“That’s how playoff football is. It’s never easy. I don’t care about the score — as long as we come out with the win, that’s all that matters.” – Bengals QB Joe Burrow to King after Cincinnati’s 24-17 win over Baltimore
“It didn’t feel like we were out of the football game, which is crazy to say. That was just Trevor (Lawrence)’s demeanor too, the whole offense. And the team felt that.” – Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson to King on overcoming a 27-0 deficit in their win over the Chargers
“The Bills know they probably wouldn’t have beaten their two biggest competitors for the AFC crown, Cincinnati and Kansas City, with a performance like Sunday’s.” – King on the Bills’ narrow 34-31 win against the Dolphins
“I think it’s going to be hard for Jackson to get a long-term contract without significant protection for the team. Which means, to me, a significant likelihood that the Ravens may use the non-exclusive franchise tag for Jackson.” – King on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s future with the team
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 16, 2023 – Peter King speaks to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, Giants head coach Brian Daboll, and 49ers tight end George Kittle in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also recaps Super Wild Card Weekend and discusses the Giants’ resurgent season, the Jaguars’ big comeback against the Chargers, Brock Purdy’s impressive play, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Bengals QB Joe Burrow to King on the Bengals’ narrow 24-17 victory over the Ravens in the Wild Card round: “That’s how playoff football is. It’s never easy. I don’t care about the score — as long as we come out with the win, that’s all that matters.”
Burrow to King on being on the field during the Damar Hamlin incident: “When something like that happens, you’re not the Bengals and the Bills anymore. You’re NFL players who care about each other and want the best for one another. So that was a tough moment. It’s great that [Damar Hamlin] is back in Buffalo with the team. I think that’ll make the game a lot easier to play.”
Burrow to King: “That night, yeah, I was proud of the way things were handled…It was a hard moment for everybody. Head coaches handled it with class and the right decision was made at the end to cancel the game. I was proud to be an NFL player in that moment.”
King on Giants QB Daniel Jones’ performance against the Vikings: “Jones, in his best clutch game as a pro, threw for 301 yards, ran for a game-high 78, outplayed Kirk Cousins, and looked like he’d been playing games like this one forever. No sweat.”
Giants head coach Brian Daboll to King on if he’s celebrating after the Wild Card victory over the Vikings: “You know what I’m doing right now? I’m watching our field-goal rush team against Minnesota’s field-goal protection. I’m watching the tape. No time for that other stuff.”
King on Giants WR Isaiah Hodgins: “Turns out Hodgins had the first 100-yard game of his life — eight catches, 105 yards. One of the lowest-paid guys on the field out-performed the likely Offensive Player of the Year, Justin Jefferson. One more catch, one more TD, 48 more receiving yards.”
King on this weekend’s Giants-Eagles Divisional Round matchup: “New York will go to Philadelphia with a bunch of players with boulders (not chips) on their shoulders. The Giants wanted them. No one else did. The Eagles will have more talent, to be sure. But desire could make this a game Saturday night at the Linc.”
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson to King on what he told his team at halftime, being down 27-7: “I was internally frustrated, obviously, with how we played. But I went in and told the team, ‘One play at a time. Chip away. Defense, you’re starting the second half—get us a stop. Offense, we gotta score every time we touch the ball.’ I knew we could get back into the football game.”
Pederson to King on the early deficit: “It was the strangest 27 points given up I think I’ve ever been a part of. It didn’t feel like we were out of the football game, which is crazy to say. That was just Trevor (Lawrence)’s demeanor too, the whole offense. And the team felt that.”
Pederson to King on going for the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to cut the Jaguars’ deficit to two: “The thought process was a field goal wins the game. And so that’s what I decided to do. I was putting it in the players’ hands. Players wanted to go for it. They were excited. They felt like we had a great call. I felt that was kind of an easy decision to make.”
Pederson to King on where this victory ranks in his career: “It’s second. Right behind the Super Bowl.”
49ers TE George Kittle to King on San Francisco’s selfless mentality: “What I love about this team is we have so many fantastic football players that are great at YAC [yards after the catch] so when one of our best players gets the ball, every other guy wants to block for him…That’s how our whole team is built.”
Kittle to King on rookie 49ers QB Brock Purdy: “I think Brock’s experience in college really helped him today. Everything didn’t go well in the first half, but he came out in the second half and was totally confident in the huddle. You could feel it. When he’s confident, we’re confident, and he just makes us play at a higher level…Failure is a big part of learning to play quarterback in the NFL, and he had success and failure in college, so nothing here is really new for him.”
King on the Bills’ performance in their 34-31 win over the Dolphins: “The Bills know they probably wouldn’t have beaten their two biggest competitors for the AFC crown, Cincinnati and Kansas City, with a performance like Sunday’s.”
King: “Oddly, the Bills head into their biggest game of the year Sunday in Orchard Park with some disquieting question marks about consistency and ball security on offense.”
King on the Dolphins’ narrow loss: “Tough place to win, tough place to play, but (Dolphins head coach) Mike McDaniel will watch the tape of this game and find 50 things to correct. At least.”
KING’S 2022 NFL AWARDS BALLOT
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City
King on Mahomes: “Had to manage an entirely new wideout corps, and they caught 45 percent of his league-leading 5,250 passing yards. KC tied for the league’s best record, 14-3.”
Coach: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
King on Daboll: “Daboll took over a rock-bottom team, a bottom-five team in the league at the end of last year, and that team had to be denuded because of massive cap issues left by ex-GM Dave Gettleman. Daboll turned that into nine wins and a playoff team.”
Offensive Player: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota
King on Jefferson: “He made the catch of the year at Buffalo — no one who saw can believe it still — and had seven games eclipsing 130 yards receiving. Led the league in receptions, yards and yards per game.”
Defensive Player: Nick Bosa, San Francisco
Offensive Rookie: Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta
Defensive Rookie: Sauce Gardner, New York Jets
Comeback Player: Nick Gates, New York Giants
Assistant Coach: DeMeco Ryans, defensive coordinator, San Francisco
Executive: Howie Roseman, executive VP/GM, Philadelphia
KING’S WILD CARD AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Brock Purdy, San Francisco, Daniel Jones, New York Giants, & Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville
King on Purdy: “The final pick in the 2022 draft did something Saturday afternoon in rainy Santa Clara that no rookie in NFL history has ever done: Purdy accounted for four touchdowns — three passing, one rushing — in the Niners’ 41-23 Wild Card win over Seattle. The legend grows.”
King on Lawrence: “We don’t know yet if Lawrence, just two years into his NFL life, will go down as a great quarterback. But on Saturday night, Lawrence did what great players do — put away the worst half of your football career and overcome a 27-point deficit to win.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Logan Wilson/Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jacksonville, Matt Milano, Buffalo, Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants, & Charles Omenihu, San Francisco
Special Teams Player of the Week: Ryan Wright, Minnesota
Coach of the Week: Phil Rauscher, offensive line coach, Jacksonville
Goat of the Week: Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers
NEWS & NOTES
King on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s future in Baltimore: “I think it’s going to be hard for Jackson to get a long-term contract without significant protection for the team. Which means, to me, a significant likelihood that the Ravens may use the non-exclusive franchise tag for Jackson.”
King on Rams head coach Sean McVay’s future with the team: “I think he’s going to enjoy re-imagining his coaching staff. I hear he wasn’t crazy about this iteration of the offensive staff, and maybe that’s one of the reasons he told them all they were free to seek jobs elsewhere this postseason. He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it.”
King on the Rams’ new team-building approach: “I believe the franchise will be out of the sell-out-to-win-now-at-all-costs business, and will be more likely to bank draft choices to get a bigger number of young prospects in camp starting this summer.”
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.