Early success of Geno Smith is best NFL storyline so far

0 Comments

Okay, so it’s an odd season. I’d argue most seasons have a chunk of bizarre after seven weeks. The Cards were 7-0 on this date a year ago. Kansas City scored three points in Week Seven last year. Things happen.

This year, the weirdness includes Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson all having losing records. The defending Super Bowl champs, the Rams, are 3-3, and probably are lucky to be 3-3. The Jets and Giants have firm grips on playoff spots.

But the story of the first two months of this season is the comeback story of all comeback stories. Geno Smith is good. He’s really good. He’s the most accurate quarterback in football, he’s the third-highest-rated quarterback in football, he’s in the top five in MVP consideration right now, and he’s got the Seattle Seahawks alone in first place in the NFC West.

He’s also totally unsurprised.

“After not playing much for eight years,” I asked Smith Sunday evening, “what’s one or two things that have surprised you so far this year?”

“Nothing,” Smith told me evenly after Seattle’s 37-23 win at the Chargers Sunday. “Nothing has surprised me. In fact, I know I can play a lot better.”

On a day when Taylor Heinicke beat Aaron Rodgers, P.J. Walker beat Tom Brady, Christian McCaffrey wore a new number for a new team, and Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes chased perfection, Smith had a pretty modest day: 20 of 27, 210 yards, two TDs. He wasn’t even his team’s biggest star. Kenneth Walker, the rookie running back, was unstoppable.

When you haven’t played much for the last eight years, you could give a flip about things like credit and headlines. You exult in the everyday joy of playing football when you thought there was a pretty good chance you’d never have the chance to be handed the reins of a team again. Geno Smith was invisible for seven years. And now we see you, Geno. Everyone sees you.


Smith won over Pete Carroll last year by his confidence when playing three games for the injured Russell Wilson. But no one in the organization thought when they traded Wilson that Smith would be a 30-percent upgrade over what Wilson would become in Denver.

His two touchdown throws to Marquise Goodwin against the Chargers were perfect examples of what Smith has become. On the first one, toward the right side of the end zone five yards in, Smith threw about 38 yards in the air to a spot where only Goodwin could make the catch. On the second, slightly deeper on the left side, Smith threw a high ball again that only Goodwin could catch, and he made it look easy over J.C. Jackson with his great leaping ability.

Not the greatest throws of the NFL weekend. But exactly where they should be, timed perfectly. Surprised Smith is completing 73.5 percent? You wouldn’t be if you watched those throws.

That’s where I’ll start our conversation — with Smith’s accuracy. The last time he was a regular starter, with the Jets in 2013 and ’14, he completed 57.5 percent. And yet, the 16-percent increase barely impresses him. I’m going to present his words as a stream of consciousness, because he spoke in long paragraphs and made quite a bit of sense, so I’ll let him explain this unexpected season.

”In my rookie year playing with the Jets, we went 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game. The reality is, it’s hard to win the NFL with a young quarterback. That’s just the reality of the NFL. So much goes on that you have to know in order to be successful. Quarterbacking is a skill more than just a talent. I’m just happy I’ve just continued to develop.

“I know I might’ve struggled out the gate in pro football. That’s just the reality of the NFL. Sometimes they give up on you fast. The numbers at the beginning of my career are kind of skewed if you ask me. If you look at Peyton Manning, if you just judge his rookie season, you’d never think Peyton Manning would’ve become what he became. Steve Young too. Troy Aikman. The list goes on and on and on. Just gotta have patience with young quarterbacks. You gotta find the right young quarterbacks with the right mentality who are gonna continue to work and have a great attitude about the game and the struggle.

“Over the years, not playing was heartbreaking. I’m so competitive and I love playing so much that I really wanted to be out there every single game. But what’s that cliche? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I know I’m better for all those years. Coming into this year, I wasn’t sure what would happen [after the trade of Wilson to Denver]. When Pete Carroll hit me up and was like, ‘Hey I’m giving you opportunity to compete for the job,’ I mean, that’s all you have to say to me. That was awesome. He’s shown faith in me. That’s just what I need.

“You ask me what am I focused on during the week. Playing hard, doing what I’m coached to do. It’s that simple. I don’t think about failure. My thought process is I need to run on the field with my linemen and play just as hard as they’re playing and do exactly what I’m coached to do and then let my talent take over after that. It’s that simple in my mind.

“Our success so far starts with the trust and belief of our head coach. Not many coaches would start two rookies on the offensive line, a rookie running back, two rookie cornerbacks. Not many coaches would be comfortable starting a quarterback who hasn’t played in many years. But Pete does it because he knows what he’s looking at. He’s played young guys before, lots of times. He’s taken chances on players, lots of time. He knows how to coach ball. You can see that this year.

“I think we’re built to last for this season and many seasons. But ultimately, it comes down to what we do, not what we say. It’s about the work we put in. it’s about the consistency. And our preparation and consistency and our togetherness. That’s all that matters. As long as we continue to build together, the sky’s the limit. It takes work. It takes hard work. We gotta embrace that part of it.”

That is one mature dude. No bitterness about being kicked to the curb for so long. Just gratitude for his place in the game, right here, right now.

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

2022 NFL Christmas Schedule: TV Schedule, live stream info, what teams are playing, kickoff times, and more

Here is the full 2022 NFL Christmas Schedule with additional how to watch/live stream info
Getty Images
0 Comments

Christmas falls on a weekend this year which means the NFL is giving the gift of a full, three-day slate of action. The excitement kicks off on Christmas Eve–Saturday, December 24–with 11 total games taking place including an NFC East showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, December 25, the NFL will have a Christmas Day triple-header for the first time ever. First, at 1:00 PM ET, the Green Bay Packers take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Then at 4:30 p.m. ET, it’s the Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. At 8:20 p.m. ET the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go head-to-head with the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with a special Christmas Day edition of Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock.

See below for the full 2022 NFL Christmas schedule as well as additional information on how to watch/live stream each match-up.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

2022 NFL Christmas Weekend Schedule:

*All times are listed as ET

Saturday, Dec. 24
Atlanta Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., FOX
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX
Buffalo Bills vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., CBS
New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m., CBS
Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m., FOX
New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., FOX
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., CBS
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m., NFLN
Sunday, Dec. 25
Green Bay Packers vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., FOX
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:30 p.m., CBS/Nickelodeon
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 26
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Which NFL teams are playing on Christmas Day?

  • Green Bay Packers vs Miami Dolphins
  • Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals

How to watch Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals:

  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • When: Sunday, December 25
  • 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 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals 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.


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 Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for Sunday night’s game

0 Comments

It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 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.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • 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 Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys 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.


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!