Hope has a name in Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence

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Jaguars factoid: All prospective draft choices were given private phone numbers for draft weekend, so teams could contact them directly without worry about cell phone issues. When it came time to call Trevor Lawrence, three calls to his private number went straight to voice mail. Finally, coach Urban Meyer picked up his cell and called Lawrence’s cell as the time ticked away on the draft clock. “Hey coach, I was getting nervous here,” Lawrence said. “Glad you called.”

JACKSONVILLE, 11 a.m. Friday — This is what draft weekend is all about: hope. Inside the wood-paneled stadium office of owner Shad Khan, you could feel it. In 30 minutes, Khan would meet his new franchise quarterback for the first time, and forget the fact that Khan, 70, is worth something like $8 billion. Trevor Lawrence is coming! We’re not going to be crappy anymore! The man was excited.

“It’s like an elusive dream,” Khan said. “We thought two-and-a-half years ago we’d turned the corner. We were the darlings . . . Then, after the misery of last season, I think, ‘Oh my God, this is almost too good to believe.’ How the gods of football smiled on us. We got not only the first pick in the draft, we got the first pick of coaches.”

The morning Florida Times-Union showed what northeast Florida felt 15 hours earlier—four teen boys, all giddy, at the team’s draft party on the field the previous night, exulting as Roger Goodell announced the Lawrence pick on the video board. That’s what 1-15 buys these days in the NFL, a giddy draft party with Lawrence about to pull up in a limo and meet his new team. When Lawrence arrived by the big jaguar in front of the stadium, it was Khan who opened the door and said, “Welcome to Jacksonville. I’m Shad.”

An exuberant class of third-graders with welcoming signs enveloped the 6-foot-6 Lawrence, with his flowing blond mane, and his wife Marissa. “Is your hair real?” one boy said. (It’s real, and it’s spectacular.) Another said, “Will you pay for our food?”

“Super cool,” said Lawrence, who knows what to say and what image to project. Neither seems out of character. “The kids were awesome.”

Jacksonville seems a good fit for Lawrence, with veteran pro coaches Darrell Bevell (offensive coordinator) and Brian Schottenheimer (passing game coordinator) the most hands-on coaches with him. They are vets who’ve worked with different style quarterbacks—Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford most recently—and because they’ve known for some time that Lawrence would be their pick, they’ve been able to feed him lots of information and plays.

The draft was good to Lawrence too. The Jags’ second pick was explosive back Travis Etienne, who played 40 games alongside Lawrence in the Clemson backfield over the last three years and caught 85 passes over the last two years. “That was a great pick for me, because we’ve gotten to know each other so well as players and friends,” Lawrence said.

“With Travis,” Meyer said, “I expect instant impact. He’s a slash . . . he has excellent hands, and he’ll be dual-trained [as a back and receiver].”

Jacksonville exited the draft with a need still at tight end, with one of Meyer’s old recruits at Ohio State, Luke Farrell, picked to supplement Tyler Eifert; Meyer sounded post-draft like he wished they’d gotten more of an offensive threat there. But they look capable at receiver, with free-agent Marvin Jones added to supplement D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr.

I spent a few minutes with Lawrence. He said all the right things, the same way he’s been in Zoom meetings with coaches and even Khan.

“The player obviously is great, but the person behind the player is what really gives me hope,” Khan said. “I can’t believe how normal he is. He’s been the number one quarterback on all levels since he was 14 years old, being catered to at every level. His humility almost surprises me. I was impressed that he really wanted to come here, and wanted to spend his career in Jacksonville. That’s what he told me—he doesn’t want to move around. I told him, ‘If you do what you’ve done to this point, there’s going to be two constants—you’re going to be in Jacksonville, and I’m going to be in Jacksonville.’ “

Khan owns Fulham in the English Premier League, so he knows a bit about the world sport landscape. He thinks Lawrence has the ability to be the first cross-continent American star. “As great as Michael Jordan was, he was never a true superstar over there,” Khan said. “Trevor has the gravitas. I think he could become a true international superstar.”

Well, whoa. When I posed that to Lawrence, he was a bit taken aback. “I thought about how cool it’ll be to play in London, but . . . I try not to think about that too much. My job now especially is to come in and to win games and to get ready to be the best I can be and to make the team as good as we can be. I try not to think about all the other byproducts of it.”

But the thought seemed super awesome, upon reflection. “Obviously that would be cool,” he said.

Football first. “I need to come in, go to work, and earn the trust and respect of my teammates. There’s obviously so many things that I want to improve on and get better at. But really, I think, there’s not one specific way you need to play quarterback to be successful. It’s just doing what I know that I’m good at and bringing that here and improving on all the things I need to improve on. But as far as my style of play, I’m just going to be me and play the way I’ve always played.”

That’s been good enough to be the best passing prospect since Andrew Luck. But there will be tough days for the quarterback who lost two games in three years, and the coach who never had a three-game losing streak in 17 years of college football. Hiring Meyer and drafting Lawrence were the two best moves the franchise could make, by far. But games aren’t won in the offseason. The Jags are 12-36 since opening day 2019.

“We’ll enjoy the honeymoon,” Khan said, “until the ball is snapped.”

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

 

How to watch Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers: TV, live stream info for Sunday night’s game

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It’s the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers this Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

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Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins (8-4) currently hold one of the AFC’s Wild Card spots after a tough 33-17 loss against the 49ers last Sunday afternoon that ended Miami’s 5-game win streak. Tagovailoa finished 18-of-33 for 295 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble). He did not return for the game’s final play after injuring his ankle on a strip sack late in the 4th quarter but is expected to start this Sunday. Despite last Sunday’s performance, which was Tagovailoa’s worst of the season, the Dolphins QB has exceeded expectations in year 3. In the 10 games he’s played this season, Tagovailoa has already surpassed his career highs in touchdown passes (21) and passing yards (2,859). He also leads the NFL in passer rating (112.0) and yds/attempt (9.02).

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa feels “as good as I can be after a game”

LA Chargers

Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers (6-6)  fell 27-20 to the Raiders last Thursday night picking up their 3rd loss in the last 4 games. The team, which is seeking its first playoff appearance since 2018, currently sits one game behind the NY Jets and outside of playoff position. Herbert finished 28-of-47 for 335 passing yards–his most in a game since Week 4–and one touchdown. WR Keenan Allen had 6 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown while RB Austin Ekeler had 5 receptions for 57 receiving yards and picked up 35 yards on the ground. The 6th-year RB leads the Chargers’ offense with 85 receptions this season and is second on the team with 564 receiving yards.

How many times have Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert gone head-to-head?

Third-year QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert went 5th and 6th overall, respectively in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, Sunday night’s matchup will be just the second meeting between two players who have quickly become some of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Tagovailoa and Herbert met in Week 10 of their rookie season when the Dolphins defeated the Chargers 29-21. Tagovailoa threw for 169 yds and 2 touchdowns in the win, while Herbert passed for 187 yds, 2 touchdowns, and an interception in the Chargers loss.

Both quarterbacks are looking to make their first career playoff appearance this season.


How to watch the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers:

  • Where: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
  • When: Sunday, December 11
  • 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 Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers 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!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more


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!

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on January 14! Here is everything you need to know before then!
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The 2022 NFL playoffs are quickly approaching and this year’s format will once again include a total of 14 teams –seven from each conference with the top seeds automatically getting a first-round bye. Six games will take place on Wild Card Weekend under the following format for each conference:

2022 NFL Wild Card Weekend Format :

  • No. 2 Seed (host) vs No. 7 Seed
  • No. 3 Seed (host) vs No. 6 Seed
  • No. 4 Seed (host) vs No. 5 Seed

The Wild Card winners will advance to the Divisional round where they will face the top seeds in each conference. See below to find out the 2022 NFL playoff format and schedule.

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs Start?

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

2022 NFL Playoff Schedule

Be sure to check back for times and teams but until then follow all the NFL action on ProFootballTalk!

Wild Card Weekend Schedule:

  • Saturday, January 14
  • Sunday, January 15
  • Monday, January 16

Divisional Weekend:

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Sunday, January 22

Conference Championships:

  • Sunday, January 29

When is the Super Bowl?

This year’s Super Bowl will take place at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. The last time the Super Bowl was contested in Arizona was in 2015, Super Bowl XLIX when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks.

How will overtime work in the 2022 NFL playoffs?

After Kansas City’s exciting 42-36 overtime victory over the Bills in last year’s divisional round, when Kansas City scored a touchdown on the first possession of OT denying the Bills a chance to touch the ball, the league has made a change to its postseason rules. Each team will now have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime. See below for the NFL’s official postseason OT rules:

2022 NFL Playoffs Overtime Rules:

  • If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period — or if the second team’s initial possession has not ended — the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed for a winner to be determined.
  • There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime period. There will not be a halftime intermission after the second period.
  • The captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will either choose to possess the ball or select which goal his team will defend unless the team that won the coin toss deferred that choice.
  • Each team will have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime.
  • Each team gets three timeouts during a half.
  • The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of a second or fourth overtime period.
  • If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.

RELATED: NFL overtime rules and procedures


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!