NEW YORK (Dec. 9, 2014) – This week’s installment of INSIDE THE NFL premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. Host Greg Gumbel is joined by expert analysts Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin in-studio to discuss an action-packed Week 14 leading to the NFL playoffs.
This week’s episode of INSIDE THE NFL is highlighted by the Patriots, Broncos, Seattle and Packers and whether any other team has what it takes to get ahead of them in the playoff race, as well the NFC South and what lies ahead for the Harbaugh brothers.
Plus, watch Boomer Esiason recite the offensive linemen’s prayer and reveal his choice for the top offensive line in the league.
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INSIDE THE NFL is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films. The executive producers are Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports, Ross Ketover and Pat Kelleher of NFL Films. Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.
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BELOW ARE SELECT HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS WEEK’S EDITION
On the winner of the NFC South hosting a playoff game…
Boomer Esiason – “I definitely think they should re-seed. And I think you shouldn’t reward teams for playing in a poor division. I know that old school guys will all say that, ‘Well, you know, you build your team to win in your division.’ You could put any team in that division and they would win it. I think that, in all fairness, a team that is 11-5 should not have to travel on the road to a team with a losing record. I think you should re-seed the whole thing and give the teams that have the best years the opportunity to host a home playoff game.”
On Who Can Challenge The Final Four Favorites of Green Bay, Seattle, New England and Denver…
Michael Irvin – “THE Dallas Cowboys. They did go into Seattle and beat Seattle. I think it’s all about matchups. The Cowboys match up well with Seattle. I think they can crash this party.”
Boomer Esiason – “…The Detroit Lions can do it. And the reason for that is because they have a top-notch defensive line that stops the run… The offense the last couple of weeks has been on fire. Matthew Stafford, five touchdowns, over 700-yards passing. Now, all of a sudden, you have a full, complete team coming together at the right time.”
Phil Simms – “When you look at the AFC, the one team that jumps out at me is the Indianapolis Colts. I know everybody hates their defense. But the one thing about their defense, they are willing to try to do anything. They can cover well. I know they don’t rush the passer well, but on the other side [offense] they have T.Y. Hilton. They have Reggie Wayne. And they have big Andrew Luck. Listen, there’s no lead safe when you play the Indianapolis Colts.”
On Jim Harbaugh…
Boomer Esiason – “Success breeds contempt. It happened in Dallas with Jimmy [Johnson] and Jerry [Jones], right? You have all the success and people want to be paid for their success. Because being paid in this business is about respect. And Jim Harbaugh has done nothing but win since he got there to San Francisco. Clean up the mess, revive… I’ll tell you this right now, if Jim Harbaugh becomes available, I am taking him as my head coach because he has a track record. Everywhere he has gone, he’s been a winner, a lot like Bill Parcells.”
Michael Irvin – “This is the NFL – ‘Not For Long.’ What are you doing for me lately? And it’s sad. He went three straight times to the NFC Championship game and we’re sitting here talking about him, now he may be on the streets looking for a job. I find it incredible.”