“I’m telling you, this is the most mentally-tough dude that I’ve ever been around.” – Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel on QB Tua Tagovailoa
“Watch the 30-7 win at Pittsburgh in the season-opener and tell me he wasn’t worth a five in 2024 and overall picks 61, 93 and 132 this year.” – King on the 49ers’ trade for RB Christian McCaffrey last season
“They’re stout defensively, they can run with power and speed, the secondary is feisty. The Lions are absolutely not overrated.” – King
STAMFORD, Conn. – September 11, 2023 – Peter King speaks with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and breaks down all the action from Week 1 of the NFL season in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses Joe Burrow’s performance in the Bengals’ loss to the Browns, the Cowboys’ dominant victory over the Giants, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Peter King on Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa’s performance in the team’s win over the Chargers: “This was one of Tua’s best games at any level, ever. That was impressive…He was in command.”
Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel to King on what he said to Tagovailoa after the game: “I told him, ‘This is gonna be a fun season. Let’s learn from our mistakes. Let’s keep pressing forward.’ You know? That’s really it. Just because he’s in such a good spot. The best thing in the world for a guy like that is to take control over things in his life and that’s all he’s done since last offseason.”
McDaniel: “People were scoffing at him about jiu jitsu. He understood the value of it and really, really put a lot of time into that…I’m telling you, this is the most mentally-tough dude that I’ve ever been around.”
Rams QB Matthew Stafford on Los Angeles’ win over Seattle: “Until you go out there and play the games, there’s always a little bit of the unknown. For us as a team, I was really confident in the guys that we were gonna go out there and play with…I definitely felt that if we just played the way we’ve been playing in practice, we were gonna have a good shot.”
Stafford on Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua: “Every time we put something more on his plate, he does a great job making it come to life. Obviously has great run-after-catch ability and he’s a physical player…I trust him.”
King on 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey: “Watch the 30-7 win at Pittsburgh in the season-opener, with McCaffrey’s power and speed and in-line toughness, and tell me he wasn’t worth a five in 2024 and overall picks 61, 93 and 132 this year.”
49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk on what McCaffrey said to him after he saw Aiyuk block for him on his 65-yard touchdown run: “He told me, ‘Bro, I saw that. I love you.’ You know, that’s kind of cool on a deep run, especially when it leads to a touchdown. When we do something like that, it’s always cool when [you] see it [on film] in the receivers room.”
King on the Giants’ 40-0 loss to the Cowboys: “As they say, it’s not a rivalry if you can’t beat a team, and the Giants can’t beat Dallas or Philadelphia right now.”
King: “I think the only thing the Giants can do now is shut up, be thankful that the next game on the schedule is out of town, and at Arizona (both very good things right now), and think back to horrible openers for teams that weren’t that bad.”
King on the aftermath of the Bengals’ loss to the Browns: “Not the best time to see a team that knows the Bengals so well, Baltimore, come to Ohio for the home opener Sunday. That game’s going to answer a lot of questions about how effective (Joe) Burrow’s going to be able to be this year.”
King on the Lions: “They’re stout defensively, they can run with power and speed, the secondary is feisty. The Lions are absolutely not overrated.”
King on Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: “Tough and physical, he’s the perfect leader for that receiver corps.”
KING’S WEEK 1 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami, & Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco
King on the Dolphins’ offense: “There is no more explosive combination in football than Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill (11 catches, 215 yards).”
Defensive Players of the Week: Jessie Bates III, Atlanta, & Osa Odighizuwa, Dallas
King on Bates’ performance in Atlanta’s win against Carolina: “Twice baited the top pick in the draft, Bryce Young. Twice timed his jump ahead of the intended receiver perfectly. Twice picked off Young with throws the Carolina quarterback will be agonizing over when he sees the film.”
Coach of the Week: Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator, Cleveland
King on Schwartz’s gameplan against the Bengals: “The Bengals have finished the last two seasons sixth and eighth in the NFL in scoring, and their first-half drives ended punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt. The Browns blitzed Joe Burrow all day, which is a Schwartz trademark.”
Special Teams Player of the Week: Amani Hooker, Tennessee
Goat of the Week: Kadarius Toney, Kansas City
NEWS & NOTES
King on the Buccaneers’ win against the Vikings: “I think if I’m Baker Mayfield this morning, I’m feeling damn good about winning a road game against a 2022 playoff team when everyone gave up on me.”
Former NFL tight end Kyle Rudolph on spending his final playing season on the Buccaneers with Tom Brady: “The most amazing thing to me was, with all the negativity swirling around his life outside of football, he never carried it into the building. Always positive. I didn’t think it’d be possible when I walked into the team to be more impressed with Tom. But I was.”
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.
- 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.