Peter King’s keys to AFC, NFC Championship games


Three games left in a 267-game NFL season. How games 265 and 266 line up:


Tennessee (12-6, 6th seed) at Kansas City (13-4, 2nd seed)
Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, TV: CBS
Favorite: Chiefs by 7

The first game, Nov. 10 in Nashville, was supposed to be the coming-out party for the rehabbed and ready Patrick Mahomes after two weeks off because of a dislocated kneecap. But the Titans, sparked by a 68-yard TD run by Derrick Henry (there’s that man again) in the third quarter and a one-yard TD run in the fourth, beat the Chiefs late, 35-32. This was when Kansas City had a terrible defense and it appeared Mahomes needed to be Dan Fouts to make it deep into the playoffs. Since then, the Chiefs have improved on D . . . but Henry is at his career peak as well.

The Titans have progressed from a slobberknocker novelty act to a very dangerous contender for the Super Bowl after their convincing wins at the three-seed Patriots and the one-seed Ravens. You can devote a spy or a heavy front or whatever you want, but truly impressive defenses in Foxboro and Baltimore have been chewed up and spit out by this humble redwood of a back. They know he’s coming, but he still churns out 5.9 yards per rush (on 64 carries in two playoff games). It’s amazing that, here we are, forecasting the conference title games, and the biggest issue revolves around a whether anyone in football can stop the running back on the team that entered the postseason thought to be 12th out of 12 playoff teams.

Though Henry’s a huge angle to this game, Tennessee will have to find a way to frustrate Patrick Mahomes. It’s interesting to see how Tennessee reacts against multi-dimensional passer. The secondary, with whip-smart Logan Ryan and Kevin Byard, feeds on being put in passing situations and has made huge plays against stud quarterbacks in two straight playoff games. I think for the Titans to stay in this game, they’ll need to have a couple of long drives early, keep Mahomes off the field, and turn him over a couple of times. I absolutely think the Titans have a chance, but all they have to do is watch tape of Kansas City falling behind by 24 against Houston to see how fast the Chiefs changed the game. Tennessee can’t afford many mistakes Sunday at Arrowhead.


Green Bay (14-3, 2nd seed) at San Francisco (14-3, 1st seed)
Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif., TV: FOX
Favorite: 49ers by 7

Fifty days ago, the 8-2 Packers went west to play 9-1 San Francisco. Both teams were showing signs of falling to earth a bit. But on this evening, the Niners handed Green Bay its worst loss of the season, 37-8, a game so bad and so hopeless that the Eastern Kentucky Colonel, Tim Boyle, mopped up for Aaron Rodgers. That’s what happens when the franchise quarterback is getting so battered and looks so overmatched; the coach just wants to get him out of there. In that game, San Francisco showed the kind of relentless pass-rush the rested Niners showed Saturday against Minnesota. So expect coach Matt LaFleur to mix up his protections against his old friend Kyle Shanahan so he’s able to give Rodgers a fighting chance. The way I saw the San Francisco front Saturday, Green Bay will have to use an extra blocker often, make sure Rodgers gets rid of it quickly, and play its best game of the year, by far, to score enough to win. On the other side, I’m curious to see if the Packers can get more pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo than they got in the first meeting. They had four sacks, but only four hurries, per PFF. They’ll have to swarm Garoppolo more to affect his game.

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

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!