FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 9th, 2023
PETER KING HONORS BILLS S DAMAR HAMLIN, RECAPS WEEK 18 AND PREVIEWS SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND IN TODAY’S EDITION OF “FMIA”
“Our team, we had Damar (Hamlin)’s wings on our backs today.” – Bills RB Nyheim Hines to King after returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in Buffalo’s win over New England
“I don’t think the brotherhood’s ever been stronger or more on display than it was this week.” – Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell to King on the NFL unifying for Damar Hamlin
“There’s not a quarterback as gifted athletically and intelligently as Mahomes.” – King on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
“I empathize with the Bengals, but I also think these were extraordinary circumstances, and a rejiggering of the rules should be within the commissioner’s purview.” – King on the Bengals’ negative reaction to the new AFC playoff rules
“If I were the Ravens, I’d probably franchise him for 2023 and let the chips fall where they may. It’s hard to pay a player who makes much of his business with his legs a bountiful long-term contract when he’s missed the time Jackson has.” – King on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s future in Baltimore
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 9, 2023 – Peter King, who traveled to Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium for yesterday’s Bills victory over the Patriots, discusses Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s continued recovery with a wide range of players, coaches, and fans in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also recaps Week 18 of the NFL season, previews Wild Card Weekend, and discusses Patrick Mahomes’ strong case for NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson’s future with the Ravens, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
Bills RB Nyheim Hines to Peter King after returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in the Patriots-Bills game, including the game’s opening kickoff: “Our team, we had Damar’s wings on our backs today.”
Bills QB Josh Allen to King on the team returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown: “If you want the truth, it was spiritual. Bone-chilling.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott to King on Hamlin: “I think I knew this before but it was reaffirmed this week: You care for the person first, and the player second. The value of people is amazing. [Monday night,] I felt at the end of the day, and this may not come out right, I’m responsible for the health and well-being of these players and staff. I wish to this day that I could’ve protected Damar from that situation. I don’t take that lightly whatsoever.”
McDermott to King on Hamlin’s situation unifying the country: “It’s the power of the gap being closed by love. When people can put their agendas aside for the greater and common good, how good we can be when we do that. I hope that continues. I hope this is a great example and reminder to people of the power of prayer and the power of love.”
Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell to King on the brotherhood of the NFL: “I still love the game. Maybe it’s because of the brotherhood that we have. I feel that’s on full display. I don’t think the brotherhood’s ever been stronger or more on display than it was this week.”
University of Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Randy Bates to King on his time spent with Hamlin in college: “I also recall how we were having trouble getting turnovers on our defense. I went to him and I said, ‘We need something like that turnover chain Miami’s got, Ham. I need to find us a way to get motivated.’ So he thought of taking a basketball hoop, and when we got a turnover, the kids would dunk the ball into the hoop. I remember thinking, that’s silly. But he sold it to the leadership council. Now we’ve just finished our fourth year, and the kids love it. The tradition continues. Damar started it. We just did it four times in the Sun Bowl.”
King on the Cowboys-Buccaneers Wild Card game next weekend: “The 12-win Cowboys have looked like the six-win Cowboys over the past five weeks. I bet the Bucs will be a dangerous game for Dallas.”
King on Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt’s final game in the NFL: “Get the gold jacket ready for a 2028 fitting.”
KING’S MVP WATCH – WEEK 18
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, 2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati, 3. Josh Allen, Buffalo, 4. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia, 5. Nick Bosa, San Francisco
King on Mahomes: “There’s not a quarterback as gifted athletically and intelligently as Mahomes, and not a quarterback able to pilot Kansas City’s imaginative and innovative and ever-changing offense as well as Mahomes.”
KING’S WEEK 18 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia, Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City, & Penei Sewell, Detroit
King on Hurts’ return from injury: “It wasn’t the most dynamic performance of Hurts’ career (20 of 35 for 229 yards and a pick) but it was an extremely important one. Back in the lineup after missing the past two games (both Eagles losses) with a shoulder sprain, Hurts led his team to a win over the Giants, earning the first-round bye.”
Defensive Players of the Week: Rodney Thomas, Indianapolis, & J.J. Watt, Arizona
King on Watt: “In the final game of his final NFL season, Watt tallied two sacks, bringing his total to 114.5 across a 12-year career with the Texans and Cardinals (and another six in the postseason) … One of the NFL’s all-time great defensive players, Watt’s likely to be in the Hall of Fame class in 2028.”
Coach of the Week: Sean McDermott, Buffalo
King on McDermott: “So much credit is due to McDermott for his focus on his players, both Hamlin and the rest of the team, on Monday night, and for his composure throughout the week leading up to Buffalo’s win over New England, which clinched them the No. 2 seed.”
Special Teams Player of the Week: Nyheim Hines, Buffalo, & Ryan Stonehouse, Tennessee
NEWS & NOTES
King on Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s future with the team: “I think at some point the Ravens have to consider this when pondering what to offer Lamar Jackson: He has missed five games due to injury in 2021, and five more in 2022…If I were the Ravens, I’d probably franchise him for 2023 and let the chips fall where they may. It’s hard to pay a player who makes much of his business with his legs a bountiful long-term contract when he’s missed the time Jackson has.”
King on the Bengals’ negative reaction to this season’s AFC playoff changes: “I empathize with the Bengals, but I also think these were extraordinary circumstances, and a rejiggering of the rules should be within the commissioner’s purview.”
King on the Broncos reportedly interviewing Sean Payton for their head coach opening: “Payton would have to buy into fixing Russell Wilson. I’m dubious he’d want to do that. But we’ll see. When an ownership group offers a person $20 million a year (I’m assuming that’s where this negotiation would have to start), that person will certainly listen.”
King on Jets head coach Robert Saleh’s defense of QB Zach Wilson: “I think Robert Saleh should be congratulated for his approach to Zach Wilson…Wilson deserves two months away from the maelstrom of New York and then a legit chance to compete for the job with whoever starting in April or May. And good for Saleh, sticking up so stridently for a kid who needs it.”
Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
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.
- ProFootballTalk.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.