Thanks to what appeared to be a Broncos blowout over the Colts in the making on Sunday night -- even though it did not turn out that way -- the ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" opener will be less stellar than usual.
But remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint, and the Peacocks are hoping that come May, the show will be crowned the top-rated program in all of prime time TV for the fourth consecutive season -- a feat never accomplished even once by a sports show until NBC's current streak began.
"I think that's a great source of pride for all of us," NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels said. "The thing is, too, we're all sports fans. So even if we weren't a part of this, it's kind of cool to see a sports show as the No. 1-rated show in America.
"I don't know if it speaks to the lack of quality in terms of the rest of prime time or what, but I think more than anything else it just speaks to the National Football League, what it's become, how television covers it, and it's just a great source of pride for all of us to be a part of this thing."
Said producer Fred Gaudelli: "I know when I came over [to NBC] I was just hoping that it could attain the same type of prominence that 'Monday Night Football' had when it was on ABC, so I never dreamed that you were going to become the number one show, but it's huge.
"It's huge within our building," Gaudelli added. "As Al said, there's a tremendous amount of pride and obviously nothing lasts forever, but we want to try to prolong this as long as we can and it's something I think about almost daily."