FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 5th, 2020

PETER KING DISCUSSES IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE NFL SEASON AND SPEAKS WITH BROWNS COACH KEVIN STEFANSKI IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN

“The short answer is it might happen. The smart answer is this: There’s no good reason to decide that until you have to. And the NFL wants to avoid it if at all possible.” – King on creating potential Weeks 18 and 19 for postponed games

“If two or three more teams have Tennessee-like outbreaks, the league and union may push for it.” – King on creating bubble environments for teams

“I’ve had the play on my call sheet all season. When I was making up the script for this game, I said, ‘I can’t let this game go by without calling it.’” – Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski on WR Jarvis Landry’s touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr.

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 5, 2020 – Peter King discusses postponed games and the impact of COVID-19 on the NFL season moving forward in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski following Cleveland’s victory, recaps the games and news from Week 4, and hands out his weekly awards.

Across NBC Sports this week, Peacock’s daily NFL programming includes PFT Live featuring Mike Florio and Chris Simms live at 7 a.m. ET, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another, with Michael Holley and Michael Smith, at 3 p.m. ET, and PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest offseason news, and the Rotoworld Football Podcast and Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast discuss Week 4.

The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:

COVID-19

King on the impact of COVID-19 around the league: “So many tentacles to this story, from the science of contagion to the effect on TV, to the second Presidential debate, to the effect on the schedule, to the strange story of the sudden New England quarterback, to the hastily called league meeting today, to how Tennessee’s going to handle its current nightmare.”

King on why the Patriots-Chiefs game was postponed until tonight following positive tests: “The league didn’t want to saddle Kansas City with a Tuesday-Sunday-Thursday (at Buffalo) stretch of three games in 10 days…It fits New England better too. The Patriots wouldn’t have wanted to get home at 4 a.m. Wednesday to prepare for a Sunday game with Denver, when the Broncos would have had nine days to prep after a Thursday game the previous week.”

King on the potential of creating Weeks 18 and 19 to make up postponed games due to COVID-19: “The short answer is it might happen. The smart answer is this: There’s no good reason to decide that until you have to. And the NFL wants to avoid it if at all possible…To me, it’s far better for two or three teams to play 14 or 15 games than to put your highest-achieving teams at the disadvantage of sitting for a month, then playing its most important game of the year.”

King on the Titans: “Could the Titans, if forced to miss one or two games, simply play a shorter season than other teams and have their playoff status determined by winning percentage versus full-season teams? Could they be made to forfeit a game or games if found to have been negligent? Unknown and undecided.”

King on the possibility of the NFL creating bubble environments for teams: “It’s a good idea, of course, putting every team in a local hotel for the next three months for most or all of every week. A good idea, until you ask families about missing Thanksgiving and Christmas. It may come to this. If two or three more teams have Tennessee-like outbreaks, the league and union may push for it.”

THE BROWNS & WEEK 4 NOTES

King on the Browns: “Should we be getting sucked into the Cleveland Browns again? They’re 3-1 for the first time in 19 years…Maybe we should just enjoy it for however long it lasts. Cleveland 49, Dallas 38 was like a playground game – and it took playground plays to win it.”

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski on wide receiver Jarvis Landry’s touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr.: “I’ve had the play on my call sheet all season. When I was making up the script for this game, I said, ‘I can’t let this game go by without calling it.’ I’ll tell you what we call it – if we call it again I’d have to change the name anyway. ‘Bananas.’”

Stefanski on Landry’s ability to throw: “Amazing arm, and he’s a lefty, which of course is rare…I’ll tell you the amazing thing: Odell can throw it great too. And Odell can throw a great spiral either righty or lefty.”

Stefanski on the Browns’ 3-1 start: “Honestly, I don’t ride the wave. I stay pretty week to week. This was a good team win. We’re 3-1. But no one just wants to play one good quarter. Long way to go.”

King on the NFC East: “The once-mighty East is a combined 3-12-1 after a quarter of the season. The Eagles might be the favorite in the division…If Carson Wentz’s first step on the road to competence Sunday night is a sign of things to come, the Eagles could have a quarterback who’s good enough and a defense that can win against most offensive fronts.”

King on the Texans: “Bill O’Brien’s in trouble. Pretty early to play what-if, but what if the 0-4 Texans can’t recover, and finish 5-11?…In four of his six seasons as head coach, the Texans have won the AFC South…But the Texans haven’t won more than a wild-card game in January, and O’Brien’s trade of DeAndre Hopkins will reverberate, particularly with Hopkins starring so far for Arizona.”

King on the Panthers: “I think there’s a legit chance Carolina could be 4-2 in two weeks, with a games at Atlanta and home with Chicago coming up. I mean, with no (Luke) Kuechly, no (Christian) McCaffery, no Cam (Newton), no (Greg) Olsen – this Matt Rhule can coach.”

KING’S WEEK 4 AWARDS

Offensive Players of the Week: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia, Odell Beckham, Jr., Cleveland, Joe Burrow, Cincinnati, & Tom Brady, Tampa Bay.

King on Wentz: “After a winless start through three games that had some calling for him to be benched, Wentz came through Sunday night in a comeback win over San Francisco.”

Defensive Players of the Week: Bradley Chubb, Denver, & Myles Garrett, Cleveland.

King on Chubb: “A year after ACL surgery, Chubb is starting to look like the player the Broncos drafted fifth overall in 2018.”

Special Teams Players of the Week: Michael Boone, Minnesota, & Taiwan Jones, Buffalo.

King on Boone: “The Vikes’ special-teams ace blew through the Houston punt protection around returner DeAndre Carter late in the first quarter, jarring the ball loose. The Vikings recovered at the Houston 35, drove to a field goal and a 10-0 lead and never trailed in their first win of the season.”

Coach of the Week: Matt Rhule, Carolina.

King: “Rhule is pretty good with reclamation projects, having saved Temple and Baylor in two past coaching lives…The defense is still leaky, but Carolina’s finding a way with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater playing efficiently and the run game able to eat some clock.”

Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.

The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:

    • Football Night in America: Week 4 Recap with Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, and Mike Florio
    • PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Chris Simms 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 and PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET on Peacock.
    • ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
    • The Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and Rotoworld Football Podcast discuss Week 4 and look ahead to Week 5.

 

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.

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