This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.
When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself, because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp.com slash positive. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.
When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself, because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month.
That's betterhelp.com slash positive. Week 18 had a little bit of everything. Man, week 18, not just the weekend, but the entire week was unlike any we have ever seen in the NFL before. And I will say it again, I've said it multiple times, I do believe from the bottom of my heart that it is true that while the NFL doesn't always make the right choices, and doesn't always take the temperature in the room, so to speak, doesn't always listen and hear and watch and observe and respond to what the players are saying. A lot of times the NFL just kind of steamrolls and does whatever the NFL feels like doing, regardless. And I know you can't react to every single complaint or every single grievance that a player brings up, but this was league-wide.
Love for DeMar, compassion for DeMar Hamlin, care for the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. Universally, the players around the league needed a pause. They needed to reset. They needed a couple of days to pray for DeMar, to think about DeMar, to consider getting back on the field, to pay attention to their mental health, to tell people they loved them, to recognize that this is a brotherhood and they have to lift each other up.
They did that. Thankfully, there was good news. Was it Wednesday night going into Thursday morning? DeMar was awake for the first time. He was writing. He wanted to know whether or not the Bills won the game. He finally found out that the entire nation had been praying for him and lifting him up and donating to his charity. And then by Thursday, he was able to get that breathing tube out, I think it was late Thursday, and was breathing on his own. And the doctors delivered an incredible synopsis of the life-saving measures that were taken, the road ahead for him, but the significant improvement, the neurological function intact. All of that freed the Bills and the Bengals and the rest of the league to get back to football.
I can't remember where I read it. It was somewhere on Twitter about how the father of DeMar Hamlin, Mario Hamlin, didn't just ask the Bills to go back to football. He demanded that they play football because that's what DeMar would want. The family was in constant contact with the team, with Coach McDermott. And DeMar has been in contact with them, not to mention tweeting his support and his reaction. If you did not see DeMar's immediate response to Naim Hines taking the opening kickoff 96 yards for a score, one that reduced Sean McDermott to tears.
To be fair, I don't think he'd wipe the tears off his face from the national anthem. One that Josh Allen couldn't believe and was crying about in the postgame that set Orchard Park on fire. Well, you got to check it out. It's on my Twitter. It's self-explanatory.
You just need to go look. A-Law Radio. On our Facebook page, After Hours with Amy Lawrence, lots of reaction. I was just saying to Producer J, I got a couple of good ideas for this week. As we head towards Super Size Wild Card Weekend, of course, there's a lot of eulogies we have to deliver.
And on this Monday morning, you know what that means, our Monday mortification poll. Producer J, have we come up with our poll to this point? Got some that should be in there.
I think I got three definitely that I think should be in there. Let's do the poll. Alright, the poll will be up by the time we get to our break.
How about that? Or during our next break. It's After Hours on CBS Sports Radio. Our final Sunday night into Monday morning post-NFL show after an NFL Sunday. There is no Monday night football in the NFL, but there is a national championship. TCU, the greatest Cinderella that college football has ever known against the defending national champs.
So it's frogs and dogs. It's Cinderella versus the big bad versus the king. And that takes place in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. So there is another huge game on Monday.
It just isn't in the NFL. Just to reiterate, if you haven't heard, here are the seeds from the AFC. Kansas City ends up winning the top seed with a victory over the Raiders on Saturday. Buffalo gets the two seed. If it's the Chiefs and the Bills in the AFC championship. No, it wasn't last year.
It was the year before. If it is this season, it will be at a neutral site. But get this, it will not be in Indianapolis, which would be a site that would be about the same distance from the two cities.
But did you hear? The Colts and the officials in charge of Lucas Oil Stadium declined the opportunity to host because they have a volleyball tournament that brings in thousands of people. And because their hotel rooms in the city are apparently already spoken for.
They don't have any room at the inn. And so it will not be Indianapolis that hosts a neutral site AFC championship. If it gets to that point, again, it's Kansas City 1, it's Buffalo 2, they would have to find a neutral site for their AFC title tilt. Number 3 in the AFC, that's the Cincinnati Bengals who also win on Sunday against Baltimore, only to turn around and host the Ravens again to start the wild card.
Well, not to start the weekend, but to start their wild card campaign. The 4 seed, that's the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 5 seed is the Los Angeles Chargers. The 6 seed in the AFC, that's the Miami Dolphins. No, Miami is 7.
Wait a minute, why do I always get this backwards when I do this? Shoot, I shouldn't be doing this without looking. Sorry, Jacksonville is the 4, Los Angeles is the 5, Baltimore is the 6, Miami is the 7. Boom! Just got to say it out loud a few more times. Alright, I'm not going to mess it up in the NFC. This I know to be sure. I'm not even looking, I swear. Number 1 is, of course, in the NFC, it's the Philadelphia Eagles who get Jalen Hurts back.
We're going to hear from them coming up here momentarily. But he played the entire game against the Giants on Sunday. The number 2 seed then falls to the hottest team in football. 10 wins in a row for the San Francisco 49ers.
They actually will host the first game of the playoffs. The 3 seed is the Minnesota Vikings. The 4 seed is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only a half dozen teams in NFL history have ever made the playoffs with a losing record.
Did you ever think Tom Brady would be in that position? But his Buccaneers, they're below.500 and yet they are the 4 seed. The Dallas Cowboys from the NFC Beast, they are the 5 seed. The Giants from the same division are the 6 seed. And congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks, the last team to make it into the playoffs. I feel like, with that jog something in my brain, I feel like this could be their Cinderella moment maybe. Now the San Francisco 49ers are a very tough opponent, one they know well. But weren't the Philadelphia Phillies the last team to get into the baseball playoffs?
And look where they ended up. You never know. You're telling me there's a chance. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Yes, the Saturday double header. San Francisco hosting Seattle and then Jacksonville against the Chargers. Then on Sunday it's a triple header. Buffalo hosting Miami. Minnesota welcomes New York. Cincinnati has got Baltimore. Finally on Monday night it's Dallas at Tampa Bay. So that's where it starts. That's where this run begins.
And can I be greedy for a second? Is it too much to ask for a playoff month like what we had last year? Do you guys remember divisional weekend specifically? Four games that were decided on the very last play. It was crazy stuff, right?
I mean, it was phenomenal. Quick, do you remember who was in the championship games last weekend, Producer J? Last weekend, last season? Do you remember? Let's see, the Bengals and the Chiefs.
Yes. After that crazy Bills-Chief game with 13 seconds left. Right, with 13 seconds in overtime, yes. And the NFC was at the Niners and the Rams, of course.
The Super Bowl champs, yes. See, sometimes when you think back to what happened a year ago, it's not as easy. Well, I don't mean just you. I mean, in general, sometimes I have to, like, smack myself upside the head.
Like, what? I can't remember that. It was a whole year ago. Alright, let's talk about these Philadelphia Eagles who set a franchise record with 14 wins. Jalen Hurts returns on Sunday. So, it didn't appear to show any ill effects from that sprained shoulder, though they did have a really conservative game plan. If you didn't see the beginning of the game against the Giants, very first play, a 35-yard pass to A.J.
Brown. So, erring it out a little bit, but generally, they decided to run the ball more. He only threw 35 passes.
He wasn't even at 250 yards. He did have an interception. He was playing mostly, or the Eagles offense was playing mostly against the Giants' backup.
So, they were already locked in to the sixth seed in the NFC. So, Brian Deball didn't show them anything, didn't really have his starters out there. It was Davis Webb who was starting at quarterback. They were just trying to get through it without any injuries. So, it wasn't a game in which you could really gauge what the Eagles offense was doing, and they were also playing it super conservative, which is good for Jalen Hurts to get back on the field. They played the entire game, and yes, they are the 1-C.
They have a bye coming up this weekend. My whole thing moving forward is, you know, let's prepare to play our best ball. You know, it's been a great ride this year, but the job isn't finished.
So, keep on going. You may remember that fateful moment, I think fateful for the Tennessee Titans, when they traded away A.J. Brown, and Brown quickly became the top target for Jalen Hurts in this Eagles offense. Another 95 yards on Sunday. He sets the new Eagles' single-season receiving mark just shy of 1,500 yards. 1,496 yards for A.J.
Brown, and that's over the last month without a Jalen Hurts. And the last time they had the top seed, of course, A.J. was not with them. But you know, they were the top seed in 2017 before Nick Foles led them to a Super Bowl win. Of course, this isn't enough. The top seed isn't where they finish their goals.
I want more. You know, it's cool for the moment. My sights are looking forward and what I can try to do to get better at taking this game one at a time in the playoffs.
So, I know it's a new season. We talked a lot about this week about, you know, we should be confident. You know, again, did we feel like we played a great game today?
No, not by any means. But this team should be confident, right? And that doesn't mean cocky. It means confident that with all the things that we've been able to accomplish this year. This team's done some special things. Some of the records that this team has had, you know, as far as A.J.
and Devontae, to have two receivers do that. The most points, the most wins, most importantly, right? The most sacks, right? Just a lot of great things that happened in the regular season.
And so, you know, we understand that. So, once again, the Eagles set a franchise record with 14 wins. Now, obviously, we're talking about a newly expanded NFL regular season. So, 14 wins, impressive, but maybe doesn't compare to what they did in 2004 and, again, in 2017, when they had their old, quote, unquote, regular season high for wins, which was 13. But in each of those seasons, the Eagles reached the Super Bowl. Now, they won in 17 for their first title in franchise history.
2004 was such an unlikely campaign, but still incredible. So, you would think, sky is the limit, and certainly their goals would be Super Bowl or bust. Now that they have Jalen Hurts back, they've got to feel better about it. Nick Sirianni, second year as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, while Brian Dabble is in his first year as the head coach of the Giants. And he did have a couple of deep runs with the Bills.
Remember, he was the offensive coordinator before he took this job in New York City. And so, can he use that past playoff experience, though in disappointment, to help guide him now moving forward with New York? Each experience is different. I mean, I think you can definitely learn. Absolutely, you can learn things, just like you do in a regular season.
But how it goes for that particular game that you're getting ready to play really doesn't have much bearing at all. You've got to play well. You've got to coach well. It's a one-game season. It's what it's at. It's a familiar opponent because we just played them not too long ago. But just excited for the opportunity. That's what you want as a player, as a guy in leagues.
You want to make it to the playoffs and you get the opportunity. And we know we're going to a hostile environment. We've been there, a familiar opponent.
I'm ready to get home and start working on them and get ready for them. Saquon Barkley did not play in the game on Sunday. But I will say what I've said all year long. This offense is a lot more successful. There's a lot less pressure on a Daniel Jones when there's a healthy Saquon Barkley. And what a comeback season for him. Generally, comeback player of the year is reserved for guys who are injured.
And there are some impressive candidates out there. I know Jared Goff was not injured last year. But I don't know how you can leave him out of the conversation for comeback player of the year. And how about Saquon Barkley? 1,300 plus yards this season.
Didn't play this week, obviously. 10 touchdowns. That's one major reason why the Giants are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. We knew the Dallas Cowboys were in. They were a long shot to win the top seed and the NFC beast. The Eagles were the ones that were in control.
But they did not play well. In fact, against a rookie quarterback making his first career start, Sam Howell was the headline for the commanders more than Dak Prescott and the Cowboys unless you're looking for negative headlines. Touchdown Washington commanders. On Washington's radio network, just trust me, it was, I don't want to say it was stunning necessarily, but it was disjointed for the Dallas Cowboys. There was the pick six by Dak Prescott. He was just off all day. He was overshooting receivers. There was no sink at all to this offense.
C.D. Lamb did have one really nice catch and I think I wrote it down somewhere. He had an incredible season. He took over as the number one wideout for the Cowboys and he definitely grew into that role. But Dak Prescott, the look on his face all day long. Overthrow, underthrow, out of sync, pick six. It was this look of consternation, almost shock for Dak Prescott. They go four of 18 on third down.
I mean, they just were, ew, it was a yikes type of a game for the Cowboys. Now, Jerry Jones said afterwards they're going to use this as a springboard, blah, blah, get it out of your system. It's motivation moving forward.
But I don't know. I'm not sure I'd want to have that type of a stinker in week 18 right before I go on the road to take on the Buccaneers in wildcard weekend. You want to be playing your best ball in January. Absolutely.
I totally agree with that. We're all disappointed in our performance tonight, even if it were to come out on the other side of it. You know, we have to reboot and go. Let whatever happens today move on. I mean, kind of treat it like a win.
If we won, I mean, the same thing. You got to leave it alone. You know what I'm saying? So just move on next week. We got to be better, truly. And honestly, that's pretty much all there is to it. Understanding that's not who we are and then moving on and knowing what we've got ahead of us. And it's one play at a time. The the intensity, the focus, all that one play at a time, one game at a time, whatever it was, whatever the reason may be. We've got, as I said, individually look at it, take accountability, learn from it, and then understand that, hey, when we were playing touchdown, we're on to Tampa. So you hear Mike McCarthy.
Yeah. You want to be playing your best football in January. I can only imagine what Cowboys Nation will do and how they will explode with frustration, anger. Although I have seen some taking a preemptive strike and just assuming that the Cowboys run will end shy of the NFC championship or of the Super Bowl. This is the season that we didn't see coming for the NFC beast.
Right. The fact that the Cowboys can have 12 wins and be a five seed. Well, it's it's not typical now they had their opportunities to catch up to the Eagles and they didn't ultimately just didn't have enough time. And so for them to be a five seed and go on the road at Tampa, I wouldn't say that's an optimal way to start the playoffs. However, they should be favored. I don't know if they are.
I don't generally look at lines. They've got a better defense and they've got they can have a better offense. And we don't always see that. We certainly didn't see it on Sunday. But Tampa Bay is inconsistent and really hasn't played strong football except for in spurts here and there. The Cowboys are a much better team.
But can they do it when it matters on the road? We have seen wildcard teams win Super Bowls. We have seen teams, including Tampa, have to play their entire postseason on the road, but end up in the Super Bowl.
So it's not impossible. They've gone through a lot of adversity this season. I think they're battle tested. They've been in a really tough division against the Eagles, the Giants, the commanders. So they're set up. I don't love the way they finished the season. But I do think the Cowboys are a force in the playoffs. They can get their heads on straight if Jack can get his head on straight.
Whoever it is, line them up. That's critical. Get the Cowboys don't play till Monday night on the road at the Buccaneers. On Twitter, A Law Radio, we promise our Monday mortification poll in these next few minutes. So check it out there.
Our show Twitter as well after our CBS Facebook page, too. We've got wildcard weekend on tap along with the college football playoff national championship straight ahead. Did you see what the Texans did to wrap up their regular season? I hope that's not why Lovey Smith got fired. Oh, heavens.
And also, I'm sorry, it's just so comical. And I feel like there are only a handful of teams that this could happen with. And probably the Texans are one of them. Sometime divorce is good. Oh, my gosh. And then J.J. Watt at the end of what was a brutal finish. It's really second half of the season for the Cardinals.
He is the Brites. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit BetterHelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's BetterHELP.com slash positive. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.
When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit BetterHelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's BetterHELP.com slash positive. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.
When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit BetterHelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month.
That's BetterHELP.com slash positive. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. McCaffrey over to the right in motion. Back to throw.
Purdy hit and sacked at the 38-yard line. Mr. Watt take a bow again. J.J. Watt going out in style, his second sack, and his final NFL appearance.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. On Arizona Cardinals radio, a fond farewell to J.J. Watt. He decided that he would announce his retirement with a couple of games left in the regular season, and so it passes without a ton of fanfare. In fact, his NFL career ends in the Bay Area, not in the desert, and the Cardinals get lambasted by the Niners. We can talk about it from the Niners' perspective later in the show, but most importantly is that J.J. Watt is able to play the entire season, and he gets a pair of sacks in his last game.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. His wife, his two-month-old son, they were there in the stadium. And he showed the energy, the intensity, the desire in hot pursuit of Brock Purdy, the way that he has most of his career when he's been healthy.
And so congratulations to him. He finishes with 114 and a half sacks in the regular season, so 12 years, 114 and a half sacks in the regular season. But get this, 12 and a half this year, his last season.
Now, I don't want to say they were wasted because that's not fair. The Cardinals wasted that production from J.J. and a great season from J.J. They finish up with seven straight losses, nine of their last ten, abysmal in the desert.
After everything that happened in the offseason and Kyler Murray and his new contract and scrubbing social media and yada, yada, yada, this was an unmitigated disaster. So J.J. Watt is one of the highlights with 12 and a half sacks. His fifth best sack campaign of his career, meaning fifth most, even going back to his Defensive Player of the Year honors. And the number, if you combine regular season and playoffs, it's 120 and a half sacks. So in his career, 120 and a half sacks. He is a Hall of Famer. And again, the highlight, really, of the Cardinals' season. His goal this year was to play an entire season.
Hadn't done that for a few years, four years, I think. And then to come and have 12 and a half sacks and play the way he did, lead the way he did is just phenomenal, man. I can't say enough good things about him. I said I wanted to go out playing good ball and I'm playing good ball. So, you know, I know I still can.
I'm just choosing not to. That's all. I want to say thank you to the fans. I want to say thank you to all my teammates and coaches for the memories, all the organizations. Just a lot of thank yous, man.
It's just a whole bunch of thank yous because I'm just a man who's full of love and gratitude. I haven't seen it yet. I didn't have an opportunity to look it up. Actually, the Cardinals may have shared it on Twitter, Jay, if you want to check it out. They put together a video tribute for him. And so while I guess it was the story goes, the tributes were slow to come in. And as you can imagine, this was quite the week for the NFL, not just current players, former players. It was really an atypical week.
We know that just from having worked through it last week. But there were video tributes and messages from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, also T.J. Watt and Derek Watt, who are his two younger brothers playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And so, yeah, while J.J. confesses that he actually wasn't super emotional leading into this week, he kept waiting to be emotional, he said, and he really wasn't emotional about retiring.
But he ended up losing it when he saw his brothers on this video tribute. And so I'm trying to think when they, let me see if I can figure out when they used it. Oh, so producer Jay tells me he has it, which is good. Apparently they ran it in a team meeting on Saturday night. So they wouldn't have played it, obviously, in the Bay Area during an away game.
But if you want to check it out, it's on our show Twitter, After Hours CBS. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but this is what moved J.J. to tears. Not so much the thought of retirement at 33 years old. He says he's choosing to walk away now and actually doesn't feel that emotional about it. Meanwhile, for Cliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals, man, they've got to figure out a way to rebound from what was a huge disappointment. As a coach, you learn along the way each and every step. I think there's things that I'll take from this and be a better coach moving forward.
But you have to go through a season like this to try and make those changes moving forward. We already know that Kyler Murray will not be ready to start next season. J.J. Watt is gone. They obviously still have some really viable pieces. I don't know if they make a coaching change.
There has been a report that they were leaning toward it. There's also been a report that they are not leaning toward making a coaching change. But the last few seasons, even last year, they started at 8-0, 7-0, 8-0. And they did make the playoffs but were never really a Super Bowl threat.
They haven't been able to capitalize on all this promise and this hope and the moves that they've made. And certainly Kyler Murray, their wagon is now hitched to his star even though he is recovering from a torn ACL. I suppose we could have put them in our Monday mortification poll, but they really didn't have a whole lot to play for.
The poll is up. So first of all, you want to check out our show Twitter for videos and photos from Week 18 in the NFL. And also, which team, which fan base wakes up on this Monday the most morose and moody and mad and melancholy and mortified?
It's too hard. Just morbid as we're talking about a Black Monday and we're delivering eulogies for various teams. And we're mostly focused on the playoffs, so we'll bury the rest of the NFL, theoretically, in the next couple of days.
For now, we're mostly focused on Wild Card Weekend and the teams that did survive and advance to the tournament. But even as the Cowboys move forward, I say they have to be slightly mortified on this Monday. The Tennessee Titans finished out the season with seven straight losses. They were the number one seed in the AFC last year, and they limped to the finish line.
It's astounding to see. I know they had all kinds of injuries, and injuries are the great equalizer, but man, losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night with the AFC South title on the line. How about you, Green Bay Packers? Sometimes the Packers this season just left me at a loss for words.
I was speechless. We'll get to them again at the top of the hour. And how about the Colts? We'll talk Colts and Texans after the update because Lovey Smith gave the proverbial middle finger to management, maybe knowing what was coming, and said every week we play to win.
And he meant until the last few minutes had ticked off the clock in this Texans season. So there's a lot still we want to cram in. Ultimately, though, the 14 teams are locked into the playoffs. We've got the seeds. We've got the schedule. It starts on Saturday with a doubleheader in San Francisco and Jacksonville. Continues through Buffalo, Minnesota, and Cincinnati on Sunday. I don't know why I said Wednesday, just because. On Sunday and then Monday, wrapping up with Dallas and Tampa Bay as the final game of Super Size Wild Card Weekend. I'm so excited. It's this time of the year that reminds me. Oh, we're starting a new year on CBS Sports Radio with infinite possibilities.
If it's anything like last year, we are in for a wild ride. Even this show is sponsored by better help. When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp.com slash positive. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp.
When you're at your best, you can do great things. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of yourself. Because when you feel empowered, you're more ready for life's challenges. BetterHelp is a great therapy option. It's flexible, affordable, entirely online, and it matches you with a licensed therapist. Let therapy help empower you. Visit betterhelp.com slash positive to get 10% off your first month.
That's betterhelp.com slash positive. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids, you know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues.
If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Alex loves it! You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Josh Allen is running back for a touchdown for Jacksonville! A four-man rush, he drops a throw to Jags Pressurin. He fires to the right side, caught by Haskins. He's tackled well short of first down yardage. They're going to tackle him at the 44-yard line, and the ball's going to go over on down to Jacksonville. How about this defense? How good is that?
It's time to pull on the pads and hit somebody. On After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Frank Franci on Jaguars Radio. Congratulations to Doug Peterson and to the rest of the Jaguars, who, after losing five in a row, they're able to come back and win seven of their last nine, take advantage of a weak AFC South, and now they are division champions for the first time since 2017. Of course, this wouldn't happen without Peterson, who's a Super Bowl-winning head coach who got let go in Philadelphia, took a year off, and then was hired to fix everything that was broken in the wake of Urban Meyer. And boy, did he. He brought credibility. He brought a voice with experience.
Not only that, but a quarterback's brain, so he and Trevor Lawrence were able to speak the same language and had an instant connection. But it took some confidence-building wins. It took some grit. It took some guts. It took them believing in themselves and also finding a few breaks that would go their way. It took taking care of the football, valuing every snap and every game. And look at them now. They'll be hosting a playoff win.
Or, excuse me, nope, that was not a prediction. They'll be hosting a playoff game Saturday night, back-to-back weeks for the Jaguars under the lights, this time as the... I'm so proud of the guys for the way they have just all season long and just hung together through the face of adversity at times and even through some of the high moments. We just stayed the same.
Just stayed the same. Just what we had to do to claw and fight our way back into the hunt and give ourselves a chance to win the division. We had to do a lot. We had to win a ton of games down the stretch, and we were able to do it.
We never lost faith or belief in ourselves. Really how we got here was just taking it one week at a time. That's the message, especially this week.
You only get one week at a time. I think that's exciting for this group. Certainly the Jaguars know that well because it took every last win, five in a row, to wrap the regular season. Again, after what they went through earlier in the year, where it was a lot of the same old Jaguars.
They lost five in a row earlier in the season only to rally and to put together seven wins in their last nine games. Two humongous defensive plays in the game against Tennessee on Saturday night. They had a Tyson-Campbell interception late in the third quarter that led to a field goal, but just as important, in fact, a bigger even, after they forced a pair of three-and-outs, they sacked Josh Dobbs, who was starting for Tennessee.
Josh Allen, no, the other one, recovers a fumble and goes 37 yards for the score. Elsewhere in the AFC South, it was a down year. The Jaguars did finish above.500, and they certainly took ownership of the division. But the Titans, who were second place in that division, finished with seven consecutive losses.
You know what else? The Colts. Third place in that division also finished with seven straight losses, including on Sunday, and we'll get to that from the Houston perspective straight ahead. But I wanted you to hear from Jeff Saturday because he got this second-half audition from Jim Irsay as this kind of flyer as a head coach or an interim head coach to see if he could point this team in the right direction, if he could maybe get the best out of them. Does he have what it takes to be a head coach? Is he head coaching material? Well, they won their first game after he took over, and they were flying high, but now what?
They dropped seven in a row. So, Jeff Saturday, are you deserving of sticking around? I told those guys when I walked into the locker room the first time, and it has not changed, was to serve them the best I could, and I feel for those guys. Those are the ones that lay it out on the line.
That's not an answer, but okay. That's another piece of information, piece of news that we could get on Monday. Jim Irsay really loves Jeff Saturday, but he likes winning more, presumably.
It's after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Okay, so Jacksonville, the only team in the AFC South above.500 actually to expand it. You know that I've made the South divisions the butt of many of my jokes, or the punchline for many of my jokes this season. There was only one team among the eight in the two South divisions, one team with a winning record, and that was Jacksonville. Even though Tampa is going to the playoffs and has a lot of postseason experience, the Buccaneers didn't play most of their starters, a lot of their starters the full game on Sunday, and so they actually finish up eight and nine. Weirdly enough, the rest of the NFC South, all seven and ten.
Isn't that crazy? All three teams, Carolina, New Orleans, and Atlanta, all seven and ten. Buccaneers were one game better. So yes, back to the AFC South. You have Jacksonville at nine and eight, mentioned the Titans, mentioned the Colts, both folding with seven consecutive losses to wrap the season.
That brings us to Houston. Do not tell Lovey Smith that they're supposed to be playing for the number one overall draft pick. Davis Mills, he's had a tough campaign. He had back-to-back third quarter interceptions against the Colts on Sunday. That led to 14 Indianapolis points.
So it looks like the Colts were going to end their losing skid and get Jeff Saturday a win in the final weekend of the regular season. But the Texans get the ball back with about three and a half minutes to go, and they look like world beaters. An 83-yard drive, 14 plays. Davis Mills goes 30 yards deep to Brandon Cooks. He's chucking and ducking the ball all over the place.
This was definitely not a team that was playing for that top draft pick. Empty backfield after motion. Fourth and 20 at the Colts 28. Mills all alone in the backfield. Here's the snap. Davis looking. He scrambles out to the right.
Got to get rid of it. Throws it to the end zone and caught it. Jordan Akins.
My goodness. A fourth and 20. Akins with the catch. 50 seconds to go in the contest.
Here we go. Texans going for the deuce and the lead. Mills shotgun Dari in the backfield with him. Bunch formation wide side right.
More short side left. Here's the snap. Davis looking. Throw into the end zone.
Caught and converted. Jordan Akins comes up big again. Wide open as the Texans grab a one-point lead with 50 seconds to go, 32-31. Mark Vandermeer on Texans radio.
I mean, there's so many different angles here. Do you think that Nick Casario and the brain trust in the Texans front office, I'm using that term loosely, do you think that they were mad that Lovey Smith dialed up a two-point conversion to go for the win in the final minute instead of settling for the tie and the kick? Also, do you think that Lovey Smith and the Texans were just like, hell no, we're not playing another minute of football this season, so we're done? Because if they had played into overtime, there would have been a little more time on the field, right? But nah, they went for the win. And Lovey Smith said after the fact, this was before he got fired, he said after the fact that they went for the win every time this year. They were not just playing out of the string. They weren't playing for the number one draft pick.
This wasn't about evaluating talent. No, they were playing to win every single weekend. We talk about what's happening the last game. We understand the totality of the season and what's going on. Do I expect to be back? Yeah, I expect to be back.
Well, he's not back. Owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Cassario made the decision even before we got to Black Monday, I'm sorry for Lovey Smith. And I think the Texans look like clowns.
I mean, let's be fair. They look like clowns. I know that Bill O'Brien dug his own hole and they needed to make a change there. But remember, they couldn't find a head coach. They bring in David Cully.
They make him the sacrificial lamb. The guy had waited 40 years to become a head coach in the NFL and they were never going to give him a fighting chance. So then they take Lovey Smith off of his staff, right?
Like, how odd is that? They fire Cully, but they promote what was his defensive coordinator to the head coaching job. Lovey Smith, who's got experience, they really don't put a lot of talent around him.
They don't solve a lot of their problems. And now Lovey Smith is fired. They're about to hire, theoretically, their fourth head coach in four seasons. What are you, the Cleveland Browns? Sorry, I'm sorry.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids. You know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal to giant statues. If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants.
Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids. You know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal to giant statues.
If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-09 08:12:27 / 2023-01-09 08:30:01 / 18