“I’d argue that Bosa’s been the most impactful edge player to enter the NFL since Julius Peppers in 2002.” – King on Nick Bosa
“I didn’t care what was behind me. I didn’t care what was in front of me. I was gonna make something happen.” – Deshaun Watson to King on his game-winning touchdown pass
“I think if I were the Jags, as painful as it’d be for Nick Foles, I’d stick with Gardner Minshew.” – King on the Jaguars QB situation
“I’m starting to wonder, where is the loss coming? They have a good chance to run the table.” – Mike Tirico on the undefeated Patriots on The Mike Tirico Podcast
Aaron Rodgers’ FNIA Interview with Tirico Featured on NBCSN Special this Friday at 1 p.m. ET & Available Now on The Mike Tirico Podcast
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 28, 2019 – Peter King speaks with Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson and San Francisco rookie defensive end Nick Bosa following their Week 8 victories in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with NFL experts about Bill Belichick’s 300th career win and shares his thoughts on the full NFL weekend.
Additionally, across NBC Sports, on The Mike Tirico Podcast, Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio recap Week 8, while Florio and Chris Simms break down all of the action across the NFL on PFT Live and Chris Simms Unbuttoned. Tirico’s one-on-one interview with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, available now on NBCSports.com and on Tirico’s podcast, will also air as a 30-minute special on NBCSN this Friday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King: “Watson has Russell Wilson/Tom Brady desire…Some of his plays are so improbable, so rabbit-out-of-a-hat, that he looks like another southern kid at a young age, Brett Favre. Both Watson and (Patrick) Mahomes have some Favre in them.”
King on Watson’s game-winning touchdown pass: “It’s an overreaction to say Watson’s nine-yard TD pass to tight end Darren Fells saved Houston’s season…I would argue, though, that it was the play of the year.”
Watson on being hit on the play: “Not sure if [the defender’s cleat] caught me in the eyeball, but it went through the [mask] and got me. My whole left eye just shut – went blank, went blind.”
Watson: “I felt even when they did grab me, I’d have the athleticism to get it out, somewhere. I didn’t care what was behind me. I didn’t care what was in front of me. I was gonna make something happen.”
King on the 49ers: “If any single element is most responsible for San Francisco’s stunning rise to the top of the NFC West, it’s the defensive front.”
King: “I’d argue that (Nick) Bosa’s been the most impactful edge player to enter the NFL since Julius Peppers in 2002…Bosa is a complete player in a room full of defensive-line stalwarts.”
Bosa: “I came into a really good situation with the D-line we have. I was a little star struck when I first came in here; I’ve got a bunch of first-round picks I get to roll with, and you saw what we can do today when we get a lead and they’ve got to throw.”
Richard Sherman on Bosa: “He’s got to be one of the best picks in the last 10 years. He plays like a 10-year vet, with such savviness and poise…He deserves rookie of the year, but right now he should be in line for defensive MVP.”
King: “After reaching his 300th win (regular season and playoffs), two men are in his way on the all-time victories list: George Halas with 324 and Don Shula with 347…I asked some of the people who have known Belichick over the years about a trait or story they have illustrating his football mind.”
Cris Collinsworth: “Bill’s ability to develop talent is what separates him. He knows he can develop and train younger players, or improve players on the back-end of their careers…When injuries are destroying other teams late in the year, he still has quality players coming off the bench for the playoffs and Super Bowl.”
Chris Simms: “One of the dirty secrets of the NFL is how the Patriots’ attention to detail and creativity goes way beyond other coaches I’ve seen. Their building is as on edge and in the same full grind mode on May 25th as it is on Nov. 25th. Preparing in the offseason is like preparing for a playoff game.”
Mike Vrabel: “I’ve taken a lot from a lot of coaches in my life…but what sticks with from New England is that Bill held the best players the most accountable. He wants everyone on the roster to know he’s going to demand the most from the best players.”
KING’S WEEK 8 THOUGHTS
King on J.J. Watt’s season-ending injury: “Over the past four years, he’ll miss exactly half of Houston’s regular-season games…As great a player as he is, the Texans can’t count on him to be the centerpiece of their defense, as he has been.”
King on the Jaguars: “I think if I were the Jags, as painful as it’d be for Nick Foles, I’d stick with Gardner Minshew when Foles is healthy enough to return from his dislocated shoulder.”
King on the Browns: “At 2-5, Cleveland likely has to go 7-2 down the stretch to have a playoff prayer. Where are those seven wins coming from? … If I’m Freddie Kitchens, all I want is a 60-minute game. Play one of those, and we’ll see if the season is remotely salvageable.”
King on the Broncos: “There’s a cadre of young players, I’m told, led by Phillip Lindsay, Bradley Chubb and a couple of others chafing against the unhappiness of some vets left over from the Super Bowl team of 2015.”
KING’S WEEK 8 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville, Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard, Philadelphia, Matt Schaub, Atlanta & Aaron Jones, Green Bay.
King on Minshew: “What’s become obvious after his eight NFL games (seven starts) since being the 178th pick in the draft last April is what a smart player he is and what excellent pocket awareness he has…I’ll take this guy on my team any day.”
Defensive Player of the Week: Nick Bosa, San Francisco.
King: “The most impactful first overall pass-rusher in years…He’s had six sacks in the last four Niners games, all decisive victories, which is not a coincidence.”
Coaches of the Week: Bill Belichick, New England & Robert Saleh, San Francisco
King on Saleh: “Saleh has taken the premier pieces handed him by GM John Lynch and crafted them into a fearsome defense”
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of The Mike Tirico Podcast:
Mike Tirico on the undefeated Patriots: “I’m starting to wonder, where is the loss coming? They have a good chance to run the table.”
Rodney Harrison on the 49ers: “I want to see the next couple of weeks how they handle success because they haven’t been here. They’re going to have everybody talking about how great they are and they’re heading to the Super Bowl, if they can handle success they’ll win those games they’re supposed to win.”
Mike Florio on Michael Thomas: “He really is an MVP candidate. No receiver has ever won it, but usually it’s because the quarterback who throws the passes to the receiver is the one who wins it. With a split schedule between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Brees, it gives him a chance.”
The following are clips from last night’s edition of Football Night in America:
- Thanks Mom: Za’Darius Smith: Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith shares a special message for his mom, thanking her for raising two kids on her own.
- Clark Hunt Joins Liam McHugh at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt shares the stories of how his dad played a big role in naming the Super Bowl and Lombardi Trophy.
- Week 9 SNF Preview: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots head to Baltimore for the first time in six years to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Mike Tirico, Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy preview the SNF on NBC matchup.
- Week 9 Sunday Night 7 Picks: Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison make their Sunday Night 7 picks for Week 9’s Patriots-Ravens matchup.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage heading into Week 9:
- Mike Tirico Interview with Aaron Rodgers: Mike Tirico’s interview with Aaron Rodgers will air on NBCSN as a 30-minute show on Friday at 1 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. ET and 1:30 a.m. ET. Watch the interview now on com or listen on Tirico’s podcast.
- Mike Florio and Chris Simms, with guest Peter King, discuss all things NFL on PFT Live, including handing out their Week 8 superlatives, sharing updated power rankings, and making their Week 9 game picks.
- On Chris Simms Unbuttoned, Simms deep dives into film of two games from Week 8 decided by the fans.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 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 NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.