“The San Francisco defense, at least in the NFC, is as good as it gets…a hammering front with a team of physical cover players mindful of the Legion of Boom” – King on the 49ers
“I really don’t care if I’m running or passing. Just win games.” – Lamar Jackson to Peter King
“Now…you can start asking the question about whether the Panthers should automatically go back to Cam Newton when he’s healthy.” – King on Panthers QB Kyle Allen
“If they get embarrassed on Sunday night…that’s going to give Jerry Jones a little wobble and it’s going to make him think about what he wants to do.” – Mike Florio on Jason Garrett’s Status with the Cowboys on The Mike Tirico Podcast
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 14, 2019 – Peter King examines the “changing of the guard at quarterback,” including a discussion with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson after the Ravens’ Week 6 win over Cincinnati in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also talks to Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges, who won his first career start yesterday, and shares his thoughts on the rest of the NFL weekend.
Additionally, across NBC Sports, on The Mike Tirico Podcast, Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Mike Florio recap Week 6, while Florio and Chris Simms break down all of the action across the NFL on PFT Live and Chris Simms Unbuttoned.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King: “When I went to Ravens camp this summer, the vibe was that Jackson’s penchant for running…wouldn’t be duplicated in 2019. He’s gone back to his old ways the last couple of weeks.”
King: “Jackson’s apace to carry it 184 times, and we’ll see if the Ravens want him to be exposed that much. From the pocket or using his mobility, Jackson’s a fascinating watch, and he plenty’s accurate (.651) in case he decides eventually to pass first and second, and maybe third.”
Jackson on his style of play: “We’re just going to do what the defense gives us. The game’s so fast. I’ve got a sharp mind. I really don’t care if I’m running or passing. Just win games.”
Jackson on his rushes vs. the Browns yesterday: “Ninety percent were designed. Ten percent I took off on my own.”
DEVLIN HODGES & THE STEELERS
King: “When Chris Simms and I visited Steelers camp in August, we heard about this quarterback I’d never come across before: Devlin Hodges of Samford, in Alabama. Word was the rookie was afraid of nothing, came in and out of huddles like he’d been there.”
Hodges on what yesterday’s game meant to him: “Well, I won an NFL game, and they can never take that away from me.”
Hodges: “My goal was to make the final 53, and if not, then the practice squad…The game’s the same, but the players are faster.”
King: “With the Steelers on their bye this week, Mason Rudolph will have a week to come out of the concussion protocol. Whatever, the Steelers know they’ve got a good insurance policy in Hodges now.”
WEEK 6 THOUGHTS
King on QB play: “Exactly half of the league’s 32 teams are starting passers in their third year of starting experience or less…Jimmy Garoppolo, Teddy Bridgewater, Kyle Allen and Devlin Hodges are 14-0. Brady’s still winning and Brees will be back, but the signs are there for the new.”
King on the 49ers: “The San Francisco defense, at least in the NFC, is as good as it gets…The Niners have held two offenses with good weapons, the Browns and Rams, to 10 points in the last eight quarters. They’re 5-0, and it’s the defense that’s the key right now – a hammering front with a team of physical cover players mindful of the Legion of Boom.”
49ers DB Jimmie Ward on playing meaningful games: “This is my first year playing in games like that. We’ve got 11 guys swarming to the ball. Not about one guy. It’s about all 11 getting to the ball.”
King on the Chiefs: “Yes, I do think the Chiefs face some trouble…Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo needs to tighten up that front, or it’ll be yet another year that the Chiefs Kingdom spends a bitter February wondering what might have been.”
King on the Cowboys: “The problem with Dallas is they feasted on three down teams early (Giants, Washington, Miami) and now don’t have many breathers the rest of the way – maybe against the Giants and Washington.”
King on Teddy Bridgewater: “(Drew) Brees should take the job back when he’s healthy, of course. But if (Teddy) Bridgewater does nothing else this season, his calm demeanor, competent play and strong presence, as well as his hold-the-fort 4-0 record, has been more than anyone expected in New Orleans.”
KING’S CURRENT PICKS FOR MVP
- Russell Wilson, Seattle
- Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City
- Deshaun Watson, Houston
- Tom Brady, New England
- Christian McCaffrey, Carolina
KING’S WEEK 6 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Sam Darnold, New York Jets, Stefon Diggs, Minnesota, & Kyle Allen, Carolina.
King on Diggs: “Diggs, of course, has been a mystery man this fall, going AWOL two weeks ago for a day and spurring a heavy fine by the club. All was forgiven Sunday in Minnesota.”
King on Allen: “Now, after a two-touchdown, zero-turnover game for Allen, you can start asking the question about whether the Panthers should automatically go back to Cam Newton when he’s healthy. Not saying Ron Rivera should stick with Allen; just saying it’s a question now.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Jimmie Ward, San Francisco, Kyle Van Noy, New England, & Vernon Butler, Carolina.
King on Van Noy: “I suppose acquiring Randy Moss for a fourth-round pick…in 2007 would have to qualify as the best trade Bill Belichick has ever made. The 2016 for Van Noy might be number two.”
Coach of the Week: Bill O’Brien, Houston.
King on O’Brien: “I thought he coached a brilliant game in the 31-24 victory at Kansas City…Great game for a coach who’s now won four of five.”
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of The Mike Tirico Podcast:
Tony Dungy on the 49ers: “The 49ers defense was the most impressive unit I saw all day…I have not seen a dominant performance like that in a long time.”
Rodney Harrison on Todd Gurley: “I talked to a few players that played against Todd Gurley and they’re just simply saying that he’s no longer that threat. He’s just an average back.”
Mike Florio on Jason Garrett’s status: “Jerry Jones has always been a guy who completely and totally and unconditionally supports you until the moment he no longer does and you never know when that moment is going to come…If they get embarrassed on Sunday night…that’s going to give Jerry Jones a little wobble and it’s going to make him think about what he wants to do.”
The following are clips from last night’s edition of Football Night in America:
- Thanks Mom: The Watt Brothers: Los Angeles Chargers’ fullback Derek Watt and Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker T.J. Watt take time to give a special thanks to their mom, Connie.
- LaDainian Tomlinson on Rodney Harrison: Chargers all-time great and Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson talks about his former teammate and FNIA analyst Rodney Harrison.
- Sunday Night 7 Picks with Liam McHugh and LaDainian Tomlinson: McHugh and Tomlinson make their Sunday Night 7 picks.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage heading into Week 6:
- Mike Florio and Chris Simms, with guest Peter King, discuss all things NFL on PFT Live, including handing out their Week 6 superlatives, sharing updated power rankings, and making their Week 7 game picks.
- On Chris Simms Unbuttoned, Simms deep dives into film of two games from Week 6 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.