“If there’s been a crazier ending to a pro football game in five, 10, 15 years, I haven’t seen it.” – King on Patriots’ botched lateral play and Raiders’ victory
“If he’s not the MVP, I don’t know who is. He took a whole new group of [receivers] and got them ready to win.” – Chiefs head coach Andy Reid to King on QB Patrick Mahomes
“Every week, there’s another good defense to test himself against —Baltimore, Tennessee, Dallas in the past month — and Lawrence keeps passing the tests.” – King on Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence
“Uh, 76 points in eight quarters of awful cold weather? Kill the ‘better in a dome’ narrative.” – King on the Bills’ performances in cold weather games
STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 19, 2022 – Peter King speaks with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones, in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, recaps Week 15 of the NFL season, discusses the Bills’ home win over the Dolphins, the Chiefs clinching their seventh consecutive division title, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
RAIDERS & PATRIOTS
Raiders DE Chandler Jones to Peter King on his game-winning touchdown during a botched lateral play against the Patriots: “I won a Super Bowl, Super Bowl 49. That was pretty legit. But making a play to win a game? No. Never. I’m 32 in year 11. Better plays are coming with age, I guess.”
Jones to King: “It will be hard for me to fall asleep tonight.”
Jones to King on how he made the play: “I saw Jakobi Meyers kinda look back at Mac Jones, the quarterback. He was standing in the middle of the field. I literally just jumped up when I saw the ball coming, intended for Mac. Mac was kind of standing there, looking at me with big eyes. I literally just jumped up and intercepted it. I just gave Mac a nice stiff arm with my right hand. The rest was history.”
Jones to King: “I mean, I’m happy that I did something to help the team win. But not shocked at all. Honestly, I was trying to catch my breath, to be honest. It felt like a 100-yard run. I was kinda just getting slapped in the side of the face, in the head. Everyone’s congratulating me, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ … It was such a crazy feeling. It was almost like a Hollywood script that’s unwritten because people won’t believe it. There’s no way, you know?”
King on the Patriots: “What’s so uncharacteristic about the play is that Meyers is a very smart player, one of the players Belichick trusts the most. If he’s going to do something like this, what hope is there for this team when times are tight near the end of games?”
King to Jones on the historic nature of the play: “I think it’s the most incredible end to a game I’ve seen since, well, maybe since the Immaculate Reception.”
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION
NFL Hall of Famer and former Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw to King on the Immaculate Reception, the iconic game-winning touchdown pass in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff game between Pittsburgh and Oakland: “I’m on the ground. I hear the roar of the crowd. I knew it was a touchdown. I created this thing in my head where I go, ‘Man, I really put it in there, didn’t I? I hit it dead in stride and whoever it was I threw to just swept it on down the sideline.’ Not having any idea who that was. It was too fast. On the ground, I heard the roar. And I got up. Touchdown.”
Bradshaw to King on the controversy surrounding the play: “For years, I didn’t think (Steelers fullback Franco Harris) caught it, until recently. I’ve seen the end-zone footage and he caught it actually about a foot off the ground. He made a great catch.”
Bradshaw to King: “A lot of people have a different opinion of that play, I guess. Simple fact is this: we’ll never know who touched it last [before Harris caught it]. We did not have hi-def television, we didn’t have, you know, 20 tape machines and 32 cameras like we have today.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid to King on winning seven consecutive AFC West division titles: “It’s great, but the problem is, you don’t think about this enough when you’re coaching. You’re in the washing machine going round and round. You finish one game, you’re on to the next.”
King on the missed pass interference call on the final Washington play of the night in the Giants-Commanders game: “Ref John Hussey had the gall to say to pool reporter Nicki Jhabvala: ‘To the officials it didn’t rise to what they felt was a restriction, thus they didn’t call it…They didn’t believe it was pass interference.’ If that’s true, they shouldn’t be NFL officials.”
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to King on Frank Reich’s text congratulating him on breaking his record for largest comeback ever: “Frank (Reich) texted me to say, ‘Kirk, for 30 years, that moment has given me an opportunity to share many things about football and life, tell people about my faith, and now the torch has been passed to you.’ So it was a powerful text. I already had a great deal of respect for Frank but after that text it went through the roof. I took what he said seriously.”
Former Colts head coach Reich to King on watching his former team be on the losing end of the largest comeback in history: “It’s just a weird dynamic. And it was weird to see the record go away. It’s strange – I thought I was going to be clinging to the record, and it’s sort of an honor to have the record. But I am happy it’s Kirk.”
KING’S MVP WATCH – WEEK 15
1. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia, 2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, 3. Josh Allen, Buffalo, 4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati, 5. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota
Reid to King on Patrick Mahomes: “If he’s not the MVP, I don’t know who is. He took a whole new group of [receivers] and got them ready to win. Think about it. Who are we going to in the passing game? [Travis] Kelce. Now [Mecole] Hardman’s hurt. Then who? They’re all new. Patrick worked all off-season to get those guys ready and look at the results.”
KING’S WEEK 15 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Josh Allen, Buffalo, Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville, Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, & Kirk Cousins, Minnesota
King on Allen and the Bills’ play in cold weather games: “I laugh when I hear people say the Bills are a better dome team than iceberg team. Last two games in Ice Station Zebra weather: Bills 44, Patriots 7 last January, and 32-29 over the Dolphins Saturday night. Uh, 76 points in eight quarters of awful cold weather? Kill the ‘better in a dome’ narrative.”
King on Lawrence: “Every week, there’s another good defense to test himself against — Baltimore, Tennessee, Dallas in the past month — and Lawrence keeps passing the tests.”
King on Mahomes’ excellent game against the Texans: “We have to stop taking Mahomes for granted. I mean, 36 of 41 – you don’t have an 88-percent passing day very often in life.”
King on Cousins’ performance against the Colts: “Cousins had the best game of his NFL life Saturday in the 39-36 win over the Colts (34-54, 460 yards, four TDs, two picks), but think of this: He threw for 417 yards after halftime.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Chandler Jones, Las Vegas, Rayshawn Jenkins, Jacksonville, & Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
King on Jones’ game-winning touchdown run during a botched lateral play against the Patriots: “If there’s been a crazier ending to a pro football game in five, 10, 15 years, I haven’t seen it. Jones made the play that just might be the crucial play that douses his former team’s playoff embers.”
King on Thibodeaux: “Huge game for Thibodeaux: 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, and the TD that keyed the victory. Assist to (GM Joe) Schoen.”
Coach of the Week: Brandon Staley, Los Angeles Chargers
Special Teams Player of the Week: Kalif Raymond, Detroit
King on Raymond: “Against the Jets defense – arguably the toughest in the AFC today – you’re probably going to have to steal some points somewhere…And on Sunday in the Meadowlands, that break came in the form of a 47-yard punt return for TD – I don’t think Raymond was touched – nine minutes into the game.”
Goat of the Week: Jakobi Meyers, New England
NEWS & NOTES
King on Giants head coach Brian Daboll: “I think I’m up in the air on my coach of the year pick, and one should be open-minded with three of 17 games remaining. But I can tell you Brian Daboll being 8-5-1 with the Giants solidly in the playoff hunt entering Week 16 gives Daboll a strong case.”
King on the Cardinals: “I think, and not to be insensitive here, the Cardinals are probably smartest right now — even if they keep Steve Keim in some position in the front office — to pick a new general manager…The franchise is in chaos. Feels very much like a time to start over.”
King on Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith: “I think the Ravens have to find a way to sign Roquan Smith. The former Bears linebacker, acquired before the trade deadline this year, has been invaluable. He’s the perfect sideline-to-sideline playmaker the Ravens have yearned for.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, Fantasy Football Happy Hour with Matthew Berry at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s Rotoworld Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
- The NFL on NBC YouTube channel offers daily football content for free, with exclusive videos from Peter King – including his interviews with players and coaches at training camps – Mike Florio, Chris Simms, and more. To access all of these videos and more, click here to subscribe
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.