Brian Flores’ battle against the NFL’s diversity problem

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I’ve been covering the NFL for 38 years, and the biggest legal thorn in the NFL’s side since 1984 was Al Davis’ consistent war with the league over where the Raiders would play. Jerry Jones challenging how teams could use their marks and team sponsorships was more of an inside-baseball thing. The case of ex-Miami coach Brian Flores is far different, and more threatening to the powerful and influential in the league. If what Flores claims is true—that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him money to tank to get a better 2020 draft choice, and that the Giants conducted a sham interview with him after already deciding to hire Brian Daboll as coach—then Ross will certainly be forced to sell his team, and the flagship Giants franchise will be badly tarnished. Ross denies he did it, and the Giants deny they had a prior deal with Daboll before the Flores interview. So here we are.

There’s the threat of collateral damage along the way, particularly to Bill Belichick and the often-shadowy way teams pick coaches. Flores detailed his suspicions—that people like Belichick are kingmakers who have too much power over coach-hiring. Now, if true, proving that will be highly difficult. But Flores told Jay Williams on his NPR podcast: “I do think that there are back-channel conversations and back-channel meetings that are had that often times influence decisions. I think [the Giants hiring process] is a clear example of that. Here’s Bill Belichick, his résumé speaks for itself. He has influence. It was clear that that decision was made with his influence. That’s part of the problem. That needs to change.”

Two legal experts went through the case point-by-point with me. One, University of New Hampshire law director Michael McCann, told me the NFL will begin the fight with Flores by trying to have the case tossed; if it isn’t, then probably moving the case to confidential arbitration. (See: St. Louis versus the NFL, where the NFL settled by paying the city $790 million to avoid having top execs and owners deposed and risking a court case.) “The NFL will try to settle long before a trial ever happens,” said McCann, also a legal expert for Sportico. “To get to a trial would take a lot of things to happen. But in the case of his charge against the Giants, the Giants can say Daboll hadn’t been hired yet, and if he hadn’t signed an employment contract with the team before Flores was interviewed, then the facts would be really muddled. That’s problematic for him.”

The charges against Ross are more explosive. Flores alleged that in 2019, his first year as Dolphins head coach, Ross offered him bonuses of $100,000 per game if the team lost—to get a higher first-round draft pick in 2020, when Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa would be available. If true, Ross could not have known what record Miami would have needed to cop the top overall pick, but he did know—again, if true—that losing was Miami’s best option. As it turns out, because Cincinnati finished 2-14 and earned the top pick with a .545 strength of schedule, Miami would have had to be 1-15 that year because of its far weaker strength of schedule (.481). It’s hard to go 1-15. And Ross certainly should have known that Flores, who associates say is a principled person, would never have agreed to lose games on purpose. Miami finished 5-11 and picked fifth. As it was, the Dolphins could still have picked Herbert, who clearly has been a better player than the QB Miami chose, Tagovailoa.

So Miami actually failed twice. They failed to lose spectacularly enough to earn the Burrow pick. They failed when picking Tagovailoa over Herbert.

If Flores can prove the case—and he’d better have at least one rock-solid witness—the implications would be massive. It could force the NFL to confront tanking and change the draft to a lottery, as the NBA does. It would force Ross to sell the franchise and perhaps to be charged with a crime. And with the NFL being in bed with gambling companies all of a sudden, the league would have to put more guardrails in place to assure there’s no funny business with the outcome of games. There’s a lot at stake.

The NFL’s Job Now

Frankness would help. Two hours after the Flores news exploded, the league issued a statement that said his claims “are without merit.” A day later, Chris Mortensen reported the NFL would investigate Flores’ allegations about Ross and tanking. And Saturday, Goodell sent an email to all top club personnel acknowledging the efforts to improve diversity in coach hiring “have been unacceptable,” and “outside experts” would be brought in to review what’s wrong.

Which is it? “Without merit?” Or we’re serious about getting to the bottom of tanking a day later? Or it’s so bad we’ll engage outside experts to help us out of this quality quicksand? All those reactions, in the grand total of a four-day time span.

Goodell wields significant power among owners here. As much as the public thinks he’s a human shield to block damage to the 32 owners—and he is—Goodell also has shown he has the power and the conscience to push things that are good for the game. When there’s a rules proposal that he and the Competition Committee believe is best for the league (i.e., moving the PAT line back 13 yards in 2015 to make it a competitive play), Goodell can arm-twist with the best of commissioners. He needs to do that with the 32 owners. Now.

Whatever the progress point, and it must be more than cosmetic, Goodell needs to take some of the decision-making out of the owners’ hands. They’ve proven time and again that they talk a good game and say they’re all-in on making coaching ranks more diverse. Then, nothing. That’s why the next move should be a mandatory move by the league—as in my idea about the mandatory hiring of a minority coach who would touch the quarterback and the passing game daily—or the idea of implementing a system to reach a minimum number of minority coaches at the top positions around the league.

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

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida–a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

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 the game.

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: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: Todd Bowles asks NFL to explain clock issues on delay of game, says Bucs have to get the snap off


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • 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 Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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 NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 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.

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!

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

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers–a rematch of Super Bowl LV. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and 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.

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) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

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: How to watch/live stream Chiefs vs Buccaneers game


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

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 3 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.


 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!