“I mean, I don’t know if there was ever doubt.” – Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes to King on rebounding from his struggles
“The Green Bay defense, even without its two best players, is a top five NFL unit…maybe (Aaron) Rodgers doesn’t have to score in the thirties every week to win big ones. We didn’t see that coming.” – King on the Packers
“As I watched the futility of this game, I just started thinking it might be time for the Seahawks to think of alternatives to Wilson, particularly if he gets mopey again next offseason.” – King on the Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson
STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 15, 2021 – Peter King speaks with Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes following the Chiefs’ 41-14 win over the Raiders on NBC Sunday Night Football in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with Green Bay running back A.J. Dillion, Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke, hands out his Week 10 awards, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
PATRICK MAHOMES AND THE CHIEFS
King: “The key for Patrick Mahomes to be Patrick Mahomes again? To not think the sky is falling…Mahomes has the ability to be introspective and to work on his game and to come to practice convinced that everything’s going to be fine. Scoring 37 points in three games stinks. But after experiencing three historic seasons to start his career, Mahomes knew the slump was not permanent.”
Mahomes to King following Kansas City’s 41-14 win last night: “The last few weeks motivated me more to come in and work and practice even better. I mean, whenever you’re not having the success that you’re used to having, all you can do is come to practice and have a better day than you did the day before.”
Mahomes on rebounding from his struggles: “I mean, I don’t know if there was ever doubt.”
Mahomes on the Chiefs getting their mojo back: “I think we had that mojo this whole week of practice. I mean, we were ready to go. We knew how important this game was… You can just feel it, man. You can feel that energy that you have in practice. You can feel the guys going through practice. I knew that once we got to Sunday Night Football, especially like you said, the outside world talking, guys wanted to show out. Guys wanted to show that we still are the Kansas City Chiefs. We still can be a dominant team.”
Mahomes on his 38-yard touchdown pass to RB Darrel Williams and making big plays: “We haven’t had those big plays this year. Been having to drive the length of the field. I think what we showed today is you come out and you execute early, and you kinda start driving the length of the field, defenses are gonna have to come up and we still have that big-play ability.”
King on Chiefs head coach Andy Reid: “(Mahomes) said it was Andy Reid who put the game in perspective for him, and for the team. Reid told the team how important this game was. Win it, and the division is in your control. With Mahomes, Reid was the way he always is. Which is why they’ve got the kind of relationship any coach would want to have with his franchise quarterback.”
Mahomes on his relationship with Reid: “Me and him, he just kept reiterating to me to be myself. Go out there and play. Have fun. Take the check down when it’s there but don’t lose who you are.”
King on Packers-Seahawks: “Of the 149 games played in this NFL season, I would wager not a single one has said more, about more significant things, than Green Bay 17, Seattle 0 in a Wisconsin snow squall Sunday, the first wintry day of the season.”
King on the Packers’ 17-0 win: “The Packers can win without vintage Aaron Rodgers…Sunday’s game, with Rodgers showing the effects of being drained from his 10 days away, was a very good thing for a team that might have to win a variety of ways in January and February.”
King: “The Green Bay defense, even without its two best players, is a top five NFL unit…Green Bay is the NFC’s top seed this morning. The Pack was last year too, but home-field didn’t help when Tampa Bay came to town for the championship game. Something feels different this year. That something different is Green Bay has a good defense and a war-horse running back (A.J. Dillon), and maybe Rodgers doesn’t have to score in the thirties every week to win big ones. We didn’t see that coming.”
King on Packers GM Brian Gutekunst: “With the world screaming for the Packers to get a wideout in the 2020 draft, Gutekunst, the embattled Green Bay GM, bypassed trading up for a receiver in the second round and picked a 247-pound fire hydrant of a back, A.J. Dillon, with the 62nd overall pick. Dillon won this game…Dillon is a winter back who could be vital this postseason.”
Packers RB A.J. Dillon to King on the backlash the Packers received for drafting him: “I heard it. I just kind of put that with bulletin board material. I really always wanted to be an all-purpose back. APB. I knew I could be.”
Dillon on being a Packer: “All of it, to me, is so cool. The day after the draft, I watched like a three-hour documentary on the Packers and what Green Bay was. Being on this team is an indescribable feeling, really. Sometimes I still gotta like pinch myself before I get into practice.”
King on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks: “I wonder if we’re seeing the end of the Russell Wilson era in Seattle. It’s dumb to make any long-term judgments about a great player on such a rotten day…But as I watched the futility of this game, I just started thinking it might be time for the Seahawks to think of alternatives to Wilson, particularly if he gets mopey again next offseason.”
King: “I just wonder if an 8-9 season might make Seattle GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll wonder if rewriting the script and getting three first-round picks and maybe one top player from a Carolina or Denver or Pittsburgh or Miami or Philadelphia is smarter than trying to keep Wilson happy.”
King on the Gruden lawsuit: “First thought when Jon Gruden’s attorneys filed suit accusing the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell of a campaign to ‘publicly sabotage Gruden’s career:’ This is exactly what Al Davis would have done. And Gruden, who learned about all things Davis when the Raiders owner was still in full control of the franchise and Gruden was his coach from 1998-2001, has learned well.”
King on Panthers QB Cam Newton: “That certainly was cool, Cam Newton running for a touchdown on his first snap as a second-time Panther, and passing for a touchdown on his second snap. His role, Matt Rhule told me, wasn’t established till Sunday morning at the hotel in Arizona, when coaches asked him if he felt he could execute the few plays he’s practiced late in the week.”
King on the Panthers: “P.J. Walker won his second start as a Panther, the 34-10 rout of Arizona. Maybe that gives Rhule cause to think he should keep using Newton as a relief pitcher for the time being, continuing with next week’s home game against Washington. We’ll see, but I doubt it.”
King on Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr.: “Beckham is more likely to be brought up to speed after tonight with the Rams’ bye week coming up…I’m told that when (Rams head coach Sean) McVay was recruiting him, he was upfront with Beckham about his opportunities. McVay told him he couldn’t guarantee him X number of targets per game from Matthew Stafford. ‘But I can tell you if you’re open, Matthew will get you the ball,’ McVay said.”
King on WFT QB Taylor Heinicke: “WFT quarterback Taylor Heinicke, living out his dream, snuffing out the Tampa Bay chances with a 10-minute, 26-second drive to clinch a victory…What a great moment for a guy who was living in his sister’s house in Georgia last year taking virtual classes at Old Dominion, not knowing it he’d ever have a chance to play football again.”
Heinicke to King following win vs. Buccaneers: “I go out and play every play like it’s my last – because it might be. On days like this, I think about where I was a year ago, and I appreciate what’s happened to me, and I think about winning a game like this, and it’s, it’s just really great.”
NEWS & NOTES
King on the MVP race: “The MVP race is hugely muddled right now. Two weeks ago, I thought it was Matthew Stafford. Last week, Lamar Jackson or, even after missing one game, Kyler Murray. This week, after desultory recent performances by Stafford and Jackson and after Murray’s second miss, this is a wide open race.”
King on Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater not attempting to tackle on a fumble return: “I think Denver’s going to have an issue this week with Teddy Bridgewater…Vic Fangio’s going to address that with Bridgewater, and Bridgewater’s going to have to address it with the team. To me, it’s intolerable.”
King on Titans WR Julio Jones being placed in IR: “f Jones doesn’t rally in the last five games for Tennessee, the Titans are going to regret paying a second-round pick in 2022 for him.”
King on Jim Mora: “Of all the headlines I never expected to see last week…I was floored by this news nugget last week: Jim Mora takes the reins as UConn head football coach. He starts recruiting now at the seriously tarnished major-college independent, and will coach his first game at Utah State next August.”
Mora to King on taking the UConn job: “I was hopeful that I’d get another opportunity be a head coach in college football. I really enjoy coaching college football. But I was starting to doubt if it was gonna happen as time went on, after UCLA…When this job came open, I reached out to them. I don’t think I was on their radar at all. I mean, at all. I haven’t been on anyone’s radar.”
KING’S WEEK 10 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, Stefon Diggs, Buffalo, Mac Jones, New England, & Taylor Heinicke, Washington.
King on Jones: “Week after week, Jones is showing he’s the best quarterback among this year’s rookie crop – so far…For the year, Jones has completed 69 percent of his throws. The man’s no fluke.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Kyle Dugger, New England, & Adrian Amos, Green Bay.
King on Amos: “Really, any of about 10 Green Bay defenders could be in this spot. (You should get used to hearing that.) Amos had the biggest play of the day for the Green Bay D.”
Special Teams Players of the Week: K’von Wallace, Philadelphia, Dorance Armstrong, Dallas, & Zaire Franklin, Indianapolis.
King on Armstrong: “All the Falcons wanted to do was get out of the first half with the score no worse than 28-3. Set up to punt in the final minute, Atlanta’s line was crushed by Dallas’ punt rush, and from the right side Armstrong crashed through. He suffocated the punt, blocking it with his right armpit, and it skittered away into the end zone.”
Coaches of the Week: Joe Barry, Green Bay, Mike Vrabel, Tennessee, & Josh Boyer, Miami.
King on Barry: “For pitching the first shutout of Russell Wilson’s NFL life…holding a Russell Wilson offense to 208 total yards will be, and should be, a career highlight for Barry.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Mike Golic (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams live on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show 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 A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
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.