FMIA Week 17: NFL Playoff photo Comes Into center of attention As Giants Make Playoffs; Steelers, Packers live on - ProFootballTalk - NBC activities

long-time membership govt sent this textual content simply before hour of darkness Sunday:

NFL could get very lucky if PIT and GB sneak into the playoffs

He's right: Steelers and Packers as seven seeds could be television gold. imagine how a whole lot better Wild Card Weekend is with the combating Tomlins being a Wild Card burr in the saddle to Joe Burrow. think about the nothing-to-lose-with-no-force Packers going to Minnesota (purple dread) or San Francisco on the Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour.

I'll inform you what's even enhanced: eco-friendly Bay and Detroit enjoying online game 272 at Lambeau box Sunday night. Rodgers and the streaking Packers playing a win-and-in game in opposition t one of the crucial upstart groups of the 12 months.

So many moving items this morning, starting with tonight's Monday night game of the 12 months, Buffalo at Cincinnati, a video game with a major relating the AFC's desirable seed and lone playoff bye. here's what we recognize now:

The Week 18 time table. The NFL schedule called for two games on Saturday and 14 on Sunday of Week 18. The league introduced at eleven:30 ET Sunday night the two ESPN/ABC games for Saturday: Kansas metropolis at Las Vegas, four:30 p.m. ET, followed by Tennessee at Jacksonville at 8:15 p.m., for the AFC South championship.

Don't miss the value right here. The NFL traditionally scheduled a division title online game in the final week, if one is obtainable, within the ultimate time slot of the common season on Sunday night on NBC. however the NFL obviously sees the weirdness of this 12 months's division title video game. Tennessee is on a six-game dropping streak and will be enjoying a third-string quarterback at a crimson-scorching crew that's received 4 straight with a quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, who's on fireplace. no longer precisely the game you need to show off in the last primetime window of the regular yr.

You could ask, Why KC-Vegas for the first video game? Three reasons: Kansas city (13-3) needs to win to stay in play for the AFC's excellent seed, Patrick Mahomes is always a scores draw, and the Raiders (6-10), notwithstanding eradicated from the playoffs, confirmed off an incredible efficiency with the aid of Jarrett Stidham in his first NFL start Sunday. The game should get a good score.

video game 272. despite the fact I'd make the argument that Detroit-green Bay is much and away the most appropriate candidate for the Sunday night finale, the NFL may wait till the conclusion of bills-Bengals to set the Sunday agenda. After Baltimore (10-6) lost to Pittsburgh Sunday nighttime, it could take a Cincinnati (11-four) loss tonight for the Ravens-at-Bengals game next Sunday to be for the AFC North crown. The problem in that state of affairs is that both teams are already in the playoffs, so the online game could be played best for playoff seeding.

My gut feeling is the NFL will nevertheless play Rodgers in primetime in a win-and-in Sunday game. Why wouldn't the league do this? If the Seahawks beat the Rams in Seattle next weekend, Detroit would be eradicated. i'd hold Rodgers taking part in to put eco-friendly Bay within the playoffs is the single largest story of Week 18, and Dan Campbell's kneecap-biters would not lay down however they'd been eliminated a half-hour before the video game. It's probably the most exciting aggressive online game of the weekend.

The Eagles. The Jalen Hurts absence (shoulder) has contributed to both-video game Philly dropping streak, and now the Eagles, with Hurts or without him, have to beat the Giants at domestic next week to clinch what appeared inevitable a few weeks ago — the NFC's correct seed. Too tons about this Giants-Eagles video game we don't comprehend, starting with Hurts' status for it. however that you can bet Eagles teach Nick Sirianni gained't need to go into the playoffs along with his beginning quarterback idle for five weeks unless Hurts is only unable to throw it next week. So it'll be an interesting story to observe this week.

The Wild Card round. Who doesn't love speculation? right here's mine about Wild Card weekend. I'm inserting green Bay and Pittsburgh as the seven seeds.

AFC seeds: 1. Kansas metropolis, 2. Cincinnati, three. Buffalo, 4. Jacksonville, 5. L.A. Chargers, 6. Baltimore, 7. Pittsburgh.

NFC seeds: 1. Philadelphia, 2. San Francisco, three. Minnesota, four. Tampa Bay, 5. Dallas, 6. N.Y. Giants, 7. green Bay.

interesting matchups. final year, the NFL had as its three primetime Wild Card video games (be aware, there's a Monday night Wild Card video game) Pats-expenses, Steelers-Chiefs, cards-Rams. lousy games, determined by 30, 21 and 23 aspects. This year, think about the evening video games as Steelers-Bengals, Cowboys-Bucs and Packers-Niners. just feels enhanced than closing 12 months.

The Leads of Week 17

The week that became within the NFL:

Take bows, J.J. Watt and Fred Gaudelli. Roger Goodell on Gaudelli, stepping away from producing primetime NFL video games after 33 years: "Freddie's been the most excellent teach within the truck."

The new york soccer Giants, after successful three, 5, four, 6, and 4 video games in the closing 5 years, are 9-6-1 Giants and locked in as the sixth seed in the NFC. No crew can have a superior accomplishment this season, barring the Jags winning the super Bowl. CEO John Mara feels the change this 12 months: "when I'm going for walks out to my motor vehicle at the end of the video game, they're not yelling, 'You suck! promote the crew!'"

Six years ago tonight, the Giants reveled in their closing playoff look — and Odell Beckham and a couple of mates celebrated with the notorious Miami boat photograph. I'm doubtful that pictures of the 2022 crew will surface from South seashore this week.

The Steelers rallied to beat Baltimore in the closing minutes, have won 5 of six, four on the street, and after starting 2-6, they're an absolute load to play. "We're the Steelers," mentioned Cam Heyward. "we have definite expectations." by the way, they're 8-eight, and a win in opposition t the Browns subsequent week would provide Mike Tomlin a 9-8 record, and his sixteenth non-losing season in 16 years helming the franchise.

Andy Reid has coached towards Denver 20 times as Kansas metropolis's head coach. First 5: 0-5. closing 15: 15-0. I feel a fashion.

Jarrett Stidham can sling it. I suggest, in reality sling it.

How incredible: The 247th decide upon in the draft, Skylar Thompson, might need to quarterback Miami's closing-gasp playoff-bid video game towards the Jets next Sunday, whereas the 262nd opt for within the draft, Brock Purdy, will are attempting to elevate the Niners to NFC domestic-container advantage against Arizona.

The Vikings (12-four) close on the Bears (three-13) next Sunday, and Minnesota's a one-aspect favourite. What, individuals don't have faith Minnesota? I'm greatly surprised, I tell you.

Miami looks cooked. any person believe Skylar Thompson can whip Sauce Gardner?

Colts were outscored 97-sixteen within the closing 2.5 video games. Now there's a desirable teaching job. Had ample yet, Jeff Saturday?

Tom Brady turned into the greatest participant in Week 17. Who's going to tell him he shouldn't play subsequent year, at 46?

Nick Bosa looks very tons like defensive participant of the yr. He's received Usain Bolt burst. just ask Kolton Miller.

have you heard of Freddi Goldstein? No? neatly, she may just be able to train you whatever thing about Knockout swimming pools.

Busy week.

Three stars 10

The three guys who stood out to me in Week 17:

Jarrett Stidham, quarterback, Raiders. Derek Carr hadn't thrown for 310 yards in a game all season during this Josh McDaniels offense that's so quarterback-friendly. Sunday, in opposition t the most suitable protection in soccer, Stidham threw for 365, and he only misplaced because all-world aspect rusher Nick Bosa pushed left address Kolton Miller lower back into Stidham on the primary collection of time beyond regulation in a 34-all online game, and Stidham's circulate fluttered into the air, and Niners safeguard Tashaun Gipson picked it off to set up the winning container goal. I discovered it particularly entertaining that Davante Adams, in mourning over his shut pal Carr getting benched for a child who'd in no way started an NFL game, changed into generous in his praise for Stidham later on. Receivers like when quarterbacks cling in if it potential taking massive shots, and that's what Adams observed about Stidham. "He performed a terrific game," Adams spoke of. "He apologized for not being capable of finish it off, and every single grownup on the crew pointed out, 'Man, get out of here. You balled out.'" Stidham had one online game left, towards Kansas city Saturday, after which may be a free agent. The Raiders would be wise to signal him short-term and draft a young quarterback to compete for the job — for 2023 and past.

Nick Bosa, aspect, 49ers. Bosa's stat line in non-contemporary instances: zero tackles, zero assists, zero sacks. no longer much of a game, I bet. however one of the most awesome things about modern NFL stats is how deep they could dig. Per next Gen Stats, Bosa had seven pressures of quarterback Jarrett Stidham at Las Vegas Sunday. in case you watched the game, you noticed Bosa's impact on it, exceptionally on the Raiders' remaining offensive play of the video game. "I flipped facets on the play," Bosa talked about from the Niners' locker room. "The Raiders were sliding insurance policy to me and [defensive tackle] Arik [Armstead], so I made that swap in time beyond regulation." Bosa referred to circulate-dashing is a chess online game, because he's bought to retain the offensive lineman throughout from him guessing. And left address Kolton Miller, certainly, on the fourth snap of beyond regular time, wasn't expecting a bull-rush from the cat-brief Bosa. Bosa p ushed Miller — PFF's fourth-rated left handle amongst people that've performed as a minimum 600 snaps this yr — directly returned into Stidham, and the move fluttered downfield for a simple interception. An OT box aim and a 37-34 Niners' win adopted.

With every week to play and Bosa leading the NFL sack derby by using 1.5 over Eagle Haason Reddick, he's a favourite to win his first shielding player of the 12 months. maybe a heavy favourite. "simply being within the conversation means a whole lot to me," he referred to. "considering that i was three years historical, this is what i wished to do. successful the award does pass my mind, however I try to maintain my mind on my job."

Daniel Jones, quarterback, Giants. Jones is within the correct region. He needs to sign with the Giants for the close-time period this offseason. He fits. On Sunday, after the 38-10 rout of the Colts, enthusiasts have been chanting his identify, loving him for probably the primary heavy-decibel time in his four seasons in New Jersey. He threw two TD passes, perfect throws, and had two TD runs. He's quick satisfactory to outrun linebackers, but when one's in his method, he has no problem stiff-arming them to the ground — he did it with Bobby Okereke of the Colts Sunday — or bashing into them to win a few yards.

Jones has led the Giants out of the debacle of the Joe choose era and acquired into every thing rookie coach Brian Daboll is promoting. "Early on," he spoke of from the Meadowlands Sunday, "it become competing at practice. It become the spirit we developed, the want to enrich every day no depend what became being stated about us. Guys are looking to compete. They love the innovation, the creativity. Guys love how this staff plays to our strengths. I've realized a ton of football from him."

The different aspect I've heard plenty about with Daboll is how he simplifies issues. He continues the critical things essential. The outside stuff, meh. closing week, within the first crew assembly before the game in opposition t the Colts, Daboll desired to handle the elephant within the firm: If the Giants received this game, they'd qualify for the playoffs for the first time in six years. Daboll asked the avid gamers if everyone knew what a win would mean Sunday. sure, they nodded or spoke; we win, we're within the playoffs.

first-class, Daboll talked about. That's out of ways. Now let's get again to doing what we ought to do to get greater.

It's simply ordinary experience. State the facts to the players, work with them, and retain working with them till they do the job right and also you win. teaching, teaching, persistence — these are issues that go an extended means with Daboll. and they're going an extended means with Jones too.

Two superb ones retire

Two of the most desirable to ever do their football jobs — protective conclusion J.J. Watt and veteran big-game producer Fred Gaudelli of NBC activities and Amazon major — are jogging away. Watt says he'll retire after his 12th NFL season ends, and Gaudelli produced his last ordinary-season online game Thursday evening for Amazon, Dallas at Tennessee.

each has one game left — Watt for the Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco on Sunday, and Gaudelli within the truck for one of the NBC's two Wild Card video games in two weeks.

Watt's a giant in his box, as is Gaudelli. I requested cards PR man Mark Dalton to ask Watt for teammates or foes I should check with about him, and he gave me three: retired Baltimore defend Marshal Yanda, former teammate Duane Brown, and a combination of former teammate and later a foe, middle Ben Jones. (I added T.J. Watt, his brother and mentee.) I reached out to speak to all four on Thursday. within 24 hours, I had all of them, at size — and every become humbled that Watt singled them out. Yanda known as from an ice-fishing shuttle on a lake in South Dakota. all of them desired to focus on J.J. Watt.

"I on no account played a online game-wrecker like him," Yanda mentioned. "The factor that I revered most about him is his effort. now not even the very elite gamers performed like him. every play — run, pass, field goal — his drive turned into unmatched. You appear over and he'd have his palms on his hips and he'd be respiratory hard in a protracted sequence, then, then next play, he comes as hard as he did first play of the video game."

Koa's first ever NFL game.My remaining ever NFL domestic online game.

My heart is stuffed with nothing but love and gratitude. It's been an absolute honor and a pleasure.


— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 27, 2022

in a similar way, I texted commissioner Roger Goodell about Gaudelli. They'd labored collectively going back to an NFL preseason video game in Tokyo in 1990, Gaudelli producing the online game and Goodell repping the league there. Now, Goodell counts Gaudelli as a confidant in the hugely critical business of making the NFL appear to be a prize on television. Goodell spent 20 minutes praising Gaudelli on New year's Eve.

"Freddie's been the ideal instruct in the truck, calling the entire performs for years," Commissioner Goodell instructed me Saturday. "I even have so plenty appreciate for him for just a few reasons. One is only his constant need to enrich the adventure for the fans. He at all times changed into looking to see what might we do in another way. He surrounded himself with americans who have been innovative and he pushed them to be resourceful. He wasn't afraid to take an opportunity. I be aware after we were speakme to [NBC's] Dick Ebersol about starting Sunday evening soccer, Freddie's name became one of the most first he outlined. Dick actually wanted him. depend of fact, I consider it could've been earlier than [John] Madden."

searching on the significance of both:

The J.J. Watt journey

Watt, 33, is a three-time defensive participant of the yr. He'll go into the corridor of reputation listed as a defensive end, but he played in all places the line. In 150 general-season video games, he has 112.5 sacks — three of them just two weeks ago at Denver, the closing one on Sunday in Atlanta. He has scored six regular-season touchdowns, three on receptions as a decent end, and he's batted down an NFL list 69 passes.

readily, Watt is among the optimal avid gamers in up to date NFL background.

July 2011: Watt the rookie arrives in Houston.

Texans address Duane Brown: "He is available in, the tenth choose within the draft, a D-lineman, and you at all times feel on the offensive line, 'We're gonna kick this child's ass.' He was an issue from the first day. His get-off on the snap was awesome, like I hadn't considered before. One play, a lure play, I pulled and blocked him and knocked him down. I celebrated. massive play for us. I checked out him, and he smirked. That grew to become into revenge. The leisure of the follow changed into hell for everybody. I imply hell.

"every day become a competition. Who could run the quickest 10-yard shuttle? Who could bench the most? Who might win apply? He made me more suitable every day. He received there in 2011, and that i'm convinced my most efficient three years in the NFL were his first three years in Houston."

January 2012: The dominance starts.

Ravens appropriate preserve Marshal Yanda: "We had been a extremely first rate team when Houston came to Baltimore for the divisional playoff online game. We had no vulnerable links on our line. The right aspect [center Matt Birk, Yanda, tackle Michael Oher] turned into pretty solid. We scouted J.J., we knew him, however that day, that video game, he absolutely ate our lunch. That turned into an indication of issues to come back."

Watt had 2.5 sacks, together with one at once on Yanda, and one on a stunt over Yanda and Oher. "We prided ourselves on the TE game, the tackle-conclusion video game," Yanda spoke of. "J.J. lined up across from me, moved toward Mike's hip, and i needed to pick up the looper. J.J. used his arm-over flow and his quickness on Michael and bought the sack. I consider that day two sacks on me. We gained the video game, however that's the first online game he ever wrecked within the NFL, and that i became just, I don't recognize. Defeated. i was defeated.

"k, I acquired a further story for you. So J.J. Watt went off and we barely squeaked via. They deserved to win the online game, really. We came out of this online game, my family unit's there. We obtained in the vehicle and we had been driving domestic and it was quiet because we won however they knew I didn't play smartly. when I don't play smartly I'm very disenchanted. at last, I said, 'Wow, that became now not my ideal online game.' My sister shoots it straight. She didn't even waste one second. She noted, 'Yeah, no kidding, you performed like s—.'

"So yeah, you're bringing again some reminiscences."

October 2016: schooling T.J.

In 2015, Wisconsin tight conclusion T.J. Watt switched positions to backyard linebacker. In 2016, J.J. moved to Wisconsin to rehab after rupturing a disk three video games into the season. until then, he'd been supportive of T.J. in something he did in football. Now he grew to become a mentor.

part rusher T.J. Watt: "So J.J. lived in Wisconsin for 2 months. We grabbed breakfast at Mickie's Dairy Bar [in Madison], and it become a couple weeks through the season for me. We watched movie together. That was the primary time that we've ever truly talked soccer and talked shop. That turned into when my eyes spread out to how someone who is so successful within the NFL truly experiences movie. before that, I didn't basically comprehend what i was . He become giving tricks of the entire linemen I'd face and slides and protections on the offensive line, stuff that I on no account definitely knew the way to study. That kicked the door open for us, and we began sending movie clips from side to side to how we can enhance and the way we can get superior as individuals.

"That was my first full yr taking part in the place. To be capable of have a three-time protective player of the 12 months brother who I'm not intimidated to ask questions or to sound dumb in front of, I feel that turned into in fact important for me. How useful has it been for me to be able to talk shop with him? Very."

T.J. Watt, in 2021, grew to be the second Watt to win defensive player of the yr, after his 22.5-sack season in Pittsburgh. "I obtained a backstage analyze how to be a dominant NFL player, each from him and Derek [his fullback brother]," T.J. Watt pointed out. "When J.J. received into the NFL, he all the time allowed us in to look every little thing — and not just the respectable stuff. I'd study him and notice a guy who ate the identical cereal I ate, grew up the way I grew up, and if he did it, why couldn't I do it? The blueprint was there."

Sep 27, 2020: Brothers Pittsburgh Steelers outdoor linebacker T.J. Watt (ninety) and Houston Texans protecting conclusion J.J. Watt (ninety nine) include after the coin toss. credit score: Charles LeClaire – u . s . these days activities

October 2020: playing the appropriate approach.

core Ben Jones: "I got drafted in 2012 via Houston, and that i learned so lots. I watched J.J., Duane Brown, Andre Johnson put everything into the game. Their sleep, the food they ate, massages, and offseason work. Your body makes your money. treat it correct. And that 12 months, I performed right protect, and my welcome-to-the-NFL factor changed into blockading him every day at apply. He made my existence miserable. however he made me better, a great deal improved.

"after I left for Tennessee [in 2016 in free-agency], we stayed shut. however enjoying him, the gameplan become at all times all about him. We'd have dummy calls as a result of he studied our calls and knew them. We'd call 'Deuce!' That become a double-team on J.J. We'd have 'Watt tests.' 'Oscar' become the call we'd make to run far from him, and we used that lots. but he was simply. under no circumstances predictable. That made it difficult to play him. Our concept became, he's gonna make the freak play right here and there — don't let him disrupt the whole video game.

"My story about J.J. … I have an image from a online game in 2020 after I'm in Tennessee and we play performed a wild game against Houston."

The Texans scored to head up through seven, but failed on a two-point conversion with two minutes left. Tennessee scored on an extended power to ship it to beyond regular time, then scored on a protracted force on the primary possession of OT to win. Watt performed each snap of those two drives.

Jones: "So this photograph I have: There's J.J., on one knee within the end zone, completely exhausted, and our crew is celebrating this big win. I see him, and that i go over to him. I put my arm round him and that i say, 'You poured all of it out there. You gave it your all.' I mean, we're household. The uncooked emotion there, I'll never forget it."

The Gaudelli influence

After 33 years of manufacturing large video games and innovating things just like the first-down line, Gaudelli, sixty two, will circulation out of the construction truck and into a less-frenetic full-time executive producer gig for NBC and for Amazon major. The all-drinking approach Gaudelli did the job — together with honchoing the schedule with the league, combating for the premier video games — took a toll on him. "These jobs aren't conducive to splendid fitness," he mentioned Saturday.

Gaudelli produced 33 years value of leading-time football — 11 on ESPN's Monday night football, five on ABC's Monday evening football, sixteen on NBC's Sunday night soccer and this season on the first 12 months of a streaming collection on Amazon. It's this remaining season that, to me, is primarily excellent.

Thursday night on Amazon major Video become a large jump for the NFL. Goodell compares it to the NFL equalizing earnings-sharing in the early sixties, inserting video games on cable within the eighties, launching satellite tv for pc and DirecTV deals in the nineties. To Goodell, in 2022, one grownup become top-rated desirable to bring in a brand new media product and the streaming precept: Gaudelli.

With cable and satellite tv in decline, Goodell knew how essential 12 months considered one of Amazon was. "Streaming," he advised me, "in fact had to be performed. I've often referred to I suppose it'll alternate the style people watch soccer. There are every kind of points with that launch. however the production was one the place for credibility functions, we knew that it needed to be real — that's the top-rated manner to put it for me. It had to be when NFL fanatics watched, they referred to, 'Wow, this is outstanding. here's a primary-price experience.'

"So, going into the season, Amazon become maybe the highest precedence from a media standpoint for us — making certain that launched effectively. knowing that Freddie turned into within the seat…that part of the launch changed into no longer a concern of mine. It became consolation. I knew he knew what to do, how to do it and that i knew he become going to supply a good looking product for our lovers. That was in fact one of the crucial large issues for me in discussions with Amazon even earlier than the deal became over."

Goodell used the note "real." through the years, I've admired how Gaudelli became "proper" on what became occasionally a tightrope. The networks and the league have a close and symbiotic partnership; it's within the league's top of the line hobbies for the networks to show games in a good easy. however Gaudelli has shown his journalistic facet too. Gaudelli told me, "You're all the time strolling that line with the league, but with all due admire to the league, we're there to serve the enthusiasts."

Twice this 12 months Gaudelli walked the line on Amazon major games. In week 4, Miami at Cincinnati, one storyline getting in turned into that, 4 days previous, Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had been staggered after a primary-half hit, got here out for a bit of, then back to play after halftime. In Cincinnati, he was staggered again after a blow, and his fingers stretched out in an odd grasping kind. Gaudelli showed the peculiar Tua hand reaction, went to wreck, then asked his activities medication consultant, Mike Ryan, what it supposed. Ryan mentioned it can be a sign of neurological trauma. Gaudelli passed the info in to play-by means of-play man Al Michaels' ear from the truck and pointed out he was going to reveal the replay once coming out of the break, and Michaels may still use the scientific assistance.

Gaudelli heard from the league, which become displeased about the photo replay, which went viral. but if Goodell wants "proper," Tagovailoa in the fencing posture had to be proven. now not again and again and over, but a couple of times. Gaudelli knew it.

"you can't sanitize soccer," Gaudelli talked about, and that may still be very high in his obituary in 40 or 50 years.

The subsequent Thursday, Amazon had a stinker between two disappointing groups, Indianapolis at Denver. The Broncos were hapless on offense, and Russell Wilson threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, and the game went to time beyond regulation tied at 9. fanatics all started streaming out of Invesco field. fans leaving an beyond regular time online game — in Denver, one of the most hotbeds of the NFL video game? unattainable.

Gaudelli showed multiple shots of lovers streaming for the exits, and even one outdoor displaying a sea of americans leaving the stadium. My first concept: The league's no longer going to love that. My second thought: The Broncos will hate that.

"That's what live tv is all about," Gaudelli noted. "You've received to cowl what's going on, all of it."

I requested Goodell about that point of Gaudelli's video game coverage. "listen, there's likely lots of issues we want he wouldn't have performed or proven," Goodell said. "if you ask him, his general would be, 'That's my duty to be in a position to do that.' i would certainly not ask him to returned down on anything he concept changed into an obligation. That's the place you have that trust. Fred's within the seat and Fred will manipulate it smartly.

"on the conclusion of the day, you knew the man turned into the most effective within the company. He turned into going to make sure your product changed into superior and what else might you ask for eventually, correct?"

At Amazon, Gaudelli endured to provide games, even dangerous ones, the large-video game suppose. through the years, that's been one in every of his strengths. Working with Michaels and John Madden, after which with Cris Collinsworth, Gaudelli never skated by way of — it changed into a mutual component. Michaels, Madden and Collinsworth have been worker bees, and one of the crucial reasons Gaudelli is stepping away is he knows there's just one method to do the job of manufacturing a country wide television video game that tens of millions watch. "The most effective time I ever shut it off is when i go to mattress," he stated. He calls his need to know each factoid a few video game he can study a "curiosity addiction."

That has bled into the brains of two generations of individuals in vehicles, at ESPN, ABC, NBC and now Amazon. One peer at NBC said Gaudelli's lasting legacy may still be teaching tens of younger tv people the right way to do video games — with smart details, looking to innovate every 12 months. For his part, Gaudelli's grateful he turned into hired 16 years ago by using Dick Ebersol to birth Sunday nighttime football; Ebersol, he mentioned, provided "a masters classification in lifestyles and business."

"if you'd requested me at 18, 'How do you need your career to move?' I couldn't have written it any more desirable," he spoke of. respectable method to exit.

MVP Watch 20

One week and one crucial video game (expenses-Bengals tonight in Cincinnati) to head, and it feels like Patrick Mahomes' MVP to lose. My desirable 5:

1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas metropolis. Tied for the superior checklist in soccer (13-three), and has losses most effective to Josh Allen and Joe Burrow in view that Oct. 1. however let's seem on the huge-receiver group he used Sunday. All 5 wideouts he targets are first-yr Kansas Citians broken in with the aid of Mahomes between April and October: Kadarius Toney (four catches for 71 yards Sunday), Skyy Moore (three for 33), Marquez Valdez-Scantling (two for 28), JuJu Smith-Schuster (two for 28), Justin Watson (one for 27).

2. Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia. You might argue, and a lot of will, that Hurts' value is accentuated via the Eagles losing each video games ignored by Hurts together with his shoulder harm. i can't argue with that, except to assert I can not vault a participant who doesn't play over an incredibly effective participant who continues to play.

3. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo. still in it. If the bills win home-container and Allen beats Mahomes and Joe Burrow, he may still be an element.

4. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati. still in it. If the Bengals beat the expenses tonight, and Burrow has wins over Mahomes and Allen (and finishes the year on a nine-game profitable streak), he should still be a factor.

5. Nick Bosa, area, San Francisco. most efficient player on the gold standard defense in football, and continually intimidating as a rushing drive. Made the largest play in the greatest examine the 49ers have had in the closing two months Sunday at the Raiders.

extra Contenders:

6. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota.

7. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville.

eight. Justin Herbert, QB, L.A. Chargers.

9. Micah Parsons, facet, Dallas.

10. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay.

howdy, next Gen!

There's plentiful cause to be involved in regards to the Vikings. within the closing seven weeks, they've lost to Dallas 40-three, lost to Detroit by using eleven, trailed the woebegone Colts 33-0 at the half, and were in the back of to eco-friendly Bay forty one-3 after fifty one minutes. How on God's green earth are the Vikings 12-four?

appear a bit deeper, which I did in the course of the lens of NFL subsequent Gen Stats Sunday nighttime, and some of the large considerations is the up-the-center disruption and leakage from the Vikings' offensive line. because incumbent starter Garrett Bradbury went down with a lower back harm a month ago, the protection has been spotty at most suitable. And after the Sunday debacle at Lambeau container, teach Kevin O'Connell announced that backup middle Austin Schlottmann, who'd started the last four video games, fractured his fibula. It's probably third-string center Chris Reed will should grasp the fortress beginning Sunday in Chicago, except Bradbury's lower back recovers sufficiently for him to play.

analyzing what the ultimate 4 foes have executed to the indoors of the Vikings' offensive line, centered round center, begins with power on Kirk Cousins. Cousins turned into sacked on 6.2 percent of his move-drops with Bradbury at middle, and eight.6 p.c of his drops put up-Bradbury damage. Now, with the third core, who knows?

Per subsequent Gen Stats, how troubled the coverage has been over the past 4 weeks:

Week 14 versus Detroit: Lions DT Isaiah Buggs had 5 pressures and a strip-sack of Cousins.

Week 15 versus Indianapolis: DTs DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart mixed for 14 pressures and two sacks, killer numbers because the Colts bolted to the 33-0 lead.

Week sixteen versus the Giants: DTs Dexter Lawrence (seven pressures) and Leonard Williams (5 pressures and a sack) buzzed round Cousins for three hours.

Week 17 in eco-friendly Bay: DT Kenny Clark of the Packers had a season-top-rated seven pressures and a strip-sack of Cousins.

That's 38 indoors pressures, two strip-sacks and three more sacks in 4 weeks, per next Gen Stats. It's readily no longer sustainable if Minnesota desires to make a deep run in these playoffs.

The Awards area 30

Offensive avid gamers of the week

Christian McCaffrey, operating returned, San Francisco. If there changed into any doubt in regards to the cost of dealing for McCaffrey on the alternate cut-off date this 12 months, they should be erased this morning. McCaffrey, with a combination of bulling over Raiders like a fullback and making defenders miss like a scatback, accounted for 193 scrimmage yards — 19 consists of for 121 yards; eight catches for seventy two yards — and his 14-yard speeding TD within the third quarter got the Niners returned into a video game that appeared like it turned into getting faraway from them.

Jarrett Stidham, quarterback, Las Vegas. It's tricky for a losing group to produce a player of the week, however Stidham, in his first delivery ever, became magnificent within the 37-34 loss to the 49ers. Making one's first start in the NFL in opposition t the (a ways and away) top-quality protection in soccer is a troublesome ask. however after the mayhem of the week in Vegas, with Derek Carr gazing on tv from domestic (possibly), Stidham appeared like a ten-year vet. He very an awful lot belonged. You might see that on his third touchdown flow, early in the third quarter. knowing he was about to get blasted out of the pocket by way of San Francisco defense Talanoa Hufanga, Stidham waited and waited until the remaining 2nd, then drilled a 60-yard TD throw to Davante Adams just as he, Stidham, got drilled. A precocious, spectacular efficiency with the aid of Stidham, throwing for 365 yards and making the Raiders believe a lot superior about demoting Carr.

Jarrett Stidham! Davante Adams! Run it returned.

📺: #SFvsLV on FOX📱: move on NFL+

— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023

Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay. Some numbers right here, after Brady's remarkable 34-of-45, 432-yard, three-TD, no-TO performance within the Bucs' 30-24 victory over Carolina:

1. Clinched the 19th division title of Brady's 23-12 months NFL career.

2. became the third time within the final five Tampa video games that Brady turned into down double-digits within the fourth quarter and came again to win.

3. turned into the 42nd time in Brady's profession that he came back from a double-digit deficit to win.

Any doubt he can play subsequent 12 months, at forty six, if he chooses?

Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay. Ten catches, 207 yards, three TDs in a online game the Bucs obligatory to clinch the NFC South — and they did. It also made Evans the primary player within the 103-12 months historical past of the NFL to start his profession with nine straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. For his profession, with one online game left within the season, he rose from forty ninth to forty fourth on the NFL's all-time receiving yards list — passing, amongst others, the first rate Lance Alworth — and he now has 10,425 yards. subsequent in his attractions: Evans wants 147 yards to flow Keyshawn Johnson.

defensive gamers of the week

Kyle Dugger, safety, New England. As normal, the brand new England offense was stuck in impartial late within the third quarter of the should-win video game against Miami. On third-and-15 for the Dolphins from their 24, Teddy Bridgewater's short throw to the correct changed into plucked with the aid of Dugger, and he made a strong, tough run down the left sideline for a 39-yard landing, putting New England up, 16-14. The Pats certainly not trailed after that and stayed within the playoff race at eight-8. The Patriots' seventh shielding landing of the season is their most considering the fact that 1970.

.@Patriots take the lead on a decide upon-6!

📺: #MIAvsNE on CBS📱: circulate on NFL+

— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023

Cameron Jordan, protecting lineman, and Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, New Orleans. individuals will analyze Saints 20, Eagles 10 and factor to Jalen Hurts' absence as the motive. not fair. Hurts would have made a difference, for bound, had he performed as an alternative of Gardner Minshew. however Jordan's three sacks and Lattimore's nifty bait-and-choose of Minshew for a 12-yard decide upon-six to round out the scoring were the results of an excellent crew protecting day.

Chris Jones, shielding lineman, Kansas metropolis. performed his gold standard Sunday when the most advantageous became vital. With Denver down by means of three and having a 3rd-and-five at its 42-yard line with two minutes left in the game, Jones stuffed operating lower back Chase Edmonds on an ordinary indoors run call for a gain of three. Now it turned into fourth-and-two with 1:21 to play. Jones burst through the core on fourth down and sacked Wilson for a nine-yard loss to conclusion the drama.

Nick Bosa, part, San Francisco. Seven pressures, per NFL next Gen Stats, including the greatest one of the vital online game — pushing left tackle Kolton Miller returned into Stidham and causing the last move of the online game to flutter into safety Tashaun Gipson's fingers for an interception. That install the game-winning OT field intention. "What Bosa did became the change in this video game," Mark Sanchez referred to on FOX.

particular groups avid gamers of the week

Keisean Nixon, protective back/kick-returner. maybe I wrote too soon (remaining week) about the middling influence of special groups coordinator prosperous Bisaccia. a week after his 93-yard return in opposition t Miami, Nixon, playing with a groin harm after being questionable all week, made the return of the day. Taking a kickoff five yards deep and right within the middle of the "N" in green BAY in the end zone, Nixon picked his spot appropriate up the core of the container, sloughing off a tackle attempt through Vikings kicker Greg Joseph on the Packers 28. He went untouched after that, completing a a hundred and five-yard return to give eco-friendly Bay a 7-3 lead early.

Jake Camarda, punter, Tampa Bay. I've never considered a play like the one Camarda made with 42 seconds left within the 30-24 Tampa win, with the Bucs attempting to pin the Panthers again and not using a timeouts left. The snap returned to Camarda from Zach Triner became errant, and Camarda, a 4.55-in-the-forty athlete, chased and retrieved it but had pressure in his face. He ran to his left and by hook or by crook turned his body satisfactory to send a glancing punt off the aspect of his right foot. It hugged the sideline on the manner downfield and turned into downed at the three. The Bucs bought flagged for illegal man downfield, however remember if Camarda bought snowed beneath there, the Panthers could have declined the penalty and taken over at perhaps the Bucs 45. as a substitute, Camarda punted once more and pinned Carolina at its eight-yard line. "He made the play of the game," Greg Olsen referred to on the FOX telecast. instead of having the ball down six on the Ta mpa 42 with 32 seconds left, Carolina bought the ball at its eight with 26 seconds left. massive, huge, bizarre play.

Richie provide, safeguard, Atlanta. With the Falcons trailing Arizona early, supply cut through the line on an Andy Lee punt and got here in clean, blockading the punt with the Falcons recovering on the cards' five-yard line. Cordarrelle Patterson ran it in on the subsequent snap, and the Falcons led at the half in Atlanta. These are the forms of performs a team playing poorly on offense has to must win.


train of the week

Brian Daboll, head teach, N.Y. Giants. The Giants routed the Colts 38-10, scoring in the thirties for the first time in forty three games. that claims adequate in regards to the able offense Daboll has in-built New Jersey. The win clinched ny's first profitable season and first playoff season considering the fact that 2016. remember the place the Giants were four months in the past? In Nowheresville, just making an attempt to be ready. Now they're 9-6-1 and headed for the playoffs, with Daboll's management a big key.

Goat of the Week

Carson Wentz, quarterback, Washington. You are attempting now not to make each video game Wentz plays a referendum on his future in D.C., but that's what Sunday's video game seemed like. Cleveland drubbed the Commanders 24-10, and Wentz got booed out of the stadium after his no-TD, three-prefer performance. "once we get him rattled within the pocket, it's over," Cleveland edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney advised the Washington put up.

Hidden adult of the week

Matt Feiler, defend, L.A. Chargers. On an easy run in the correct look after-tackle gap by means of Austin Ekeler from the Chargers' 28-yard line, Feiler pulled from his left shelter spot before Ekeler received to the hole and erased all-world linebacker Bobby Wagner, clearing the way for Ekeler. The block turned into the massive assist on Ekeler's 72-yard landing run.

72-yard residence demand the NFL's leader in TDs, @AustinEkeler! #BoltUp

📺: #LARvsLAC on CBS📱: move on NFL+

— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023

The Jason Jenkins Award

Maliek Collins, protecting handle, Houston. loads of angels during this story. Charean Williams of professional football speak referred to that a chum in California become trying to get Christmas playing cards sent to a single mother and 17-12 months-old son in Torrance, Calif. The boy, Ethan, happened to be a Texans fan, so Williams asked Evert Geerlings of the Texans to look if he may get a couple of avid gamers to signal a Christmas card. Collins requested who it become for, and when he discovered the story, he instructed Geerlings he wanted to do anything greater. He referred to he would pay for the mother and son to fly to Houston for the new year's Day video game towards Jacksonville. When Collins instructed them, Ethan cried. "When i was Ethan's age," Collins advised Williams, "some thing like this probably would have modified my existence, so i would love to have that have an effect on on somebody else."

The mom, Courtney Luhrs, informed Williams: "It simply suggests you the way impressive americans can also be."

From the Stadium Tour led via Maliek Collins at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. (photograph courtesy of Houston Texans) costs of the Week


It simply looks like I'm now not as miserable as I actually have been the remaining two years. And once I'm running out to my automobile at the end of the online game, they're no longer yelling, 'You suck! promote the group!…for the time being.

— Giants president and CEO John Mara, after the Giants clinched a playoff spot, per Tom Rock of Newsday.


One percent milk and a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies.

— Tampa Bay educate Todd Bowles, requested how he'd have a good time successful the NFC South Sunday nighttime.


Who among the big-time candidates — the Jim Harbaughs and Sean Paytons of the world—would contact this job with a 30-foot pole?

— Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, on the attractiveness of the coaching job of the four-11-1 Colts, demolished by the Giants 38-10 Sunday


We're fitting a more unhealthy crew. We've all considered one of the commentary backyard. 'no person's concerned about the Packers.' Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now what are they gonna say?

— Aaron Rodgers, after the Packers gained their fourth straight to install a win-and-in season finale at home against Detroit subsequent week.     


here is a movie we've viewed play out many times.

— Anish Shroff, Carolina's radio play-by way of-play man, after Tom Brady's comeback to position the Bucs up on the Panthers late in Tampa.


There's an awful lot to be sorted through once the season is over.

— Las Vegas educate Josh McDaniels, after benching Derek Carr for the remaining two games of the season for Jarrett Stidham.

appears like code language for this: The McDaniels-Carr marriage will ultimate exactly 12 months.

King of the street forty

The King family had a delightful Christmas get-collectively within the Bay enviornment, with Mary Beth, husband Nick and grandson Peter (12 months historical) coming down from Seattle, and gathering at the home of Laura, spouse Kim and grandkids Freddy (six in January) and Hazel (4). Six days of enjoyable and activities. A mini-FMIA in regards to the commute:


Hazel, after I requested for information on a way to get the brand new family unit dog, Jersey, who doesn't like guys, to love me: "neatly, you ought to give her some space."

Freddy, who authorized my challenge to stroll three miles with me, after going for walks three.22 miles on Christmas Eve morning: "I WALKED THREE MILES!"


"Poop Bingo." It's Bingo, with a pooping theme, and playing cards with drawings of poop from different animals. TMI?


My closing vision of little Peter was in a motor vehicle seat, his mother and dad about to pressure away, and the little fellow caught a remaining glimpse of me (for a number of weeks) and smiled commonly. That'll hold me till my subsequent discuss with.


"Nelson the night Heron Hoppy Lager" (Oakland United Beer Works), a delicious beer brewed at Jack London rectangular. I admit I purchased it for the can. Wouldn't you? nonetheless it turned into tasty.

picture: Peter King


i used to be in charge of the steaks on the Traeger Grill on Christmas Eve. (5 non-meat-eaters within the crowd.) That's some force, peculiarly once I hadn't used a Traeger before. I suppose I passed. no person bought meals poisoning.

commute word

On the flight home, San Francisco to new york, I mentioned career memories of one of the vital cities we flew over.

Elko, Nev. — Had dinner with John Madden in this northeastern Nevada outpost after I bused pass-nation with him 30 years in the past. There become a card desk with a handwritten "activities e-book" sign in the back.

Cheyenne, Wyo. — Memorable 1990 scouting commute to a few western colleges with Bengals O-line coach Jim McNally. Stopped at U of Wyoming to look a prospect, but the fun part of the shuttle became our stop in Missoula, the place McNally found an unknown tackle named Kirk Scrafford at Montana. "Scrappy child," McNally observed. "I'm gonna push for him." Scrafford, after going undrafted and signing with the Bengals, had a pleasant 109-game NFL career.

Minneapolis — Minneapolis Miracle, Jan. 14, 2018, Keenum to Diggs, ridiculous TD, Vikings walk off their optimal playoff win. Seventy-5 minutes after the game, I photographed a beaming Stefon Diggs, shirtless, still along with his soccer pants on. Case Keenum asked me, "the way you gonna write THIS?!"

Madison, Wis. — Popped in to do a function story on Joe Thomas, pre-draft, in 2007. truly remember Thomas' homestead, some of the excellent off-campus properties ever. red padded bra striking from some of the antlers of a six-point trophy buck. Thomas' computing device propped up by means of abnormal legs: 4 rolls of toilet paper. instructed me he'd flow up the NFL's invite to big apple for the draft. He'd go fishing with his dad in Lake Michigan in its place.

Southern Ontario — forget what 12 months it turned into, but Don Banks and that i had been in Buffalo one Saturday afternoon to cover the expenses tomorrow. I cautioned a road trip to Toronto to peer Maple Leafs-Canadiens. Hockey evening in Canada, baby. Didn't need to twist Donnie Brasco's arm. I bear in mind the scene backyard, with loopy Leafs enthusiasts shouting down the Montrealers.

Northern New Jersey, on method — Over dinner Tuesday night with the fam, I instructed the story about waiting at Lawrence Taylor's locker after a Giants' game once I coated them for Newsday, seeking to my left and seeing Richard Nixon. I introduced myself, and this fervent football fan spoke of, "I wish I had your job." I didn't understand fairly what to claim, so I spoke of i used to be glad I didn't have his job. He chuckled, and we waited for Taylor.

Numbers video game

huge reason why the Bengals are improved, an awful lot more advantageous, within the 2nd half of this season: the offensive line.

Go back to Dec. 1 of last year, really, and consider the Bengals' performance conserving Joe Burrow the relaxation of the season, and prolong that to the first half of this season, when 4 of five positions on the offensive line had new starters. look at the numbers, and seem to be how critical a steady line enjoying smartly is:

Dec. 1, 2021 to Nov. 1, 2022 (11 months, 18 games, together with postseason)

Burrow received-loss: 10-8. Sacks per game: 4.1. features per online game: 23.4.

Nov. 2, 2022 to Jan. 2, 2023 (2 months, 7 games)

Burrow gained-loss: 7-0. Sacks per video game: 1.four. aspects per online game: 29.three.

a big cause of the development: The 5 Bengal linemen, none of whom had played collectively earlier than, have meshed in front of a quarterback getting the ball out just a little faster. center Ted Karras and guards Alex Cappa and Cordell Volson have saved the pocket clear ("pocket integrity," they call it) lots better than the 2021 crew (middle Trey Hopkins, guards Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji). within the Bengals' 4 postseason games last 12 months, the three-man indoors allowed nine sacks, per PFF. in the Bengals' fresh 7-0 run, the three-man indoors has allowed two sacks.

Plus, Burrow has turn into smarter at dumping the ball off when he feels the heat, and he's gotten stronger at making choices speedy this yr (2.48 seconds to throw, as adversarial to 2.63 seconds last season, per PFF).

With the season-ending harm to correct address La'el Collins, I'd are expecting the Bengals to assist appropriate handle plug-in Adeniji a whole lot tonight in opposition t Buffalo. enjoying correct guard last yr within the playoffs, Adeniji allowed three sacks towards Tennessee in the divisional round and three towards the Rams within the super Bowl. Now, enjoying backyard at appropriate tackle, which you can be certain the expenses will look at various him tonight.

Factoidness 50


L.A. football Fever Dept.:

if you reside in Visalia, Calif., a hundred ninety miles north-northeast of la, and you've got cable tv, you didn't see the Rams-Chargers contention game on Sunday. The game between the playoff-sure Chargers and the defending super Bowl champion Rams become no longer on. Vikings-Packers turned into.

basically, Vikings-Packers changed into aired in ninety eight of the true a hundred tv markets Sunday. Rams-Chargers became shut out of each one except los angeles and San Diego among the many correct one hundred markets. That is without doubt one of the all-time weird tv factoids for a rivalry video game including the defending champ.


Now right here's an NFL media quiz for you: What was the published crew for that memorable online game 15 years ago final week (Pats 38, Giants 35), the video game that ended the 16-0 Patriots commonplace-season in 2007 and became simulcast on Saturday of the closing weekend of the normal season on CBS, NBC and NFL network?

answer: Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth in the sales space, Adam Schefter on the sidelines.


Tweets of the Week


Lions newcomers Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston are the handiest set of rookie teammates to each list at least 7.0 sacks since the stat became reputable.

pretty, pretty first rate.

— container Yates (@FieldYates) January 2, 2023

Yates covers the NFL for ESPN.


Jaire Alexander: "inform Shannon Sharpe and skip Bayless they deserve to watch what they say once they discuss me, you think me? They should watch what they put out. Talkin' about, 'He a pretty good nook.' I'm a good nook."

— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 2, 2023

Schneiderman covers the Packers for The Athletic


the first decide on this year should be considered just like the first choose of the 2020 draft

It become a lock Joe Burrow no depend what

This year may still be a lock Bryce younger no remember what

— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) December 31, 2022

The ESPN NFL analyst on young, the Alabama quarterback, after he handed for 321 yards and five touchdowns in his last college video game, a forty five-20 rout of Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.


Can someone clarify to me why people fly on airplanes in the same outfits, including blankets and pillows, as they'd put on when going to sleep in their bed?

Are their standard clothes that uncomfortable?

— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) December 25, 2022

Rosenfels, a former NFL quarterback, is a sensible man.


U.S. native newspapers are loss of life at a cost of 2 per week. via 2025, a third of them should be gone. if you're not convinced that's a doomsday-stage chance to democracy, examine this state-via-state checklist of what native reporters uncovered in 2022. It's a pattern of what we stand to lose.

— Joseph Cranney (@joey_cranney) December 23, 2022

Joseph Cranney, investigative reporter on the New Orleans instances-Picayune, with a sobering thread on the demise of local journalism.

Newman! 40

reach me at, or on Twitter @peter_king.

On Tua. From Donny Russell: "Tua Tagovailoa's surprising regression is not all that stunning. what number of concussions has he had this 12 months? at least twice now he's had concussions and the league's 'specialists' allowed him to keep taking part in. If the man isn't littered with submit-concussion syndrome I'll eat my hat."

smartly, we'll see what the investigation into his existing head trauma displays. So I wrote in closing week's column and gave Tagovailoa one among my Goat of the Week awards after he threw three interceptions to give green Bay a big enhance in its upset of the Dolphins. surely, had I conventional that Tagovailoa got concussed, I wouldn't have executed that. When a player receives battered the manner Tagovailoa has this 12 months, I think it's sensible for every person to let sensible americans — and americans who will appear out for his premiere pursuits — do their work, and spot what they get a hold of. One element I consider, in spite of the NFLPA-pushed investigation: If it have been up to me, Tagovailoa would not play yet another snap of soccer this yr.

On FMIA. From Mark Myerscough, of standard, ill.: "I believe FMIA may be vastly improved by way of moving it to Tuesdays. benefits:

1. that you may consist of the (every so often important) result of the Monday evening video game.

2. you've got time to replicate and accept as true with the Sunday outcomes — and maybe reply to some of the rash overreactions that come out.

three. You now not must write until Monday morning to hit the ebook time limit, resulting in a better product (i.e., being in a position to entirely agree with the entire video games).

four. I no longer must find time in my packed Monday morning time table to fit in reading your can't-pass over column.

hi Mark. Thanks for the advice. You're not the primary to assert the column would be more complete and greater if it got here out on Tuesday. You're correct. The column could be stronger. Two problems with that:

1. probably I'd have felt in another way at 35 than I do at 65. however I don't want to work all weekend, then wake up Monday and proceed to work all day, and ought to seem into both or three reports that inevitably pop up on Monday, so the column can be altogether present on Tuesday morning. I'll provide you with a for-example. closing Monday, the Broncos fired their teach, and Tua Tagovailoa became put in concussion protocol, most likely ending his season. The good of my column was in regards to the Steelers channeling their inner Franco Harris and beating the Raiders within the final minute. So now, I'm chasing two extra reviews on Monday, and the reports that have been the greatest Monday morning are now down the record. An eleven,000-word column would turn into 14,000-. No thanks.

2. Do people wake up Tuesday morning desirous to center of attention on Sunday afternoon soccer? I don't consider so. They're searching ahead with the aid of then, in my view. Anyway, those are my strategies, Mark. Thanks for studying.

On Franco. From Rob Simon, of Waynesville, N.C.: "My sixteen-year-historical self and my father listened to the immaculate Reception online game in our Pittsburgh suburban home, six miles from Three Rivers (NFL blackout rules those days). He and i had been jumping around the room, attempting to understand exactly what had transpired since we couldn't see it. it is the last splendid memory I actually have of my time with my Dad. Two weeks later he suffered a stroke. Then 50 years later Franco passes just days earlier than the anniversary and the respectable retirement of his number, stirring similar emotions of loss. distinct times on Saturday night I couldn't comprise my tears, beginning when Cam Heyward ran on to the container with the 32 flag. Your innovations concerning the complete condition stirred those feelings once again."

That's what's outstanding about being a fan. you have got a lifetime reminiscence of sharing probably the most top-quality video games in Steelers background together with your Steeler-loving dad. Thanks for reminding us all why loving a crew is important.

On the Yankees. From Dave Borasky, of Durham., N.C.: [I wrote last week about Yankees president Randy Levine said the franchise is the flagship team in baseball, despite winning one championship in the last 22 years.] "I gave up on MLB years in the past. however i will say that whereas Randy Levine's observation lines credulity, there is no nook of the world I've visited where I don't see assorted people wearing caps with the Yankees logo. last month in South Korea i'd see a dozen Yankees caps in a given day in a city two hours with the aid of bullet teach from Seoul the place English become commonly no longer spoken. loopy."

I get it, Dave. The Yankees are a franchise well-known around the globe. I simply consider a team's list over the past technology, one title in 22 years, should factor in when bragging about the prominence of a franchise.

On Shanahan. From Ryan Lockhart: "How is Kyle Shanahan not a entrance-runner for coach of the 12 months?"

Who says he isn't? I'll believe him — along with Brian Daboll, Doug Pederson, Nick Sirianni, Kevin O'Connell, Dan Campbell and Steve Wilks. I'd say Daboll and Shanahan could be at the properly of my list, however that might trade within the next seven days.

Ten things I suppose

1. I feel I don't take note a participant, such as Derek Carr with the Raiders, getting replaced as the starting quarterback of a crew and then leaving the crew so he gained't be a distraction. Nonsense. Starters have misplaced jobs due to the fact that the beginning of time in all sports. They should come again and assist the backup — and the teach shouldn't say, It's okay to depart. existence is ready showing up, in all cases. It's simply weird that a guy loses his job and it's nice and dandy for the participant and the group that he without difficulty turns into a non-grownup.

2. I think this is developing to be a crazy playoff season. Aaron Rodgers as a probable seven seed, coming in sizzling? Tom Brady, given up for dead in midseason, playing like 2007 Brady the final 5 quarters? The secret Giants? The equally mysterious Eagles? The Kansas city-Buffalo-Cincinnati power brokers atop the AFC?

3. I consider that turned into a great circulation by way of invoice Belichick postgame to compliment two veterans who may retire, and can had been enjoying at domestic for the final time — security Devin McCourty and special-groups ace Matthew Slater. pointed out Belichick: "Devin has accomplished about everything a participant might do for this program. and also you may say the same issue about Matt Slater within the kicking online game. I don't comprehend if there's ever been or ever going to be a much better player than Matt Slater as an average special teams participant, and the leadership he's brought to the crew together with Devin. Devin came in as a nook, went to the seasoned Bowl, moved to protection, led the defense on the safeguard position from his second yr on." File these below the "crucial to be stated" class.

4. I consider Lee Corso had some sweaty-palm moments simply after dead night on New 12 months's morning, when Ohio State lined up for a 50-yard container goal in a dome with three seconds left, trailing Georgia by using one aspect within the faculty soccer semifinal. No good. Georgia forty two, Ohio State 41. prior, Corso had referred to on school GameDay: "Ohio State's options in this video game are between none and none." Ohio State had a 14-element lead with eleven minutes left in the video game, but yeah, the fourth-premier team in school soccer this yr had no opportunity to most useful the true-ranked team. fortunate man, this Corso.

5. I think I've bought an outstanding story for you about Knockout swimming pools. You know, the NFL video game through which you pick one crew a week to win, and you'll most effective choose any crew one time all season.

You may, if you're from the big apple area, have heard of Mike Goldstein. "Mike from Montclair." He changed into an everyday caller to the Mike and the Mad Dog exhibit on WFAN for years, and wasn't afraid to joust with Mike Francesa. Mike Goldstein has three daughters. We be aware of each different from years of living in New Jersey because I coached his two youngest, Emma and Carly, in softball in Montclair. Freddi, the oldest, has long past on to a profession in PR — she become bill de Blasio's mayoral press secretary for a while, and works for Uber now — and he or she likes to place a few bucks down on the video games she watches. Giants fan. Tom Brady hater.

Freddi, 32, was in a Knockout Pool this 12 months. there have been 663 entries, at $50 apiece. suggestions allowed for entrants to have 5 entries, so Freddi changed into in for $250, settling on distinctive groups each week in each and every entry. "different people have distinct concepts," she said. "i thought, 'I just gotta stay alive per week.' I wasn't looking at every crew's schedule and figuring I'd retailer the most useful groups for later within the season. I simply checked out who had the most suitable possibility to win every week and didn't provide it many other issues." She regarded at the Vegas lines each and every week, and infrequently established on the biggest favorites.

Week 14. Freddi had one clear entry final of her 5. She become one of 9 people left. She hadn't picked Kansas metropolis yet, and KC had Denver. but KC had a cake game in Week 15 (Houston). Her husband urged her to retailer KC for per week. Nope. Freddi took Kansas metropolis to beat Denver. Three picked Seattle to beat Carolina. Two picked Tennessee to beat Jacksonville. Two picked Las Vegas to beat the Rams. One picked Dallas to beat Houston.

The e-mail from the keeper of the pool came in late Sunday evening of Week 14. "The hammer fell and it fell tough in week 14," the commissioner wrote. "Two entries remain."

Week 15. Freddi and a guy she didn't comprehend, Adam. He'd gained the pool prior to now, so he appeared a formidable foe. in the event that they had been tied after 18 weeks, they'd cut up $30,000. but if one adult fell out, the winner would win $24,000, the loser $6,000. Freddi nonetheless had the Vikings left. Vikings-Colts gave the impression convenient choose. "however a chum of mine stated the Vikings had been simply due for a loss," she talked about. "I form of liked New Orleans in opposition t Atlanta. The Falcons had been playing a rookie quarterback making his first birth. gave the impression logical. maybe I should have picked the Vikings, but I felt stronger about the Saints."

Of direction, it turned into Colts 33, Vikes 0 at the half. And the Saints sprinted out to a 14-0 lead. however Freddi and Adam hung on for wins here. Freddi's Saints beat Atlanta 21-18. Adam picked Kansas metropolis, and KC survived in OT at Houston 30-24.

Week 16. Freddi picked the QB she hates, Brady, to win at Arizona. Adam picked Detroit to win at Carolina.

Sunday: Panthers bowled over the Lions. Monday: Bucs stumble and bumble around. It's sixteen-6, Arizona, within the fourth quarter. Freddi and friends performed a board video game, Settlers of Catan, to ease the anxiety. Bucs scored a TD with eight minutes left, then kicked a container aim to ship the game to additional time.

time beyond regulation. cards gained the toss, obtained nothing completed. Punted. Brady took the Bucs down to the Arizona 22. The game turned into on the phone of a friend during the board game. "Do you are looking to watch?" Of direction, Freddi said. Ryan Succop kicked the 40-yard container goal to win, and there became some leaping up and down, some hugging. Freddi became $24,000 richer.

"I'm on the age the place there's no enjoyable anymore," she pointed out. "I need to put it towards my personal loan."

And now that she'd been enriched with the aid of the efforts of Tom Brady, her emotions must have modified about Brady. correct?

"nonetheless hate him," she stated.

6. I consider for these of you in Knockout swimming pools, our 2022 champion has some suggestions for you. "Don't think about next week," Freddi Goldstein stated. "Get via this week. Win this week. Don't overthink it."

7. I believe I don't bear in mind two issues in regards to the Denver condition. One: the new educate will report to the proprietor, owner's rep Greg Penner, no longer the GM. That sets up the educate going over GM George Paton's head, even if the proprietor thinks it does or not. What, is the proprietor going to want to meet with the instruct every Monday after the game? Will Paton be invited? I mean, why invite a separation like that? Two: in the past few days, a number of offensive players, in what looks to be an orchestrated show of support for besieged quarterback Russell Wilson, have taken to Twitter to returned Wilson. Jerry Jeudy Tweeted about his "elite work ethic," ok.J. Hamler about his challenging work and dedication, Garett Bolles about how he "pours his heart and soul into our crew." satisfactory. however to do all of it at one time looks staged, of direction.

8. I believe, as a whole lot as I admire Wilson's remarkable decade of play in the NFL, he's been awful this year, and his play greater than the rest got a rookie head teach fired after 15 games. It's time to close up, take the drugs that an elite participant who makes truly elite money after which performs at an F degree has to take and figure a means to be sure it doesn't occur again. Too many grandiose phrases, too little grandiose play.

9. I think I accept as true with Rodney Harrison, with an asterisk. Harrison observed he thinks Brady plays in 2023, and for one other team. I consider if Brady performs, he'll play for an additional team. I also feel he'll should join a crew that he thinks has an opportunity to win a super Bowl. Is that Vegas? Indy? Some crew that partners with Sean Payton? we will see.

10. I think these are my other suggestions of the week:

a. football Story of the Week: Matt Barrows of The Athletic with a really cool piece about what happens in an NFL locker room at halftime

b. Kyle Shanahan let Barrows see the internal of the locker room at halftime of Bucs-Niners remaining month. Barrows wrote in regards to the belief/cliche of what occurs on the half versus the reality:

The cliche involves soaring speeches and avid gamers getting whipped right into a frenzy earlier than the third quarter. And whereas there's actually a rah-rah element to the intermission, no person is supplying "win one for the Gipper" sermons within the NFL. There's no time. Halftime lasts best 13 minutes, and the avid gamers may be internal for roughly 10 minutes.

"in the event you're staring at on television, it looks like the halftime is an hour long," stated working lower back Christian McCaffrey. "should you're taking part in, it looks like the snap of a finger."

all the way through pre-video game introductions, the device team of workers begun reworking the locker room, which is a three,600-square-foot rectangle, into two school rooms. within the southeast corner, they install four rows of folding chairs in entrance of a large whiteboard. That's the place the offense meets. in the contrary nook, the setup is the same for the defense.

… After three or 4 minutes, every person has migrated to both the offensive or defensive sides, and the locker room settles down. this is when halftime turns right into a lecture hall.

The offensive side is greater severe. It's like an advanced-stage math seminar condensed to 6 minutes. Shanahan is on the left side of the whiteboard, scribbling down the eight or so flow plays he likes for the 2d half. On the correct side of the board, run game coordinator Chris Foerster and tight ends coach Brian Fleury do the same for the run plays.

c. charming. Congrats, Matt Barrows, on taking individuals where they can not go, to train them issues they'd on no account recognize.

d. Clemente Anniversary Story of the Week: It's been 50 years (and two days) on the grounds that Roberto Clemente, on a mission of mercy to help Nicaraguan earthquake victims, plunged in an airplane to his demise off the coast of his native Puerto Rico. The ache and idea reside on to this day, as this richly researched story from Dave Bennett of the la times illustrates.

e. Clemente is widely referred to as a superb humanitarian, and rightfully so. His decent deeds are legendary. however this anecdote from former teammate Manny Mota — who played six seasons with Clemente in Pittsburgh — rang real about Clemente in the hunt for perfection:

In a video game at Forbes container, the Pirates' ballpark at the time, a batter hit a ball down the appropriate-container line and it took a wierd soar and eluded Clemente, Mota talked about. What should still had been a single grew to become into a double.

"After the video game, Roberto talked about, 'Manny, I want you to meet me at the ballpark early tomorrow and get a bag with 75 balls.' I said, 'What are you talking about? Why do you want to do that?' He said, 'I want to figure out how that man hit the ball previous me.'

"So the following day we obtained to the ballpark early and he goes out to correct field and says, 'I need you to are trying to hit the ball to me identical to ultimate evening.' I hit him forty, probably forty five balls and he calls me out to right container. He had discovered a small piece of timber that the ball had bounced off the evening before and that became why he neglected it. He spoke of, 'Go ahead and hit me the relaxation of the balls. I want to be certain that certainly not happens again.' And that's why he became the top of the line right fielder in baseball."

f. splendid story, too, about Francisco Lindor announcing he grew up in Puerto Rico and realized about Clemente in faculty, and attempting to make the world a higher vicinity — the style Clemente did — became part of children' DNA there.

g. RIP, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

h. long reside Pele. were you aware how he got his first name? He changed into born in 1940, and his folks named him in honor of inventor Thomas Edison. He loved the name, and definitely didn't love the soccer identify he became given, Pele.

i. When i used to be a child, that one be aware stated every thing — even to an American-activities-loving child growing up in Connecticut. The enlargement Hartford Bicentennials hosted Pele's Cosmos at a rickety minor-league football stadium in Hartford, Dillon Stadium, on Aug. 1, 1975, a month before I left for my freshman 12 months of college, and a number of months after I played my final season of excessive school soccer. This changed into huge. actually large. The Bicentennials gained 3-1, and statistics of the day talked about there have been 8,217 handy. Pele performed a whole lot but didn't ranking. We concept we have been staring at royalty, even in a venue as low-down as that one. I feel tickets had been $3. I feel about that now and it occurs to me that, as an instance, Lionel Messi enjoying any place in the us would draw giant adoring crowds. The Cosmos, with Pele, drew four,445 in Boston in 1975, 4,959 in Rochester, and 4,796 in Toronto. distinctive world 48 ye ars ago.

j. I wish I might study what supply Wahl would have written about the demise of Pele, and the meaning of his existence.

k. Cool Pele story: In 1968, Pele, 27, and his Brazilian team, Santos, performed an exhibition at Fenway Park in Boston in opposition t the Boston Beacons. The Boston Globe dispatched a activities-branch summer season intern from the institution of North Carolina, Peter Gammons, to cowl the online game. That Peter Gammons.

l. Congrats to Eli Saslow, moving from the Washington post to the long island times to be a author-at-colossal. When Eli Saslow writes a protracted characteristic, I put down what I'm doing and pause my existence for 15 minutes and devour it. a few examples:

m. The dysfunction of america, from the experience of a Denver city bus driver.

n. The challenges to Seattle mental-fitness caseworkers hold getting worse.

o. And my favourite from 2022 — Saslow on a very good teacher from the Philippines attempting to help keep a foundering school district in Arizona, and the way haunting it was.

p. those are such essential experiences, all of them. Saslow has a sense of what concerns, what's important to carry to the consideration of the public, and how to illuminate individuals working general jobs who in reality are spectacular. He has a present, and we're fortunate to be capable of unwrap it.

q. Which reminds me of George Santos, the liar who bought elected to Congress from long island in November. This might possibly be real, and it might no longer be, but I should wonder if the sizeable cutbacks in journalism in fresh years resulted in one or two or 15 media outlets or reporters who would have long past down the rabbit gap to examine Santos earlier than the election not doing so.

r. The Santos story is past outrageous. He absolutely should no longer be seated when new contributors of the condominium of Representatives are sworn in Tuesday. he's accused of lying about going to an unique manhattan city prep school, lying about graduating from two colleges, lying about working for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, mendacity about his grandparents who were born in Brazil having escaped the Holocaust, mendacity about being Jewish, mendacity about what he referred to as "a proud American Jew," mendacity about his mom death on 9/eleven regardless of one Tweeting that his mother died on Dec. 23, 2016, mendacity about owning rental houses. He admitted remaining week, after the new york instances unspooled lots of the lies, that he never graduated from school, by no means worked for Citigroup of Goldman Sachs, that he is in fact Catholic, that he never owned homes. Don't seat this clown.

s. Luka Doncic saying "i want a recovery beer" could be the highest quality quote after a triple-double in NBA historical past. That turned into some triple-double: sixty one features, 21 rebounds, 10 assists. How does one who ratings 61 elements discover 10 assists?

t. be aware when the legalized marijuana enterprise became going to make everyone rich? Ben Markus of NPR went to Colorado and located out the boom has long past bust for one grower, Matt Huron, and it seems like much more than that.

u. Per Marcus:

MARCUS: "back in Denver at Matt Huron's develop warehouse, he says marijuana has develop into just like the hypercompetitive restaurant industry, the place some will do smartly …"

HURON: "after which there's, like, a gazillion other guys that open up a cafe, and they're out of business in a yr. And that's truly what the hashish business is now."

v. It takes gumption for Rick Singer, the brains at the back of the school Blues school-admission scandal, to have taken in $25 million in bribes from the very rich to lead their youngsters to prestigious colleges, and saved $15 million for himself (per prosecutors), after which ask for a sentence that covered no penal complex time. He'll be sentenced in Boston Wednesday. Singer's attorneys say he's residing in a trailer park for senior citizens, which have to mean $15 million doesn't go as far as it used to.

w. Birthdays of the Week: On Tuesday, essentially the most noted connection in Giants' background will celebrate. Eli Manning turns 42 and David Tyree forty three. Tied collectively in historical past and on the calendar.

x. This one crept up on me. Jim Everett turns 60 these days. the place has the time gone?

y. satisfied trails, Judy Woodruff, and extraordinary work as anchor on the PBS NewsHour for the previous 9 years. At 76, Woodruff cedes the anchor chair to Amna Navaz and Geoff Bennett and may be a senior correspondent for the community. The best thing anyone could say a couple of news anchor is you've bought no thought watching her what her political leanings are. Woodruff became straight-down-the-center, a depended on and smart voice.

z. RIP Barbara Walters. She fileted so many vital people, in politics and the wider world, through asking the questions and asserting the things so many would now not. first-rate case in element, in an interview with the three Kardashian daughters and mom Kris Jenner a few years ago: "You don't really act, you don't sing, you don't dance. You don't have any, forgive me, any skill!" even if it be Donald Trump or Fidel Castro or Kim Kardashian, Walters requested the neatly-researched questions that vital to be requested, and impressed two or three generations succeeding her — male and female — to do the same.

video games of Week 18 30

Most instances, days, networks to be finalized these days or tomorrow through the NFL.

Tennessee at Jacksonville, Saturday, eight:15 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC. The only one of the eight divisions to have a championship online game in Week 18. The winner of this game hosts a Wild Card online game, very likely on Saturday of wild Card weekend. How marvelous is this: On the morning of Nov. 27, just 36 days ago, Tennessee changed into 7-three and Jacksonville 3-7. Now the Jags are eight-eight, with a one-online game lead over the cliff-diving Titans, and Trevor Lawrence looks like Justin Herbert. My, my.

Detroit at eco-friendly Bay. The Pack, on a 4-game win streak by an average of 13 points a online game, wins the seventh seed with the aid of beating the pesky Lions. Detroit will need some assist to win spoke of seventh seed — particularly a loss by way of the Seahawks, who host the Rams. Can't see the eco-friendly Bay D, which came alive in December, getting eaten alive by means of the Lions.

New England at Buffalo. Pats clinched the AFC seventh seed with a win, and the rest's possible with a Belichick group. however that offense is from hunger. We won't be sure how much the expenses are enjoying for until after tonight's video game at Cincinnati, however for the Patriots to win, it'd doubtless must be a online game within the teenagers, max.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia. So many questions surrounding this game, akin to whether Jalen Hurts' shoulder might be neatly adequate for him to take the container towards a brand new York team that pressures the quarterback very neatly. entertaining predicament for teach Nick Sirianni. an extra dilemma: The Giants are locked into the sixth seed. Will Brian Daboll play this online game to win, or to be as suit as possible for Wild Card weekend? Fifteen years in the past final week, one other Giants teach, Tom Coughlin, changed into locked into the fifth seed getting into the ultimate game of the 12 months and played every person; the valiant G-men lost 38-35 to the Patriots and later beat New England within the super Bowl. Brian Daboll, i'm definite, will hear this story before making his name on how critical to take this video game.

The Adieu Haiku

I consider I've lost count number

of Rodgers' media foes.

Such gasoline for him.

(The Adieu Hayku…thank you, Scott Hilburn)

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