FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 11th, 2021
PETER KING DISCUSSES IMPACT OF BUFFALO’S WIN OVER KANSAS CITY & TAKES STOCK OF THE NFL ONE MONTH INTO THE SEASON IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN
“This felt bigger than one game…This looked like a changing of the guard in the AFC more than just a Week 5 game.” – King on the Bills’ win over the Chiefs
“This is an offense with more firepower than last year, and a defense growing stronger…This could finally be the year western New York forgets all those nineties Super Bowl disappointments.” – King on the Bills
“It’s just fun to watch. The 2021 Chargers are what the 2019 Chiefs were.” – King on the Chargers’ 4-1 start
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 11, 2021 – Peter King discusses the impact of the Bills’ 38-20 victory over the Chiefs last night on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with Cardinals safety Budda Baker, Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, takes stock of the NFL storylines one month into the season, hands out his Week 5 awards, and more.
Across NBC Sports this week, Pro Football Talk streams live on Peacock at 7 a.m. ET every weekday and re-airs at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN. In addition to Pro Football Talk, Peacock offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel for free, including shows Safety Blitz, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, The Peter King Podcast, The Rich Eisen Show, Brother from Another, and The Dan Patrick Show. To learn more about the NBC Sports on Peacock channel and how to sign up, click here.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King on the Bills’ victory over the Chiefs last night: “This felt bigger than one game. The Chiefs looked thin on offense and absolutely threadbare on defense. This looked like a changing of the guard in the AFC more than just a Week 5 game.”
King on the Chiefs: “Now alone in last place in the strong AFC West…I see trouble…Kansas City’s allowing 32.6 points per game, most in the league. Never thought I’d see this in the Mahomes Era, but the offense can’t outscore the defense (154 points for, 163 against) right now.”
King on the Bills: “This is an offense with more firepower than last year, and a defense growing stronger with players like (Gregory) Rousseau providing a needed pass rush…This could finally be the year western New York forgets all those nineties Super Bowl disappointments. Josh Allen will have a lot to do with that.”
King on Bills QB Josh Allen: “There was a play Sunday night in the rain in Kansas City that encapsulated the 2021 version of Josh Allen perfectly. Bills up 31-20 at the Chiefs’ 24-yard line, driving for insurance, seven minutes left in the game… At the 12-yard line, pursuit really not close, Allen pulled up and slid on the wet turf. First down. The insurance score came two plays later.”
King: “Maybe Allen’s the bull in the china shop last year, and maybe he makes it into the end zone and spikes the ball hard and screams at the sky. Nothing wrong with that. But he didn’t need to do it, and he didn’t do it, and he still was the man of the match. And finally, inexorably, he outplayed the man who will be his rival for years in the AFC, Patrick Mahomes.”
King on the Cardinals: “The season is one month old, and there’s one unbeaten team – the 5-0 Cardinals. Is it possible we’re overlooking them? … It’s a year when so many 4-1 teams – Buffalo, Tampa Bay, the Rams and Chargers, Dallas, Green Bay – are getting the love and Arizona isn’t.”
Cardinals safety Budda Baker to King on if the Cardinals are overlooked: “I wouldn’t know that, because I don’t pay much attention to the hype. I’m a Netflix, chill-at-home guy. I don’t watch any of the football shows where people are saying things about us. It’s better that way. Every week, I come in level-headed, excited to play the next game. We got a lot of guys like that.”
Baker to King on QB Kyler Murray: “Kyler’s vocal levels have been way higher this year. He’s a perfectionist, and he’s always fixing the smallest things on routes with his receivers.”
King’s three most surprising teams, in a good way:
“1. Arizona (5-0). Nice to have a quarterback with historic wheels completing 75 percent of his throws. Just as nice to be able to hold good teams to 13 (Tennessee) and 10 (San Francisco) points.
- Dallas (4-1).Giving up 23.4 points per game, down six points a game from last year. That, plus Dak Prescott’s return, has made all the difference.
- L.A. Chargers (4-1).First 20 games for Justin Herbert: 50 TDs (44 passing, six rushing), 5,912 yards. “We’re in every game, all game, with him,” said Austin Ekeler.”
King’s three most surprising teams, in a bad way:
“1. Kansas City (2-3). Image of the first month, caught by NBC Sunday Night Football cameras: Safety Daniel Sorenson getting beat on the long touchdown, and fellow safety Tyrann Mathieu holding his hands to either side of his helmet in utter disgust.
- New England (2-3).Pats have their quarterback in Mac Jones, but they had to pull out all the stops to beat Houston. Something’s missing here. Since Tom Bradyleft, they’re 9-12.
- Indianapolis (1-3).Could have put Washington here. Too early to give up on the Colts, especially after seeing them handle Miami last week. But for them to rebound, Carson Wentzhas to be his 2017 version.”
King on Packers kicker Mason Crosby: “It’s been a weird year for kickers. They missed 12 PATs Sunday, one by Crosby. So Crosby missed four kicks in Cincinnati, and still got a chance to kick the winner again. It always interests me, the mindset and approach of field-goal kickers.”
Crosby to King on his overtime game-winner yesterday vs. the Bengals after multiple misses: “Sounds boring, but I’ve been in it for a long time, and make or miss, you move to the next one. You kinda go through the process for a play or two and then you have to reload. When Matt (LaFleur) came right down to me he just said, What are you thinking? And of course I wanted to kick it.”
King: “I talked to Crosby for 13 minutes. When I hung up, I thought: If we’d had a 65-yarder to try after he’d missed three, I’d have sent him out there too. I certainly know why LaFleur did.”
King on the Chargers: “Isn’t it fun to watch the Los Angeles Chargers? The confluence of imaginative coach (Brandon Staley) and phenom quarterback (Justin Herbert) and offensive weaponry galore and defensive playmakers (Derwin James, especially, playing everywhere) getting off the canvas time and again. It’s just fun to watch. The 2021 Chargers are what the 2019 Chiefs were.”
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler to King: “Man, it feels like, when we get on the field, we’re gonna go score. If we have to, guess what? We’re going for it on fourth down. That’s just the way we roll right now. J-Herb’s been smart with the ball. Finding us, and we’ve been getting open and giving him an option to throw to. It’s that feeling like we’re in a zone. We’re scoring every time we get the ball.”
King on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s injury: “One source said Wilson spent ‘about two minutes’ ticked off that he’d be out for a while, then started asking Seahawk medics and good friend Drew Brees for advice on how to proceed. By the time he’d left the locker room Thursday night, he’d already spoken to the Los Angeles-based orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand procedures…Seventeen hours between suffering the injury and having it repaired 1,100 miles away. One of the pieces of advice he heard: The sooner you get the surgery, the sooner you’re back playing.”
KING’S WEEK 5 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers, Davante Adams, Green Bay, Tom Brady, Tampa Bay, & Kyle Pitts, Atlanta.
King on Herbert: “Herbert is making all things possible for the Chargers right now…The man is 23 years old, and no team in five weeks has thrown anything at him that he can’t handle. What a game he had, and what a player he is.”
King on Adams: “Getting way ahead of myself here, but if (Aaron) Rodgers is a Packer in 2022, somehow Green Bay’s got to figure a way to keep Adams.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Khalil Mack, Chicago, Trevon Diggs, Dallas, Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers, & Darius Slay, Philadelphia.
King has Diggs: “What Diggs is doing just isn’t done in the modern game: six picks in the first five games of the season, including at least one in every game this year.”
King on James: “When coach Brandon Staley took the job last winter and started watching tape, he saw how great James was in his rookie season of 2018. He set out to move James around like a queen on the chessboard – in other words, moving everywhere.”
Special Teams Players of the Week: Greg Joseph, Minnesota, Blake Gillikin, New Orleans, & Michael Dickson, Seattle.
King on Dickson: “Dickson is absurdly good at his job—we knew that already. But the NFL state-of-the-art punter had the best game of his career Thursday night, and made one of the great punts in NFL history…What a major weapon Dickson is.”
Coach of the Week: Matt LaFleur, Green Bay.
King: “LaFleur’s the kind of even-handed guy who’s a very good modern football coach. He lets his players play, puts the offense in terrific position to succeed, and doesn’t go batcrap when bad things happen.”
NEWS & NOTES
King on Raiders head coach Jon Gruden: “My thought is Gruden has to do something to show legitimate repentance – something like endowing a scholarship for Black students with part of his reported $100-million contract with the Raiders. An apology is not enough, regardless how well-meaning it may be.”
King on the NFL’s London games: “I think the NFL’s foray into Europe on Sunday for the first time in two years was notable, in part, for all the thinking about where the game wasn’t played. While the Jets and Falcons were in London, lots of focus was on Germany.”
King: “Per an NFL source: There are multiple NFL teams that badly want to play in that first German game and want to take advantage of the hunger of German fans. It’s the fastest-growing international market.”
King on Titans wide receiver Julio Jones’ injuries: “Teams that were interested in Jones before he was dealt to the Titans – Baltimore, Vegas, New England – are undoubtedly happy they didn’t pay the freight for Jones….The Jones story is not over. He has plenty of time to make an impact on a team that probably is still the AFC South favorite. But once 32-year-old receivers who’ve played 138 physical NFL games start breaking down, they don’t usually become ironmen.”
King on Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson: “I think the most interesting non-quarterback in football right now (well, excluding Michael Dickson) is Atlanta receiver/returner/rusher Cordarrelle Patterson…I nominate for Contract of the Year this one by new Falcons GM Terry Fontenot: Cordarrelle Patterson, one year, $3 million.”
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.