Kenyan Drake saw Gronk en route to TD, but ‘he wasn’t stopping me’

0 Comments

Twenty-nine minutes after making the play of the year in the National Football League (and oh, there was some competition for it, even Sunday), man-of-the-hour Kenyan Drake of the Dolphins picked up the phone and told me a story about the weekend he was drafted in 2016. Miami plucked him in round three. When Drake got to team facilities after the draft, rookie coach Adam Gase greeted him with a smile.

“When I met Coach Gase,” said Drake, “he told me, ‘We drafted you to beat the New England Patriots.’ “

Now isn’t that convenient? What happened at 4:10 p.m. in south Florida, on a play the Dolphins call “Boise,” was so weird and so unlikely that the NFL didn’t even know what to call it. On the official National Football League Game Summary, the play that beat the aforementioned New England Patriots 34-33 with :00 left on the clock was listed thusly:

K.Drake 69 yd. pass play by R.Tannehill (1-69, 0:16)

Drake was credited with 55 receiving yards on the play, and a 52-yard touchdown, somehow, and you get the feeling everyone in Hard Rock Stadium was trying to figure out exactly what just happened. Including Drake, who was left on the phone trying to process the incredible play and the enormity of its meaning.

“Could you imagine ever making a play like that, to beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots?”

“In my dreams,” Drake said, with a lot of mayhem in the background from the Miami locker room.

“Really. In my dreams.”

Remember: This was not only a cool play to beat the Goliath of the division. Miami has a trip to dangerous and likely desperate Minnesota coming this week, and if the Dolphins had lost, they’d have been 6-7, tied for ninth with Denver in the AFC playoff pecking order with three games to play. In other words, they’d have been on life support with a loss. “It was do-or-die for us, and we knew it,” Drake said.

“What helped us,” Drake told me, “is how much we practiced this exact play. We actually walk-through or jog-through the play every week. We go, like, half-speed. So we all knew what to do. It’s just a matter of doing it, and hoping it goes your way.”

“Why ‘Boise?’ “ I asked.

“You know, as a testament to that Boise State-Oklahoma game,” Drake said. The 2007 Fiesta Bowl, you may recall, when Boise use a hook-and-lateral play, a 42-yard miracle, to upset the Sooners.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1071875175887466496/

Here, Sunday: Patriots 33, Dolphins 28. Ball at the Miami 31, seven seconds left. No timeouts. Ryan Tannehill took the snap, dropped to his own 21, and threw a strike to Kenny Stills at the Miami 45; he advanced it two yards and lateraled to DeVante Parker back at the Miami 45, and Parker ran to midfield. There he saw Drake, romping up the right sideline, with ace patriot linebacker Kyle Van Noy in close pursuit. Van Noy dove and caught Drake at the heels, but it was only enough to make him stumble, not go down.

“Then,” said Drake, “I was just looking for someone to toss it to. That’s the way we practice—there’s always someone for me to toss it to.”

Uh-oh. No one there, and no clear lane up the sideline. Drake cut inside, looking for daylight, and still looking for a pitchee. Unless you count Patriot defenders Adam Butler and J.C. Jackson, there were no good options for pitches. Miami guard Ted Lawson hustled downfield to make a key block on Patriot safety Patrick Chung at the New England 30.

And then, space.

“I was still looking for one of my guys, but then I had some open space,” Drake said. “That was amazing.”

Inside the 20, and here, at about the New England 12-yard line, came Rob Gronkowski, who was in the game at deep safety because New England had its Hail Mary hands team in the game. A rare mistake by Belichick; tackler extraordinaire Devin McCourt was not on the field for the play. But surely, Gronk would stonewall Drake.

Wouldn’t he?

“I saw him,” Drake said. “And I know how great he is. I know he’s going to the Hall of Fame. Awesome player. But regardless of who was there, he wasn’t stopping me. That I know for sure.” Gronk stumbled and never got a clear shot at Drake. Amazingly, with the division title on the line, after Van Noy, no Patriot had a legit chance to tackle Drake.

Drake threw the football half-a-section into the stands. Surrounded and pummeled in the end zone, all he remembers is a loud hum. “No words, just the hum. Dumbfounded. I am still in awe. Greatest play of my life.”

Well, what play could ever compete with that?

As for what it means, it gives Miami life; the Dolphins are one of four 7-6 teams in the conference now, and very likely only one of those will make the playoffs. Regarding the Patriots: It would take a very non-Belichickian collapse for 9-4 New England to lose the division, with a two-game lead over Miami with three to play, and the Patriots exit Sunday the number two seed in the conference. So they still have a good shot at the two seed and an outside shot at the one seed entering Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.

Knowing the Patriots, they’ll be able to erase the bitterness by Sunday in Pittsburgh. Just don’t expect it to go away in the next day or two.

MORE: Read Peter King’s full Football Morning Morning in America column by clicking here

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023: Super Bowl TV schedule, start times, seeds, dates, and results for every AFC & NFC game

2 Comments

The 2023 NFL playoffs are here and the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy is underway for the top teams in the league en route to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona on February 12th. This year’s big game features a match up between Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles vs Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

RELATED: Top seeds meet in Super Bowl for first time since 2017

The Eagles look to win their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history–their first came in 2017 when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in 2017. The Chiefs will be making their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons. Kansas City’s last Super Bowl win was Super Bowl LIV in 2020 when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers.

RELATED: In two weeks, Andy Reid faces the team that fired him 10 years ago

Check out the NFL playoffs bracket for 2023 below as well as the full schedule, teams, TV channels, live streams, playoffs seeding, start times for postseason games and more. Plus, check back often to see which teams advance and who goes home.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023

Here’s a look at the 2023 postseason bracket heading into Conference Championship matchups between the 49ers and Eagles and Bengals and Chiefs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

 

2023 NFL Playoffs TV Schedule

The 2023 NFL Playoffs begin Saturday, January 14th with the Wild Card round – see below for tune-in times and networks for all six matchups across Super Wild Card Weekend, as well as everything we know so far for the Divisional Round.

Super Bowl LVII – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Scores – Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 14

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Sunday, January 15

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Monday, January 16

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

Divisional Round Scores

Saturday, January 21

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Sunday, January 22nd

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

Conference Championships Scores

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game: 49ers (2) vs Eagles (1)

AFC Championship: Bengals (3) vs Chiefs (1)

Final 2023 NFL Playoffs Standings

AFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Kansas City (14-3)x
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)x
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)x
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)x
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)x
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)x
  7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)x

RELATED: What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl –  Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule

NFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)x
  2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)x
  3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4)x
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)x
  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)x
  6. New York Giants (9-7-1)x
  7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)x

X – Clinched playoff berth

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule: Bracket, game dates, times and TV network for Super Bowl LVII and more

0 Comments

The 2023 NFL playoffs are full steam ahead and we’re right around the corner from the ultimate showdown: Super Bowl LVII. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious from Conference Championship weekend and will face off in the biggest game of the NFL calendar on Sunday, February 12th in Arizona.

RELATED: In two weeks, Andy Reid faces the team that fired him 10 years ago

See below for a full rundown of the 2023 NFL playoffs schedule, game dates, times, streaming and TV networks heading into Super Bowl LVII and stay tuned to NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk for previews, analysis, recaps and reactions to every playoff game on the road to Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Super Bowl LVII: How to Watch/Live Stream

2023 NFL Playoff Scores:

Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 14

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Sunday, January 15

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Monday, January 16

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

Divisional Round

Saturday, January 21

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Sunday, January 22nd

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2) – CBS, Paramount+ at 3:00pm ET

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game: 49ers (2) vs Eagles (1)

AFC Championship: Bengals (3) vs Chiefs (1)

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes: “I don’t think we have any cigars, but we’ll be ready to go at the Super Bowl”

Final NFL Playoff Picture

Here is the final playoff picture for the 2022-23 NFL season following the Lions win over the Packers on Sunday Night Football, which made the Seattle Seahawks the final team to earn a playoff berth, the #7 seed in the NFC.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

2023 AFC Playoff Picture

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
  5. LA Chargers (10-7)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)
  7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)

2023 NFC Playoff Picture

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
  2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
  3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
  6. New York Giants (9-7-1)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!