Aaron Rodgers’ revival could lead to another Packers’ Super Bowl

0 Comments

This hit me about the playoff weekend: Playoff teams went back to the future. The NFL averaged 41 percent running plays in the regular season this year. On divisional weekend (what a dumb name, “divisional weekend,” for the greatest weekend of the pro football season), the four winners ran 57 percent. That’s not just Tennessee, either. The Niners had a 69-31 run-pass ratio Saturday in their rout of the Vikings. “Playoff football,” LaFleur said. “You’ve got to be able to run in January.”

So now, upstart Tennessee at Kansas City. Green Bay at San Francisco. Both championship games should be fun—though the Packers have work to do to turn a 29-point November loss to San Francisco into a competitive game. Titans-Chiefs is a matchup of the two most compelling offensive forces left in the playoffs: runner Derrick Henry versus passer Patrick Mahomes. More about those matchups in a few paragraphs, and about how the Giants and Panthers and a confusing train station and Mississippi State and Josh McDaniels and Mike Leach and Key West all intersected for 40 hours last week, and about how to fix the Rooney Rule.

Rodgers and his revival were vital this weekend. But he’s got a good partner too. LaFleur’s done a good job this year massaging some plays so they look new to a defense. And one of those plays helped the Packers win more than anyone in the second-biggest Lambeau crowd ever (78,998) would know. Go back to Green Bay’s first touchdown, the 20-yard Rodgers-to-Adams TD on the first drive of the game. It was a thing of beauty.

In the NFL today, every team has legal pick routes. They’re called “rub routes,” the kind of pass plays that feature two receivers running at good speed very close to each other so that, ideally, two defenders will run into each other or knock each other off the coverage trail. So four minutes into the game, Adams and Geronimo Allison lined up wide left, four yards apart. At the snap, they ran toward each other like it’d be a rub route. But as they converged maybe four yards down the field, each pivoted and ran up the field—they were faking a rub route, and Adams, on the left, ran diagonally to the left pylon, and Allison ran toward the post. The defensive backs, Tre Flowers and Amadi, were momentarily distracted, and by the time they got their footing, Adams had two steps on them.

Rodgers to Adams, touchdown. Easy as pie. Crazy thing was, if Rodgers waited a split-second, Allison would have been more open. The two Seahawk defenders both followed Adams. No one covered Allison. You can say Seattle screwed up the coverage. Okay, true. But LaFleur’s job is to come up with plays that confuse the D. And this one absolutely did. That’s the kind of play that Rodgers has to see and say, I’m dealing with a guy who’s got next-level knowledge of offense, just like I do. “That play,” said LaFleur, “is not one we’ve used. We just added it a week or so ago, to be truthful. It made sense. When you put so much of a similar play on tape for opponents to see, and you decide to change it a little bit, you hope you can catch the defense. That’s what you have to do in offensive football today.”

I don’t know if the Packers have it in them to go to San Francisco and win Sunday, but I think they’ll be more competitive than they were in November’s 37-8 loss to the Niners. The blossoming LaFleur-Rodgers partnership should see to that . . . as long as the Packer offensive line can protect Rodgers a tick better than it did last time. It was interesting to see Rodgers linger a bit at his post-game press conference, talking Marshawn Lynch (who scored twice for Seattle in what could be his last NFL game) and the offense and his adjustments this year. And nostalgia. When you get to be 36, and you’re in the playoffs for the first time in three years, it’s pretty natural to wonder if this could be the last time. Rodgers stayed on the field for a couple of minutes after the game, waving to the fans and soaking it in. Cool moment.

“We have such a special relationship with our fans,” said Rodgers. “It’s a different connection. We don’t have an owner. We have thousands of people who have a piece of paper that’s a stock certificate. But people feel like they’re invested in what we’re doing. To be able to walk off that field again, victorious, there’s no feeling like it. I stopped myself in the second quarter and I was just looking around when there was a TV timeout and they were waving the towels, and in that moment I was just grateful for the opportunity, loving what I do.”

Rodgers the sentimentalist. That’s not the usual Rodgers.

I doubt he’s near the end. Not close, from the look of Sunday’s game. And from the sounds of it afterward.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column

Lamar Jackson continues to exceed expectations while betting on himself this season

0 Comments

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took the ultimate chance and is betting on himself this NFL season. After failing to reach an agreement with the Ravens on a long-term extension, the Pompano Beach, Florida native, who went 32nd overall in the 2018 draft, is currently playing on the $23 million 5th-year option of his rookie contract.

Jackson reportedly turned down a 5-year offer worth roughly $250 million, with $133 million guaranteed — something many were not surprised by because Deshaun Jackson’s contract, signed this summer, changed the goalposts for QB contracts, especially for a dual-threat player like Lamar Jackson who runs the ball as well as he throws the ball. This week, Jackson will face a major early season test as the 2-2 Ravens host Joe Burrow and the 2-2 Bengals on Sunday Night Football.

RELATED: Lamar Jackson on his contract situation: Respectfully, I’m done talking about it

Lamar Jackson’s rushing ability

The 2019 NFL MVP already has 13 total touchdowns this season, including 11 pass touchdowns, and currently leads the Ravens with 316 rush yards — the most of any quarterback in the NFL this season. He also ranks in the league’s top 10 in rushing yards, for all players (ranked 9th entering Week 5). Additionally, Jackson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month in September for the second time in his career.

Powered in part by Jackson, the Ravens offense ranked first in rush yards per game in 2019 (206) and 2020 (191.9) and was third in 2021 (145.8). In 2022, the team ranks 8th entering Week 5 (142).

What will happen with Lamar Jackson’s contract at the end of the season?

Lamar Jackson is currently set to become a free agent after the season, however, he could be franchised tagged by the Ravens.

Does Lamar Jackson have an agent?

Lamar Jackson has represented himself during negotiations while leaning on the help of his mother, Felicia Jones, and the NFLPA (which reportedly advised him that he was justified to demand a fully guaranteed deal).

What other notable contracts were recently signed by NFL quarterbacks?

  • Russell Wilson: 5 years, $245 million ($124M fully guaranteed) – August 2022
  • Kyler Murray: 5 years, $230.5 million ($103.3M fully guaranteed) – July 2022
  • Deshaun Watson: 5 years, $230 million (fully guaranteed) – March 2022
  • Josh Allen: 6 years, $258 million ($100M fully guaranteed) – August 2021
  • Patrick Mahomes: 10 years, $450 million ($63.1M fully guaranteed) – July 2020

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals head to M&T Bank Stadium to take on Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens this week on Sunday Night Football. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. See below for additional information on how to watch Sunday night’s Bengals vs Ravens matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens: TV, live stream info, game preview


How to watch the Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens:

  • Where: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
  • When: Sunday, October 9
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

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

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


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

How to watch the NFL on Peacock: Full Sunday Night Football Schedule, live stream info for the 2022 season

2 Comments

The 2022 NFL Season is in full gear. This week it’s Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals vs Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Football Night in America. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 4: Hurts At Home In Philly, Players And Parents On Football Safety, And The Case For Aaron Donald

Every Sunday Night Football game this season will be available on both NBC and Peacock. See below for the full 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule as well as additional information on how to watch every game on Peacock.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) – Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs dominate Bucs 41-31

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: How to watch/live stream Bengals vs Ravens game 

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 5 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

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

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