Drew Esocoff (director) will produce Lions-Saints. Sunday Night Football, the most-watched and highest-rated show on primetime television, has won the Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series in each of the last three seasons.
NBC Notre Dame Football producer Rob Hyland, who worked as the SNF replay producer for three years under Gaudelli, will produce Bengals-Texans. Artie Kempner, who directs NFL games for NFL Network and Fox, and who directed Super Bowl XLII, will direct the game. Tommy Roy, who served as executive producer for four NBC Super Bowl broadcasts and is one of the most decorated sports producers in history, will serve as executive producer for the afternoon game.
Hammond, Mayock and Flanagan worked last year’s Saints-Seahawks Wild Card game on NBC with Roy, Hyland and Kempner.
DUNGY ON TEXANS-BENGALS: “I’m excited to see how these young quarterbacks perform in this big game on this big stage. The key will be Cincinnati’s run defense on Arian Foster. they’re going to have to take care of him to have a chance. I expect it to be a good, tight game.”
HARRISON ON TEXANS-BENGALS: “These are two young teams without a lot of momentum heading into playoffs. It will be fun to watch and see who can handle the big stage. It’s up to Houston to come out and establish the run and get Andre Johnson involved early. You can’t wait until the third or fourth quarter to get him involved.”
DUNGY ON SAINTS-LIONS: “I think it will be a shootout; an exciting, high-scoring game. Detroit had chances in the first game they played earlier this season. They will have to outscore the Saints. Even with Ndamukong Suh back, Matthew Stafford is the key to the game. He threw for 500 yards and scored 41 points against the Packers. He’s going to need 600 yards and 51 points to win this one. I expect them to be aggressive and for a lot of points to be scored. It should be very entertaining.”
HARRISON ON LIONS: “Are the Lions just glad to be in playoffs or will they challenge the Saints?”
HARRISON ON SAINTS DEFENSE: “Statistically, they may not look great, but the last few weeks the Saints have been playing pretty good defense. I don’t think Stafford will come out and have that type of success (as he did vs. Green Bay).”