Peter King recaps wild NFL Week 2 as Derek Carr, Tom Brady impress


Crazy Sunday. (But what Sunday in the NFL isn’t?)

Ten notable items:

• The Bills continued to be the Globetrotters, the Dolphins continued to be their Washington Generals.

• Do you know Phil Snow? It’s time you do. He runs what might be a crazy-good Carolina defense.

• The leaders in TD passes since opening day 2020: Tom Brady 49 (that is not his age, but almost), Aaron Rodgers 48, Russell Wilson 46, Patrick Mahomes 44.

• Game one of the weekend Thursday night: 30-29. Games 12 through 15 on Sunday: 20-17, 34-33, 33-30, 36-35.

• Split-screen madness: Dallas beat the Chargers on Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard field goal. Forty-one seconds later, Minnesota lost to the Cardinals when Greg Joseph’s 37-yarder was 18 inches wide right. “I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like,” Zuerlein commiserated Sunday night. “Man, I feel for him.”

• The Niners, 2-0, love the Eastern Time Zone.

• The Jets, 0-2, have left Zach Wilson out to dry.

• The Raiders, 2-0, have a better quarterback than the geniuses on this side of the keyboard think.

• The Colts, 0-2, have a mountain of issues. Welcome, Hard Knocks!

• The Broncos, 2-0, have a coach who knows how to give a post-game locker-room address. “WAY TO F—ING GO!” Vic Fangio told the troops in Jacksonville.

Let’s get to a few people/stories/issues of the week.

The Raiders

They can win . . . now

When I saw GM Mike Mayock in training camp seven weeks ago, he told me: “We need to be a playoff team—and beyond. It’s time to win.” The last seven days tells me they can be. The easy way to look at the Raiders is to see Derek Carr throwing for 817 yards in his first two games, playing clutch down the stretch, and finally activating the Cliff Branch of modern Raiderdom. Al Davis would have loved seeing Carr throw a zeppelin-ball 57 yards in the air, to a spot where sprinter/wideout Henry Ruggs was zooming toward, and connecting with Ruggs on a 61-yard touchdown that clinched the 26-17 upset of the Steelers in Pittsburgh’s home opener. Oh, and Al would have loved that the pass came at the confluence of the Three Rivers, against the team he despised from the Immaculate Reception a half-century ago.

Let’s give Carr his due, and let’s give Jon Gruden his due too—for being in perfect sync with Carr now, for calling the kind of plays in the kind of order that’s becoming hard to stop. The offensive line is leaky, and the franchise back, Josh Jacobs, might not be a durable player; we’ll see. But this is a big-league quarterback, with a big-league receiving corps. Maybe Ruggs will never be an every-down receiver, but to ruin games he doesn’t have to be. Leave that to Darren WallerBryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow.

The defense has been so much better than I thought. In the first two games, per Pro Football Focus, Vegas has brought significant pressure on 38 percent of the dropbacks of Lamar Jackson and Ben Roethlisberger. It’s not T.J. Watt-type pressure, but it’s enough to not leave the secondary out to dry as was so often the case last year. Also: Criticize Mayock for a slew of his high picks, which is fair. But give him credit for the one-year, $2.5-million contract he agreed to with cornerback Casey Hayward, who’s been very good in the first two weeks. The Ravens and Steelers are 0-for-5 targeting him, and he’s been in coverage against both physical and fleet receivers so far. And Solomon Thomas, cut loose by the 49ers last winter, gave the Raiders two sacks of Roethlisberger on Sunday.

The West is where the power is, in both conferences. Who’d have thought it’d be the Raiders and Broncos at 2-0, with KC and the Chargers 1-1. This could be a fascinating year out west.

Tua Tagovailoa

The Answer is still The Question

Two of Miami’s last three games have been against Buffalo. Tagovailoa got yanked for ineffective play against the Bills in Week 17 last year. He had to leave because of injury after two series Sunday in south Florida. Combined score of the two games: Buffalo 91, Miami 26. Even in the great Jim Kelly/Thurman Thomas days, the Bills never laid it on the Dolphins like this in a two-game span; Kelly’s high score in back-to-back games was 79 points. The Dolphins are not in Buffalo’s league, no matter who is quarterbacking—and backup Jacoby Brissett was as ineffective as the man drafted to be the franchise quarterback 17 months ago.

You don’t want to make too much of this if you’re a Miami fan, but reality bites for your team at quarterback right now. You turn on the TV and watch Justin Herbert, drafted one spot after Tagovailoa in 2020, develop into a top-10 NFL quarterback. You might have hope for Tagovailoa, but truly you can’t know if your long-term quarterback is even on the roster right now. And now Tua’s got a rib injury that could keep him out for the short-term—with the Raiders, Colts and Bucs coming on the next three Sundays. There’s also the matter of an impatient owner, Stephen Ross, who desperately wants his Marino. Sunday’s developments make it seem like Miami’s quarterback answer is still very cloudy.

Phil Snow

“Our defense the truth”

Thus tweeted Carolina wide receiver Robbie Anderson after the Panthers skunked the Saints 26-7 Sunday in Charlotte. It’s cool to credit the reborn Sam Darnold for the Panthers’ 2-0 start, or maybe Christian McCaffrey’s 324 scrimmage yards. Those are big things. (In fact, for Darnold to be throwing 18 times with a second-half lead tells me coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady trust him to be careful with the ball.) Darnold and McCaffrey are factors, but neither is the biggest one.

The unit led by Snow, the 65-year-old defensive coordinator, is the biggest reason Carolina shares the NFC South lead with Tampa Bay this morning. Carolina, in two games, has allowed 22 first downs and 21 points to the Jets and Saints. Composite first-half score: Panthers 33, Jets/Saints 0. The beatdown of New Orleans was notable because the Saints put a 38-3 beating on the Packers last week, and Jameis Winston played peerless football. On Sunday, Winston was harried consistently by a changed pass-rush, and Alvin Kamara managed five rushing yards on eight carries. What gives?

Snow, who came to Carolina from Baylor with Rhule 20 months ago, played a 4-3 “over” front last year, with the defensive front shading toward the tight end side and the edge players most often in a three-point stance. This year, wanting to get athletic edge players Haason Reddick and Brian Burns away from the line, Snow had them stand up and allowed free-agent defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and young Derrick Brown to occupy in-line blockers. Last year, the Panthers were 31st in the league in third-down defense. This year, foes have converted only 25 percent (six of 24) on third down. Snow adjusted, wisely, and his pass-rush (10 sacks in two weeks) and run defense (46.5 yards per game) says he’s made the right adjustments.

Now the Panthers have a short turnaround to a Thursday night game at Houston, with Snow’s men likely to face rookie Davis Mills in his first NFL start. No one could imagine a 3-0 start for Carolina, but it’s on the horizon.

Tom Brady

This can’t be real

Let’s go back to the greatest full season of Brady’s career, 2007. That’s the year Brady and the great Randy Moss lifted New England to a 16-0 record in the regular season. In the first two games that year, Brady, 30, threw for 576 yards and six TDs. Fourteen years later, Brady, 44, has thrown for 655 yards and nine TDs in the first two games of this year.

“We were a little loose with the ball,” Brady self-diagnosed Sunday, after throwing five TDs with no picks in the 48-25 win over Atlanta. “I certainly wish I had made a few better throws.”

The man is 44, with a 113.3 passer rating. Since opening day 2020, in regular-season games, Brady’s got 49 touchdown passes, more than anyone in the sport. I certainly wish I had made a few better throws.

When, exactly?

Tampa Bay, dating back to Dec. 1, 2020, has won 10 in a row including playoffs and scored 35.0 per game. What drama in the next two weeks awaits? Bucs-Rams at SoFi in Week 3, Bucs-Patriots in Foxboro in Week 4, in the biggest regular-season game in recent NFL history. Brady has looked so at ease, so unhurried, in his first two games as a 44-year-old man. The Rams and Patriots are capable of generating pressure with the front seven, and they’ll need to if they’re going to have a chance to beat this marvel.

East Coast Logic

Niners are smart

This is the third straight season of a schedule quirk that’s paid off for the Niners. San Francisco had four Eastern Time Zone games scheduled this year. But what if instead of taking four of the draining trips, the Niners took three—and were able to play two of them back-to-back, and then stay east to practice in the intervening week?

In 2019, San Francisco stayed in Youngstown in between winning in Week 1 at Tampa Bay (31-17) and Cincinnati (41-17). In 2020, the Niners stayed at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia in between beating the Jets in Week 2 (31-13) and Giants in Week 3 (36-9), despite a spate of injuries in those weeks that crippled their season. This year, it was the Greenbrier again, and it was two straight September wins again: 41-33 at Detroit, 17-11 at Philadelphia.

It’s smart to try to work the schedule that way—and then to be in a team environment that’s in some ways an extension of football-focused training camp. “It’s been good, honestly, to go on these trips,” defensive leader Fred Warner told me Sunday post-game. “When we’re out there, our entire focus is on football. There’s no distractions. You wake up, you go to meetings, you go to practice, you get extra work in. Honestly, I see it as an advantage to be able to stay out on the East Coast. We come out on the first game in those situations, we have huge wins, we get adjusted to the time change. Obviously, you see the results from it, with how we’ve performed.”

With the NFC West 7-1 (and only an overtime loss by Seattle standing in the way of a flawless start for division teams), the Niners have a nice edge after two weeks. They’ve got a division-high eight home games left, and only two Eastern Time games remaining. “So many great teams in our division,” Warner said. “You play the game to be able to have exciting matchups like we know are ahead.”

Game of the Week

Baltimore 36, Kansas City 35

“Are announcers allowed to clap?” Cris Collinsworth said on NBC when it was over. “I would like to clap for that one.” Let me count why this was so fun:

1. The joy. Did you see wide-mouthed Lamar Jackson and Sammy Watkins skipping out onto the field when Odafe Oweh forced the fumble that won the game for Baltimore? We don’t focus much on joy watching these games. It’s more on who blew this or that, or maybe the technical side of why something happened. Sometimes it’s okay to say Holy crap, that was a fun one.

2. The decision. I didn’t think Baltimore coach John Harbaugh really had one. On fourth-and-one from the Baltimore 43 with 1:05 left in the game and Baltimore up by a point, even if the Ravens punted to pin Kansas City at its 15-yard line with 56 seconds left and no timeouts, how good do you feel about stopping Patrick Mahomes from getting into field-goal range? I wouldn’t feel very good. But it was fun to lip-read Harbaugh yelling out to the field, “Lamar! LAMAR! You want go for this?” Non-footballers loved it. (Damian Lillard for one, on Twitter). Jackson, of course, wanted to go for it.

3. The formation. An eight-man front. Eight! From the left: tight end Eric Tomlinson, lineman Trystan Colon-Castillo, tackle Alejandro Villanueva, lineman Patrick Mekari, guard Ben Powers, center and snapper Bradley Bozeman . . . and then, to the right of the snapper, only guard Kevin Zeitler and tight end Mark Andrews. Fullback Patrick Ricard was a sidecar to the left of Jackson, in the shotgun. At the snap, Zeitler pulled left, to create more pathway havoc for Jackson, who broke for the area behind what would normally be the left tackle/guard gap. But there were seven big men trying to earth-move for Jackson, and it worked. He gained two yards, and that was the game.

4. The legacy. Jackson needed this game, particularly after putting the Ravens in an early hole with a Tyrann Mathieu pick-six. Jackson was 0-3 against Mahomes before this one, and he’s 1-3 as a playoff quarterback. He’s had some big wins against other teams, obviously, but he may need a few more nights like this one to convince Ravens brass beyond a doubt that he deserves to be among the top three or four highest-paid players in NFL history.

Cooper Kupp

Experience is the best teacher

Bill Walsh once told me there was no better feeling in football than swooping into a football-mad city, just 53 players and coaches and staff, and feeling like it’s 53 versus a city, a region, a state, and coming out with a win. It sounded corny, but I can tell Walsh felt it strongly.

And so the Rams flew to Indianapolis on Saturday and swooped into Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, the first time the place had been full since pre-Covid. In a tight game early in the fourth quarter, Rams personal protector Nick Scott was mis-aligned on a punt, and the snap on the way back to punter Johnny Hekker hit Scott and the Colts recovered for a go-ahead touchdown.

There’s some adversity for the Rams. The crowd exploded. This felt very much like a game getting away from the Rams. I asked Cooper Kupp, who was the key to what happened next, to describe what that moment was like, in a deafening dome, knowing the Rams had gone from safe lead to chaotic deficit.

“Just like anything in football, there’s ebbs and flows,” Kupp said from the Rams locker room. “Ebbs and flows to a week of preparation. Ebbs and flows to a season. Something very unfortunate happened. Ebbs and flows. Everyone looks at each other and says we just go out there and execute our job. Nothing has to be said. Eye contact with the guys when you’re gonna head onto the field. Understand that as much as it feels like the momentum has swung, we’re in control of this thing.

“There’s something pretty cool about being able to go into a hostile environment, going to a place where the crowd’s rockin’, the opposing team feels like they got all the momentum going for them and able to from the sidelines to look at the guys next to you know it’s just you out there, just the guys stepping out to the field with and you get to trust the guys next to you to really go out there and execute and do their job. Us against everyone. Actually, we love that opportunity to hear the crowd go silent.”

On Sunday, those were just words. On the third play of the ensuing drive, Matthew Stafford hit Kupp (16 catches early in this season) for 44 yards, and then, on the next snap, Stafford hit Kupp for a 10-yard TD. The Rams hung on to win in a tough venue against a good team. Good lesson for a rising team.

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

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings: The top QBs, WRs, RBs, and more ahead of draft weekend


The 2023 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Click here for the full first-round draft order to find out when your team is picking.

Ahead of this year’s draft, Chris Simms has already started analyzing the top prospects by position on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. So far, Simms has revealed his highly anticipated list of the top 5 quarterback prospects and wide receivers. See below to find out who made the top 5 names for each position and be sure to check back for updates!

Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL Draft 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: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft QB Rankings:

  1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  2. Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  4. Anthony Richardson, Florida
  5. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA and Will Levis, Kentucky

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft WR Rankings:

  1. Zay Flowers, Boston College
  2. Jaxon Smith-Njibga, Ohio State
  3. Quentin Jonston, TCU
  4. Michael Wilson, Stanford
  5. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

How can I watch the 2023 NFL Draft live?

ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network will air all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

What time does the NFL Draft start?

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will get underway on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds two and three will commence Friday at 7 p.m. ET, with Saturday’s final rounds at 12 p.m.

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

NFL owners meetings: TNF flex, Roger Goodell contract


PHOENIX, Az. – On the agenda here and elsewhere, 32 days before the next tentpole event, the draft:

1. The league really wants the Thursday flex. I’m dubious it’ll pass. We can all agree this seems insane. Moving a game from 1 p.m. Sunday to 8:20 p.m. Sunday is inconvenient, to say the least, for the fans in attendance. Moving it three days earlier, as is on the agenda for a vote here, is a punch in the face to the fans who’ve planned trips to see games and either won’t be able to see a game played three days earlier or will have lives turned upside down in order to do so. But I’m told this is something Roger Goodell really wants to have in his tool box, to prevent awful games for a partner already struggling with audience share, Amazon. But coaches hate the idea. “Really hate it,” one of them told me here Sunday. In discussions with those who want this to pass, one told me, “It might make sense to max it out at one per season.” It still will be bad for the product and for the fans in-stadium, but it is sensible to legislate not being able to do it more than once per year.

2. The Goodell contract. Roger Goodell, 64, is signed as commissioner through March 2024, and Adam Schefter reported last week he’s expected to get an extension. Whether that happens this week or at the May meetings, it seems to be a matter of time. Goodell is approaching a milestone in the annals of the 104-year-old pro game. By the time training camp begins, Goodell will have the second-longest tenure of any NFL commissioner since World War II. The longest tenures:

 Pete Rozelle, Feb. 1960-Nov. 1989: 29 years, 9 months.

 Paul Tagliabue, Nov. 1989-Sept. 2006: 16 years, 10 months.

 Roger Goodell, Sept. 2006-present: 16 years, 7 months.

For those who will want Goodell replaced—for any of myriad reasons—remember four things: He works for the owners, who are mostly happy with his performance; he has kept the game from any work stoppages that resulted in lost regular-season or playoff games, and this CBA doesn’t expire till early 2031; he has lorded over a league that dominates the sports landscape even when it’s not playing games; and there’s the matter of franchise values. Average value of a franchise in 2006, when he took over: $898 million. Denver sold last year for five times that. Washington could sell this year for seven times that. Plus, flourishing through COVID-19. That’s why you won’t hear anyone, even Goodell’s occasional league rivals like Jerry Jones, lobbying for a change at the top. Goodell is in a power position for a three- or four-year extension.

Trolling the Biltmore lobby Sunday morning, I ran into one high-ranking club official and asked about the Goodell extension. “Think back to 2006. If you told any owner they’d have 16 years of labor peace, labor deals that lasted into 2030, two teams in L.A., a great stadium in L.A., franchise values way up, they’d all sign for that. They’d more than sign for that.” He’s right—even with the ham-handed handling of the Daniel Snyder ruination of the Washington franchise. Goodell isn’t perfect. But his predecessors weren’t either. Rozelle had labor stoppages and a nonstop war with Al Davis. Tagliabue was late to the party on head trauma. Commissioners must be judged on the balance of their tenures.

3. Noto contendre? So who will replace Goodell when the day comes? Speculation will center on Brian Rolapp, as it should, and Troy Vincent if the league looks internally for Goodell’s replacement, with Rolapp having an edge among active league office execs. Some club executives—Mark Donovan (Kansas City), Tom Garfinkel (Miami), Kevin Demoff (Rams)—could surface as well. My not-so-dark horse is Anthony Noto, the CEO of personal finance giant SoFi, and former CFO of the NFL (2008-2010). Strong profile: West Point grad, masters at Wharton, former COO of Twitter. Noto, 54, left the league on very good terms, is a huge football fan, and knows how to make money. Right up the owners’ alley.

4. The Snyder story. Most league people don’t expect a resolution here. The feeling is it’s somewhere between likely and very likely that Snyder ends up selling the entire franchise and not just a piece. Here’s an interesting thing I found out Sunday: One source with significant financial knowledge about the league said Snyder is highly unlikely to get his dream price for the team–$7 billion. Snyder, this source said, is more likely to sell the full asset for something just over $6 billion. Not bad. That’s still 7.5 times the price he paid for the franchise 24 years ago. How many businesses get that kind of returns over a quarter-century, particularly while running the business into the ground as Snyder has done?

Time is running out for Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

5. I remember when punting mattered. Interesting that when Troy Vincent discussed punting on an NFL conference call Friday, his first comment was about how it is “the most penalized play, the most injurious play in the game.” Catch his drift? The NFL wants to significantly cut down on punts in the game. There’s a proposal here to have touchbacks on punts returned to the 25-yard line, not the 20-, in part to encourage teams with a fourth down near midfield to go for it instead of punting it away. But also because the returners parked around the 10-yard line might let more punts go in hopes that they bounce into the end zone.

6. Bryce Young helped himself more than C.J. Stroud in their pro days last week, from the sound of it. A rep of a team that will likely draft a quarterback this year told me Sunday: “If you watch Bryce Young, and you didn’t know he was 5’10”, you wouldn’t think about his height. It was a disadvantage from the tape I watched.” This team has Young as its top quarterback, for what it’s worth. I’d been told previously that Young, in not getting many passes batted down at the line, has a sense of playing bigger than he is. It’s just one of the factors that has to be weighing on Carolina as the Panthers consider what to do at number one—take Young, or take the quarterback five inches taller in Stroud. As of Sunday night, no team here had been in contact with the Panthers about trading the top pick, and it’d likely be a useless venture, at least now. Carolina has no interest in moving the pick.

7. The Lamar saga. Day 12 of Lamar Jackson on the rested free-agent market, and no news is bad news. Not a soul here is even whispering about the prospect of Jackson getting an offer sheet, and there’s no sign of talks between the Ravens and Jackson to try to rekindle contract discussions. All I can say is the Ravens had better, deep in the back of their pragmatic minds, start to consider veteran alternatives—and maybe even the rookie second- and third-round QB market.

8. Re the other rules proposals. I give the proposal to have a third QB active as an extra player on gamedays—call it The Brock Purdy Rule—a good shot to pass if the league can figure out a way to make it ironclad that only emergency QBs will be used as the third player. I am not optimistic about passage for the Rams’ proposal to make roughing-the-quarterback reviewable by replay. Solid point by Rams COO Kevin Demoff Sunday: “We’re not increasing the number of challenges per team, which stays at two. This is a call that often swings momentum in the game. I don’t understand why making it reviewable is so controversial.” He’s right, but too many teams in the league are against any expansion of replay.

9. Bobby Wagner. Some buzz here about the return of Wagner to Seattle on a one-year deal over the weekend for his age-33 season, his 12th in the league. This is not just Seattle bringing the highest-rated linebacker in football in 2022 (per PFF) back after his one-year detour to the Rams. It is a tribute to Wagner being mature and burning no bridges when he was a cap casualty with the Seahawks last spring, and to the Seahawks for knowing Wagner’s value to the franchise and the defense he helped become the Legion of Boom—and, frankly, to Wagner’s value to the 2023 team. Too often, long and valued relationships get thrown in the garbage because the business of football interferes, and Wagner was smart enough to understand the sport and the business to not burn those bridges. And it’s a tribute to Seattle GM John Schneider for how he handled Wagner since drafting him in the second round of the 2012 draft. The mutual respect drips from this return. Let it be a model for other great players and franchises.

10. On football as rugby. The NFL will very likely continue to allow ball carriers to be pushed from behind in 2023, defying the aesthetics of a sport that is not rugby and subjecting more quarterbacks to be treated like endangered objects in the middle of trash-compactors. Three reasons why the Competition Committee doesn’t have a proposal on the agenda to eliminate the play at this week’s meetings:

  • Despite some opposition to the play, I’m told the league and the Competition Committee knew there were at least nine teams solidly against changing the rule that allows runners to be assisted from behind. Committee chair Rich McKay said Friday there are “certainly not” 24 teams that think the rule should be changed. Since at least 24 teams would have had to vote to change the rule, it was fruitless to bring it to a vote here.
  • The Competition Committee was not unanimously for changing the rule. Under committee rules, that’s necessary to bring a rule out of committee for a vote by the 32 teams.
  • There’s also pro-Eagles sentiment I’ve heard, sentiment that goes like this: The Eagles did nothing wrong. They played by the rules that were on the books, succeeded, and we’re not going to punish them for that.

It’s counter to the NFL’s on-and-on emphasis on player safety to not adjust this rule, or to eliminate it. Frankly, it’s mind-boggling. The Eagles had incredible success (they were 37 of 41 last year on QB sneaks, many of which featured two players pushing Jalen Hurts from behind), and Buffalo, Cincinnati and Baltimore also experimented with assisting the runner from behind. Coaches in Denver and Seattle have said they’ll work on the technique for 2023. When one successful team has a 90 percent success rate, as the Eagles did on the sneak, well, why wouldn’t other teams adopt it?

My problem, aside from the fact that it’s not a football play, is that it’s only a matter of time before a quarterback gets hurt on the play. In the Super Bowl, on one Hurts sneak, Kansas City sent a defensive lineman, missile-like, over the scrum at the line of scrimmage. How dangerous is a 290-pound projectile hurtling toward a quarterback? How fortunate is it that he, or Hurts, was not concussed on that play?

“There are people within the committee and people within the survey that weren’t big fans of the play and were concerned about the safety aspect of it,” McKay said.

So the NFL will wait until a quarterback gets hurt. Then it will take action, presumably—after the position the league has sworn to protect is diminished by an injury to, perhaps, a marquee player.

On Friday, I called a defensive assistant coach on a team that played the Eagles last season and asked about how they coached to defend the play. He said there are four keys: try to get the offensive line to false start by studying the Eagles’ cadence and drawing them to jump; “submarine” the offensive line by getting lower than the blockers and fire off aggressively at the snap; if necessary, as Kansas City did, go over the top to be physical with the quarterback; and studying the formation to see which center-guard hole can be divided by a rusher with a linebacker assisting him from behind, if need be.

“I think other teams will try to employ it, yes,” this assistant coach said. “And then after you do all that, I still think it’s important to hit the quarterback. It can be dangerous, but if it’s going to be legal to do, we’ve got to do something to try to stop it.”

One other thing, this coach said: “It’s hard, almost impossible, to simulate the play at full speed in practice. Too much of a chance of someone getting hurt.”

I think the NFL’s going to live to regret this inaction.

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