“I have a feeling this current iteration of the Bengals will be the best ever.” – King on the Joe Burrow-led Bengals
“Joe Burrow is not a cute upstart. He is the Paulie Walnuts of NFL quarterbacks, able to rip the guts out of the Allens and Mahomeses without changing expressions, without feeling one pang of sorrow for the vanquished.” – Peter King
“You have to do the job. At this point, it’s playoff football and all I can think about is what I have to do for my team.” – 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy to King on playing in his first NFL playoff game
“I think this was the first time that I started to feel the sand slipping through the hourglass for the Bills…The offense flamed out over the last few weeks of 2022, and younger teams are catching up to Buffalo.” – King on the Bills after their loss in the Divisional Round
“Good enough. It’s definitely a nagging thing. But as far as me physically, I just want to continue my recovery process and be ready for the next game.” – Eagles QB Jalen Hurts to King on the current status of his shoulder injury
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 23, 2023 – Peter King speaks to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, and Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also recaps the Divisional Playoffs, Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ win over Josh Allen and the Bills, Patrick Mahomes’ injury in Kansas City’s win over Jacksonville, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
49ers QB Brock Purdy to Peter King on his whirlwind rookie season: “When I first got in against Miami (in Week 13), it was like, ‘Man, I’m playing in the NFL. I’m showing the guys I can play.’ But that goes away. You have to do the job. At this point, it’s playoff football and all I can think about is what I have to do for my team.”
Purdy to King on his experience playing at Iowa State: “(It) taught me how to be real about myself. I learned so much just with winning and being successful and then also losing some big games…Honestly it was a blessing in disguise because when I came here for the NFL, I was already used to the sport being hard, and being coached hard, and it was always, ‘How can I get better?’ I think it’s allowed me to have some success.”
King on Purdy’s performance: “You could say they survived, and you could say Purdy got exposed a bit. Both are true. But this sport, often, is about not playing your best and finding ways to win. Purdy found a way by not turning it over — a habit that is going to earn him a very long life in this game, if not a starring role — and by accurately hitting George Kittle and Deebo Samuel.”
King on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: “Prescott was not a big-time player Sunday. If (Dre) Greenlaw catches the pick-six with three minutes to go, the final is 26-12 and sabers would be rattling about the turnover-prone Prescott’s future.”
King on the Bengals: “I have a feeling this current iteration of the Bengals will be the best ever…This is (Joe) Burrow’s third year, and you need to be careful about making him the second coming, but a player who completes 69 percent of his throws in the first three seasons, and who is 5-1 in his first six playoff games, and who is not afraid of anything – well, such a fellow is dangerous.”
King on the Bills: “I think this was the first time that I started to feel the sand slipping through the hourglass for the Bills. This the fourth straight year they’ve made the playoffs but haven’t gotten out of the AFC. Josh Allen is still young — he’ll play his age-27 season next year — but Stefon Diggs turns 30 next season…The offense flamed out over the last few weeks of 2022, and younger teams are catching up to Buffalo.”
King on Bengals QB Joe Burrow: “Joe Burrow is not a cute upstart. He is the Paulie Walnuts of NFL quarterbacks, able to rip the guts out of the (Josh) Allens and (Patrick) Mahomeses without changing expressions, without feeling one pang of sorrow for the vanquished.”
King on next week’s Cincinnati-Kansas City AFC Championship Game: “I’d also bet a lot of money that, deep down, Kansas City wanted Buffalo…What KC must feel for Cincinnati is deep and abiding respect after losing to the Bengals three times in three games in the last 13 months. Home-field might not be absolutely meaningless in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, but it’s damn close.”
Bengals C Ted Karras to King on the offensive line’s mentality after losing three starters: “I told the guys this week, ‘The pressure’s off, guys. No one thinks we can do it. We have a chance to go be heroes.’ And we did.”
Karras to King on second-year lineman Jackson Carman’s performance in Cincinnati’s win over Buffalo: “On the biggest stage of all of our football careers up to this point, he performed when it counted the most. He’s had a transformative year and this was a transformative day for him, being in the spotlight and performing at the highest level.”
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts to King on overcoming his shoulder injury: “It was very painful. It was very bad. I knew it was bad. It was bad. Being able to overcome that challenge in that game (against Chicago in Week 15), come back to win, coming back to win the number one seed. Those are things as a competitor you just have to challenge yourself to overcome.”
Hurts to King on the current status of his shoulder: “Good enough. It’s definitely a nagging thing. But as far as me physically, I just want to continue my recovery process and be ready for the next game.”
King on Hurts’ 45-yard pass to WR DeVonta Smith in the first quarter: “He said he didn’t prove anything to himself on the throw, but he certainly proved something to all of Philadelphia, which let out a collective primal scream inside and outside the Linc at that moment.”
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni to King on the competitive NFC East: “You get tested in this division — Washington with a great defensive line, Dallas with a great defensive line, the Giants with a great defensive line. Everybody wants to make fun of our division, but we had three teams in the divisional playoffs. That’s a really good team over there [the Giants]. We just played one of our best games tonight, though.”
King on the futures of Giants QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley: “I expect GM Joe Schoen will build a bridge to sign Daniel Jones for at least three years. Not so sure about Saquon Bakrley, because of the shelf life of backs. Jones is the most important asset to keep right now, obviously.
King on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury in next week’s AFC Championship Game: “This might be insane, but I say Patrick Mahomes will play okay with a high ankle sprain…The sheer force of will of Mahomes will help carry him through, I believe. And if he’s ineffective Sunday night, Andy Reid will have the guts and common sense to play Chad Henne — which would not be a disaster.”
King on the Chiefs rallying around Mahomes after his mid-game injury: “This is corny, and I’m not sure how much it actually improves the quality of play of the other 10 players. But (Chiefs left tackle Orlando) Brown said seeing the leader of the team fight with coaches to stay in the game and insist on playing through an injury many would not play with does something in the alpha-male world of football.”
King on the Jaguars’ successful season: “(Head coach Doug Pederson) could use a franchise tight end, and one more receiver — either the formerly suspended Calvin Ridley, acquired during the season, or one in the draft. Jacksonville, in the span of a half-season, showed it might be (might being the apt word) the AFC South team to beat in 2023.”
KING’S DIVISIONAL ROUND AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, Jackson Carman, Cincinnati, Travis Kelce, Kansas City, & Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia
King on Chiefs TE Kelce’s consistent postseason greatness: “Set an NFL record for catches by a tight end in a playoff game with 14 for 98 yards and two touchdowns as Kansas City beat Jacksonville 27-20 Saturday. Kelce was a security blanket even before Patrick Mahomes suffered his ankle injury (10 catches for 55 yards and two scores in the first half), and continued his recent wave of unstoppable playoff play.”
Defensive Players of the Week: James Bradberry, Philadelphia, & Mike Hilton, Cincinnati
King on Eagles CB Bradberry: “What a godsend the addition of Bradberry has been this year for the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes.”
Coaches of the Week: Jeff Stoutland, run game coordinator/offensive line coach, Philadelphia, & Lou Anarumo, defensive coordinator, Cincinnati
King on Stoutland’s game plan: “The crazy thing is, this was supposed to be a game because of the Giants’ defensive front. Stoutland and that great Eagles’ line made that front disappear.”
Special Teams Players of the Week: Robbie Gould, San Francisco, Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville, & Harrison Butker, Kansas City
Goat of the Week: Dak Prescott, Dallas
NEWS & NOTES
King on Anarumo and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier: “Can you give me one good reason why Cincinnati defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier have not gotten one request for a head-coach interview in this cycle? I didn’t think you could.”
King on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ potential trade destinations: “Rodgers to the Jets, maybe re-teaming with ex-Pack aide Nathaniel Hackett, who has interviewed for the New York offensive coordinator job. Or Rodgers to the Patriots, which seems very Belichickian, to perhaps give Mac Jones two learning seasons in the shadows. Or Rodgers to Vegas, if Tom Brady doesn’t beat him there. Or Rodgers to Seattle, which is seventh in cap room in 2023 and has four picks in the draft’s top 55.”
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.