“One thing these two teams do have in common is that they do not like each other at all. They’re going to scratch and claw and fight for every inch for 60 minutes.” – Jason Garrett
“Maybe they’re just not used to people playing the game the right way.” – Ravens LB Roquan Smith to Rodney Harrison on Bengals’ criticism of Ravens’ style of play
“Ever since Joe Burrow was drafted, he’s the kind of player that makes the entire city walk a little bit taller.” – Jac Collinsworth
“They’re dangerous. We know they’re good with Josh Allen and one of the best teams in the AFC, but they’ve been a little sloppy of late.” – Chris Simms on the Bills
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 15, 2023 – NBC Sports continued its coverage of the NFL post-season tonight from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Football Night in America leading into coverage of the Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals in a Super Wild Card Playoff game on NBC, Peacock and Telemundo.
Maria Taylor hosted Football Night from NBC Sports’ Studio 1 in Stamford, Conn. She was joined by former NFL head coach Jason Garrett, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, NFL Insider Mike Florio, and fantasy sports industry pioneer Matthew Berry. Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy and two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison joined co-host Jac Collinsworth at the site of the game.
Taylor interviewed Bengals QB Joe Burrow earlier this week. A portion of the interview aired tonight on FNIA. Click here for the entire interview. Harrison also interviewed Ravens LB Roquan Smith during pre-game.
Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst), Melissa Stark (sideline reporter) and Terry McAulay (rules analyst) are calling tonight’s game.
Following are highlights from tonight’s edition of Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock:
Garrett on the matchup: “These two teams are a study in contrast. The Bengals are a dynamic passing team, fantastic receiving corps and one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Joe Burrow. Baltimore is a physical, bone-on-bone running team. Very different in their styles, but one thing these two teams do have in common is that they do not like each other at all. They’re going to scratch and claw and fight for every inch for 60 minutes.”
Simms on playing in Week 18 and Wild Card Weekend: “These teams are chippy when they go a year without playing each other, let alone back-to-back football games.”
Garrett on the Bengals and Ravens playing each other for the third time this year: “When you play a team for the third time, there are tendencies all over the place. It’s going to be fun to watch and see how these teams try to take advantage of those tendencies – with a little bit of a wrinkle to keep the other guys honest – but also to make some plays.”
Harrison: “I love these rivalry games because you know it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be physical, it’s going to get really chippy.”
Ravens LB Roquan Smith to Harrison on Bengals’ criticisms of Ravens’ style of play: “Honestly, I think if you look back at the film, I don’t think there’s any dirty play that went on during the game. I think maybe they’re just not used to people playing the game the right way. Me, personally, I know that’s what I do. I play the game the right way. I finish every single play to the whistle, and my teammates play the exact same way.”
Dungy on the Ravens: “I just spoke to (Ravens head coach) John Harbaugh. He loves where they’re at. He likes the underdog situation they’re in. He said they’re going to make (the game happen) in the trenches. Offensively, pound the football. Defensively, he’s counting on his front to get pressure on Joe Burrow.”
Florio on team’s relationship with QB Lamar Jackson: “Things really came to a head this week between Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. He still hasn’t practiced or played since December 4 and rumblings have been increasing this week from within the organization as to whether or not he should be playing in tonight’s game. He took to Twitter on Thursday with a lengthy explanation of that knee injury he suffered several weeks ago. The team was surprised by the move, and it’s contributed to a sense of exasperation within the organization.
“After the season the team intends to continue negotiations with Lamar, but those talks so far have gone nowhere. And remember, he wants a five-year fully guaranteed deal. I’m told all options are on the table, if they can’t work out a long-term contract. He can stay with the team for another year, or he could go to a new team with the Ravens getting up to two first-round draft picks in return. But keep this in mind, there was an offer on the table in August. Will it be the same offer, will it be more, or will it be less? It could be less and that could change everything.”
Jac Collinsworth: “Ever since Joe Burrow was drafted, he’s the kind of player that makes the entire city walk a little bit taller.”
Simms: “I think the Bengals are the most well put together complete team in the AFC. I know we have (Patrick) Mahomes and Josh Allen lurking, but when I look at that Bengals football team, on the defensive side, they’ve got it all on all three levels — great defensive line, good linebackers, the secondary is really good, a good scheme to go along with it…The offense – Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, they’re not a great running football team, but they keep you honest with Joe Mixon.”
Garrett on how Ravens need to defend Bengals: “You’ve got to let them shred you underneath in these zones. You can’t give them the big play. The key for Baltimore is you have to play zone and you have to roll to (Ja’Marr) Chase 100 percent of the time. You can’t say, ‘Oh, we’ll roll 90 percent of the time,’ and give them those two to three man-to-man opportunities, because Joe (Burrow) is going to take advantage of them.”
Harrison on Bengals’ line problems: “Nothing else matters if you can’t protect Joe Burrow.”
Taylor to Burrow: “What’s the difference between cocky and confident?”
Burrow to Taylor: “I try to toe that line a little bit…sometimes I cross it.”
Burrow to Taylor on this year’s Bengals team and expectations: “We’re, in my opinion, a much better team than we were last year…really, that’s the standard from here on out.”
Garrett: “It was a little bit ugly for Buffalo throughout this game, but there’s something about being willful in the playoffs that matters, and it was a struggle…Buffalo figured it out, but there were too many mistakes in this game.”
Simms: “They’re not going to be able to beat the Bengals or the Chiefs if they play like this…they got away from the run game…they’re dangerous, we know they’re good with Josh Allen and one of the best teams in the AFC, but they’ve been a little sloppy of late.”
— Football Night in America —