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1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

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January 6, 2023 6:06 am

1-6-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 6, 2023 6:06 am

Detroit Lions insider Justin Rogers joins the show | What is the After Hours "Game of the Week?!" | Tee Higgins speaks to the media.


No one's more locked into the NFL than First and Pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The Lions. Anything can and will happen. The radio announcer, bless his heart, says the kick's up, it hits the crossbar, it's in. And I, as usual, have to listen to why my Lions have found the most creative way to lose every single time. Dean Campbell's crazy.

And on the way up, we're going to buy the kneecap off. I'm 65, I've lived in Detroit my whole life. I'm a big Lions fan. I was live when the Lions won their only championship in 1957. I was only a year old, so I don't remember too much of it.

You don't remember any of it, be honest. The Detroit Lions were so, so, so close. This keeps happening. It doesn't matter who coaches, it doesn't matter who runs it, it doesn't matter who owns it. We're going to find a way to lose every time.

And I just don't know how to deal with it anymore. So I figured I'd ask you, as a Lions fan, what should I possibly do at this point? Who says we can't get flexed?

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. We adopted the Lions going back to the preseason. And really last year, we saw the signs of it with Dan Campbell changing the culture.

The fact that they fight hard. You don't necessarily want to see the Lions in a game that you must win. And even after starting one and six, they refused to throw in the towel on the season. It's pretty incredible what we've seen from them since then.

They started out one and six, now they're eight and eight. And as they head into Lambeau on Sunday night in Green Bay, the Lions do need other chips to fall their way. But let's just say for the sake of argument, the Seahawks lose to the Rams earlier in the day. That means the Lions beat the Packers and they're in as an NFC wildcard.

Only one other team in NFL history has ever made the playoffs after winning only one of its first seven games. We'll get to that nerd alert coming up. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We love Dan Campbell.

I swear I'm not a lunatic, but next to Mike Tomlin, he might be my favorite NFL head coach to hear from in the league. We just stayed the course, you know. I mean, that was, look, we came into the year and that's where we were at. And, you know, we hit a rough spot, we stayed with it, and then here we are. I mean, I just think more than anything it's, I don't know what it says. I'm just rambling right now. I don't know. I just know for us it means something that we climbed back out of the cellar and got ourselves in position to play for one more meaningful game here before the year ends, man, and that's a step in the right direction. From one and six to eight and eight and now a chance at the postseason. I don't know what it says.

I'm just rambling here. Dan Campbell, love this guy. We are pleased to spend some time in Detroit right now, and for the first time in a long time, welcome a Lions-specific guest to After Hours. Justin Rogers covers the Lions for the Detroit News and joins us. It's past his bedtime, but this is a big deal. So the Lions finally get flexed the very last weekend of the NFL season. Dan Campbell gets his wish. What's the atmosphere, the tone around the team right now as they head into this final week of the regular season?

Yeah, it's funny. You go into this season and every single one of the Lions games we're at one o'clock on the dot, and I don't know if I've ever even seen something quite like that. So a little bit of a curveball in week 18, but there is a genuine excitement. I think the thing that I've appreciated about Dan Campbell is a lot of coaches will try to downplay the magnitude of the moment. They'll try to keep their guys level. It's just another game. We have to treat it like another game, and that has been the exact opposite of how he's approached this.

He has embraced the moment. He wants his guys to recognize the magnitude of the moment, and it's a very young roster. I believe at the start of the regular season, it was the second youngest in the NFL. So this is a big test for them, right? They've won seven of nine. They've clawed out of this one-and-six hole. They're figuring out how to win. They're figuring out how to finish games. They're figuring out how to overcome these hurdles that have plagued the organization for years that maybe they don't have an appreciation or understanding for, but it matters to the fan base. This is really kind of the latest of those challenges of being under the bright lights and playing in a game that is potentially very meaningful with a playoff spot on the line and, if not, still the opportunity to finish with a winning record, to show that this rebound is on the right track, and to knock the Packers out, which I think is not a bad consolation prize for these players and certainly for the fan base. And stranger things have happened. They're in line for a playoff spot.

It very well could fall to them depending on what happens with the Seahawks and the Rams. So, Justin, last year in Dan Campbell's first season, they were competitive. They fought, they scratched, they clawed. They made life difficult for their opponents, but the wins didn't necessarily come as a result. What has been a difference this year in some of these games where they actually have been able to come away with the Ws? Well, there's a lot of differences, obviously, but I remember last year in training camp watching the practices, and I turned to a colleague and, you know, no hyperbole.

I just said, look, this might be the worst offense in the NFL. It was just, it was incongruent. The talent wasn't there.

They weren't meshing. And, really, that kind of came into fruition for the first three quarters of that season. And, look, late in the year, Amand Raste and Brown emerged, you know, has really become one of the league's bright young stars at that position. They picked up Josh Reynolds, you know, not a star by any means, but a guy that had chemistry with Jared Goff, and they started clicking at the end of that season. They go into this offseason, they get more pieces. They go sign D.J.

Clark. The offensive line, which was a revolving door of injuries last year, all those guys get healthy, or most of them get healthy, and this offense has been one of the best in the NFL this year. You know, the defense really struggled out the gate, kind of was on pace for, you know, to be one of the worst defense in the history of the NFL, but they've kind of figured some things out, too, schematically. The young unit, as I mentioned, kind of with the rest of the rosters, they're all kind of growing together. They've got so many rookies contributing in the starting lineup that they're on pace.

It's just one more stack. They're going to have the most stacks by rookies in NFL history. So, it's just a matter of a young roster gelling at the right time, building on their experiences, and coming together, and you're seeing that. We're so excited to be talking about the Lions as we head into week 18. Still alive for a playoff spot in the NFC.

Justin Rogers covers the team for the Detroit News. How long have you been covering this team? I think this is year 11. Sometimes I stop counting a year. I just start counting by the number of coaches at some point.

Oh, man. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio, talking defense and a young defense. I am captivated by Aiden Hutchinson. What difference has he made on that side of the ball? You know, the Lions pass rush was really awful for basically the entirety of Matt Patricia's tenure here, and they really needed help there. Hutchinson's been a big part of that.

He's been a stabilizing force. Look at the snap counts. He's played third or fourth most snaps of any defensive line in the entire NFL.

Wow. Rookie wall be damned. This guy just plowed through it, and maybe two weeks ago, it felt like it was week three. He's just got really impressive endurance, stamina to continue to contribute at a high level late in the season, despite never really doing this for the playmaker. The sacks are there.

The pressure's there. He's got three interceptions. I mean, that's a really flukey stat for a defensive end, but he has that rare athleticism to match the motor that goes into it. And then the Lions recently, another guy that just merits mention is James Houston. Six-round draft pick. He's on the practice squad for half a year. They call him up before the Thanksgiving game. He plays five snaps in his debut, two sacks in five snaps, and it has not stopped. He has played 100 snaps, approximately. He has eight sacks. He has more sacks than Aiden Hutchinson. He has more sacks than anybody in NFL history in their first six games. This guy has been a game changer, and it really looks like the Lions stumbled upon a gem here that has the potential to be a long-term piece. It's pretty incredible to think about the trajectory of the team and similar, actually, to the Packers. Now, their experience is different, but we're kind of dead in the water and now have put together this awesome second half, which forces a clash in Week 18. Other than, say, Jared Goff, who, of course, has been to a Super Bowl, how much experience does this team have in games where you're talking significant stakes on the line? Yeah, we looked it up today, and we were just kind of counting the guys on the roster that have playoff experience. It was more than I expected. There was 15 guys, but that's when you start getting down to guys that maybe are primarily special teamers or even the kicker. But a lot of these guys also played at high-level programs. I talked to Hutchinson today, and I said, how much does this experience compare to the Ohio State game last year? When you went into it undefeated, knowing for years your program at Michigan struggled to beat Ohio State, but you needed to beat them to get to the next goal, to get to the college football playoffs. I mean, it's very similar in a lot of ways.

It's the bright lights shining. So they've gone through these experiences in other ways, but that is the test this week, right? It's how will these guys respond. They've responded to most of the challenges along the way. There's the Carolina game where they got punched in the mouth, and it was a little bit of an unexpected, jarring experience for them, but they responded in the following week, and they came back, and they beat the Bears handily 41 to 10.

So they keep responding to these little challenges within the whole entirety of the season, and this is just the latest one. When that trade went down and Matthew Stafford went to L.A., it seemed as though the Lions had gotten the raw end of the deal. Rams go on to win the Super Bowl, and Stafford has this great season, but where have you seen Jared Goff make an impact? What is different, better in season two with the Lions?

Yeah, I want to go back to that trade for a second, and it really felt like the perfect trade for both teams. You know, Lions were clearly tearing it down to the studs, and with Jared Goff, they also got back two first-round picks and a third-round pick. That's a lot of draft equity to kick-start a rebuild. And then you look at Goff as a piece of stuff. Look at the former number-one draft pick, the guy that had been to two Pro Bowls, he had led a team to the Super Bowl, and you know that there's talent there. There's limitations, otherwise the Rams wouldn't have dealt him, but it's something you can work with from the terms of a toughness standpoint, a leader standpoint, a talent standpoint. You're not going into a season with a guy that can't play the position at all. And I think Goff had some fairly clear flaws in his resume.

You know, never was a guy that really dealt well with pressure. His deep ball was never close to the top of the league in terms of accuracy when throwing downfield, and he had a propensity for making almost a mistake a game, a big mistake, a turnover, a bad decision that would, you know, maybe it would or wouldn't cost a team depending on the roster talent, but this certainly was a roster that could afford that one big mistake. And even this season, it starts the year during that one-and-six stretch. There were so many of those plays where he made the big interception, the loss to Seattle. He had a pick-six. They lose by three. New England, they're kind of hanging tough in the first half. He loses a fumble.

It's returned all the way for a touchdown, and they end up getting blown out in that game. Man, he has turned a corner in the second half of the season, and it's really unbelievable. All those criticisms I just said, the deep ball, the mistakes, they've all evaporated.

And some of that has to do with the roster getting healthy. Some of that has to do with his, you know, indescribable chemistry with first-year offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and kind of the symbiotic relationship they built. But I think the most impressive thing about Goff has been this streak of passes without interception.

Ah. For years, like, you know, like I said, he averaged about, you know, nearly a pick a game for some stretches, and he has thrown 290 consecutive passes. He's gone a streak of seven games without an interception.

I mean, it just blows away anything he's ever done previously. He's making such good decisions with the football. And I made the comment today that, like, it's almost like he and Aaron Rodgers have flipped the script of what their career is about. Aaron Rodgers has always been that ball security guy, right?

Right. Look at this year, 11 interceptions. Even when they're winning right now, this four-game winning streak, not Aaron Rodgers is the reason they're winning. It's their defense, it's their special teams.

He's playing very pedestrian right now. I think he saw 87 passer ratings, four touchdowns, one per game, two picks during this four-game stretch. Like, it's just, it's so strange to go into this game and think about the way the quarterbacks are playing coming into it.

It's just the opposite of what you'd expect going into this one. I actually have made the comment that I won my fantasy football championship in spite of having Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback. So I know well in terms of his numbers, his stats, that they weren't MVP. Like, Justin Rodgers is with us from the Detroit News talking about the Lions week 18 against the Packers. And there are playoff implications on Sunday Night Football.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Certainly this was a different week for the NFL, atypical week. What did you hear from the Lions, whether it be players or coaches, about watching and waiting for news of DeMar Hamlin?

It's such a strange thing, right? You know, we watch this game, we're around this game all the time, and you know, you know inherently the risks of the violent nature of the game is that anybody can be one play away from something awful happening, but yet we see this and it's just so jarring for all of us. And the Lions had a situation earlier this season where, you know, a cornerback was hit in the head, neck, shoulder area, went down, was temporarily paralyzed, the ambulance had to be driven onto the field, and you have that eight to ten minutes of just chilling silence as everybody's just kind of waiting and hoping and praying that he's all right. It wasn't quite to the level of Hamlin, obviously.

The heart was still beating. The movement was restored before he was taken off the field, but it's just so terrifying and it just, you know, just is a constant reminder of every play, nothing's given to you. You know, the next moment is not given to you in this world, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn really brought it home today in a way I guess I had completely forgotten, at least in his role in it. But the Lions have had their fair share of tragedy on the field. Chuck Hughes in 1971, the only player to ever die in an NFL game, played for the Lions.

In 1991, Mike Utley was paralyzed. And in 1997, in the last game of the season, a game fairly notable for Barry Sanders becoming one of the few running backs in the top 2,000 yards in a season, linebacker Reggie Brown had to receive life-saving CPR after a spinal injury caused a blockage at his airway and kind of very similar to the Hamlin situation. And in that game, Aaron Glenn was on the opposing team playing for the New York Jets, and not only that, Reggie Brown was his college teammate and close friend. And so that game, that injury occurred with 11 minutes to go, and what's wild is, you know, they finished the game. They finished the game after they watched a player on the field turning blue and purple in the face and getting CPR and just the moment, like you just don't know what's happening to this guy, whether he's your teammate or your opponent, like it's still a brotherhood, right?

And so they had to, you know, kind of find a way to quickly bury those emotions, and it's impossible, it's an impossible task to ask somebody to bury their emotions in a situation like that, but they had to finish that game. And so, you know, just to hear Glenn talk about it from that perspective was just another reminder of, you know, how precious, I guess, you know, life is for all these players, and I guess it's obviously just been good news after good news after good news after Hamlin went down, and it's, you know, hopefully going to continue in that direction. I think everybody's just hoping for the best right now.

Definitely feels as though the league can move forward into Week 18 with less of that heaviness and the concern because of the fact that DeMar is awake, and his doctors have indicated he's making incredible progress. Before I let you go, Justin, I have to tell you one of my favorite things that I've heard this NFL season goes back to hard knocks with the Lions when Dan told the team, I promise you I'm not a lunatic. Covering him, what's it like to be around this guy who's unique in the NFL?

You know, I think the wildest part about him is, I don't think it makes you crazy, but it's kind of crazy to find someone in this business that is as genuine and as authentic and thoughtful as he is in this position. You know, coaches are so robotic in this league, and often they don't enjoy the media obligations. There's a ton of pressure on that job, and I understand it from that aspect, but, you know, we joke sometimes that, like, Campbell's unable to lie. He doesn't have the bone in his body, so if he does want to answer a question instead of BSing you, he'll kind of just steer it off into a different direction.

Or I'll just tell you, I'm not answering that. Like, it's rewarding as a reporter that if you put the time in to come up with thoughtful questions that you will genuinely and frequently get thoughtful, meaningful responses. It just makes the job easier. And so it's also nice to know that, you know, the person you're dealing with respects what you do. Like, it's not always that way.

It doesn't have to be that way. You know, the job is going to be there, and the job is the job. But it does make it easier knowing when you go into work that the relationship is positive in the way to make it easier to do the job, and it trickles down to him, too. I mean, the way he treats the players, the staffers in the building, the media, is shown also through his assistant coaches, and it really carries into the locker room. I mean, I think I've had, in my opinion, I know we've been out of the locker rooms for a few years, obviously with COVID, but just the approachability, the honest and raw conversations I've been able to have in the locker room this year have been as good as ever, and that's in large part because of the players they've brought in, both him and general manager Brad Holmes, and the culture that they've instilled to allow those guys to be themselves, to know that as long as they don't say anything stupid, they're not going to be punished for being themselves and speaking freely. The authenticity is encouraged not just from the top down but across the entire roster, and that's a rewarding thing to cover from a general's perspective, and I think it's a rewarding thing for fans to see that from their head coach. It definitely makes them easy to root for. They're gaining momentum around the league, and more and more people talking about the Lions after they have a chance to make the playoffs despite a 1-6 start. This only happened one other time in NFL history. You can find Justin on Twitter at Justin underscore Rogers, covers the Lions for the Detroit News.

We'll be there at Lambeau for week 18 under the lights. Justin, happy New Year to you. Thank you so much for a couple of minutes. Happy New Year to you as well.

Thank you for having me. Lions and Packers, their first meeting, I forgot about this, there were a ton of Packers who were injured, and in the third quarter, it was 8-0 Lions. So this game was taking place in Detroit. Again, this is week 9, so it's going back to when the Packers were still in the midst of their 4-8 run. But yeah, it was a game in which Aaron Rodgers threw multiple interceptions, even as we talk about Jared Goff versus Aaron Rodgers this year. They ended up losing 15-9, the Packers did to the Lions in that game, 15-9.

So neither offense played well, but it was definitely a game where Rodgers did not perform at MVP level. And so here is a chance for the Packers to have redemption, they host this game at Lambeau, but it's also an opportunity for the Lions to take another massive step forward. Hope you enjoyed that conversation with Justin Rodgers in Detroit. First time in, oh gosh, at least two years that we've done a Lions-specific interview and had a Lions guest. Alright, we'll get back to more of week 18. Great news coming from Cincinnati.

Also, I wouldn't say they're super shocking, but a couple of other headlines in sports that got buried this week, but you need to know. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast.

You're listening to After Hours with Amy Lawrence. How you doing, Amy? Good. Long time listener, first time caller.

Sweet. Miss Amy, it's good to finally talk to the coolest girl on radio. Woo! Love your show, first time caller, long time listener. We're glad to keep you company. Hi, Amy, it's a real honor to talk to you.

Thank you. Hey, good morning, Ayla. Love listening to the show. Hi, Amy, how are you?

I'm great, thank you. I just want to tell you I am so happy to have my boyfriend introduce me to you and to listen to you. I have learned so much from you because I listen to you every single night. I'm a new listener, just recently started, but I love your show. It's very awesome, so.

Well, you saved the best for last, man. Thanks so much. Have a good one.

Thanks. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tales 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? Tales 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. This is After Hours with Aimee Lawrence. It's definitely a strange dichotomy when you get to week 18 and some teams don't have any playoff implications riding on their games.

Either they've already clinched or they can't smell the playoffs from where they are, and yet other games matter because this is it. This is your last chance. It's After Hours with Aimee Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, love the conversation this week, and it was really cool. I don't know how many people were seeing my Twitter with the DeMar Hamlin updates and getting that news for the first time, but if there was anyone, I was pleased to share it. And so I was in the middle of the day. I'm not usually awake at this point.

I think it was about 1.30 Eastern time, 1.30 Cincinnati time. And once I realized the doctors were about to do a press conference, I couldn't go back to sleep. And so instead I was mad retweeting and sharing and refreshing so that I could see what was happening.

I wasn't listening to the press conference live. But then later in the evening when I was eating my dinner, I was sitting in front of the TV and the NFL Network was replaying the entire Zoom call with the two doctors. So I had a chance to go back and to watch it. So yeah, it just feels like this weight has been lifted. And now these teams can go forward and focus on Week 18 and the task at hand. And for the Bills, of course, they need to win to put themselves in a position where they would kind of force this whole neutral site if they would make it to the AFC Championship.

No doubt that the Patriots are going to bring everything they've got because they need to beat the Bills to get into the playoffs. We were thinking about the Week 18 schedule and the games that should be in the after-hours Game of the Week poll. And Jay tells me that three of them are fairly obvious. So Jay, what three did you come up with for the Game of the Week poll that we will be posting once we hand over to Marco Boletti? I think Saturday night's Titans-Jaguars is got to be on there.

When was the last time anyone said that? Jacksonville and a team that's lost six games in a row. But that is one of the Game of the Week options. Has to be.

The implications are huge. It's for the division. Winner goes in, loser goes home. Not to mention the winner hosts a playoff game in the first weekend of the playoffs, which is kind of crazy. All right, so if we go Jacksonville, Tennessee.

People will yell at me if we don't, so I think we have to. The next one's got to be New England at Buffalo. Yes, check. Third one I think has to be Lions at Packers.

I don't even know why you put that one third, but yes, check. Just because I saw it last on the schedule. And then the fourth one here is where I feel like there's four games at least I have written down, which could be in contention. Should we let Marco pick? Yeah.

Marco Boletti's here. So obviously there are games where only one of the teams has anything riding on it, but they have implications. So Seattle, Los Angeles, I'm going no. It's not that I don't care, but by the time we get to Sunday Night Football, we're going to know whether or not that one matters. So Miami, New York would be another one, but dear Lord. That one wasn't even part of my ones.

There's so many that are right there. Yeah, Miami's lost five in a row now after winning five in a row, and the Jets are, well, they're not ending on a high note, let's put it that way. Pittsburgh, Cleveland is another one where the Steelers have to win to be able to keep their playoff hopes alive, but it certainly rests first on New England. What about Cincinnati, Baltimore? The game doesn't actually matter in terms of AFC North. The Bengals are now winning the AFC North. It could matter in who hosts a playoff game if they play each other the week after. That's true. What about Dallas, Washington?

Sam Howell's first career start. And the Cowboys still have a shot at the one seed. They do. And so you could go that or you could go Philadelphia, New York, where the Giants are already locked into the sixth seed in the NFC. So I don't know. You pick.

You be the final say. All of that nonsense? Yeah. Nonsense.

Well, because, I mean, none of them really, they don't really have a whole lot of cachet because there's reasons why they don't work. Right. Dallas, Washington would be fun. The Giants are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 16, 17, 16. 16.

And the boat tour. And so they're, I mean, the Eagles are trying to recover. Is Jalen playing? Do we know Jalen Hurts is playing yet? No. We don't know. So, all right. Anyway, up to you, Marco. You're the smart one in the room. Oh, I don't know about that one. You know what? As ugly as it is, it probably has a lot of implications.

It might be the Jets and the Dolphins. Exactly. I just want to point out that was Jay.

That was not me. That was Jay's reaction. And you might have Skylar Thompson taking on Joe Flacco. I mean, we don't know if Mike White's 100% healthy. He was limited in practice with that rib injury. Yeah, he wasn't 100% last weekend, but you don't think he'd be starting anymore. He was a full participant in practice two days ago.

Yesterday, he was limited. He didn't go to availability for the media. There's some talk that that injury could be worse and he may not be able to go.

He may not go. Do they go back to Zach Wilson? Do they go to Joe Flacco? Do they go to Chris Strevler? I mean, that game is ugly.

All the way around is ugly. And the Dolphins may have to go with Skylar Thompson. But you assume, let's just say, if the Bills beat the Patriots.

You know what happens when you assume. If you have the Bills winning against the Patriots, that game is for a possible playoff spot. I mean, you want to go to a nicer game, I guess the Steelers.

A nicer game? They need two things to happen. The Dolphins need one. The Dolphins to lose, yeah. Well, the Dolphins need two. The Pats have to lose and the Dolphins have to win. Well, yeah, but I kind of put that in, they need one thing. At this point, do we want the Dolphins in the playoffs? Again, but the Steelers need two things. They need the Patriots to lose and the Dolphins to lose. They need a lot of help. And then they have to win.

Actually, three things have to happen. Well, I always kind of go that way. You can't say, well, we're going to lose on top of it.

Like, I kind of take that one for granted. But, yeah, so there's not a lot there. There's not a whole lot. You want to go with Seattle? I mean, that's an ugly, ugly game. But they keep their playoff hopes alive. A loss knocks them out. There's really not a lot there. But they still need help too, obviously. Well, they need the Lions to win then on Sunday night against the Packers.

Because once Green Bay wins, they're in. So, there's not a whole lot there. That's a bunch of crap. Exactly. Yeah. So, three games and then you've got a bunch of meh. Yeah.

All right. Well, he says Jets, Dolphins. So, I guess that's where we're going. Jets and Dolphins. Jets officially eliminated their quarterback situation as an unmitigated disaster again. And the Dolphins have lost five in a row. But, you know, there's playoffs on the line.

Lock it in. This is the NFL. What are the chances it gets even two percent of the vote? Well, again, anybody voting for any of these four games, I mean, we're going through the hat. But the Bengals-Ravons game is a decent game even though Tyler Hundley is probably going to play a quarterback again.

It's a decent game. It just doesn't mean a whole lot, you know? Right. You've got to get the Ravens to win. Except for potentially the one seed vote.

You need the Ravens to win and then the Chargers to win and then it comes down to possibly a coin flip if the Chiefs lose and the Bills win. All right. All right. Exactly. There's so much there that it's like, wait, what?

What am I looking for? No. You're confusing me.

Stop it. That's the one Marco picked, which is Jets and Dolphins. That means all four of the AFC East teams are in our poll? Okay. I might have to overrule as much as we just had fun conversation.

I might have to go Ravens-Bengals myself or Rams-Seahawks. Can we just put three in the poll then? You know, I was kind of leaning towards that.

That's what I was kind of getting at. You've got three games. It's not aesthetically pleasing. Oh, okay, Jay.

Because there's nothing about Jay that isn't aesthetically pleasing. You only have three games. You really do. Everything else has got stink around it for some one reason or another. I like my football with some stink every now and then.

Okay, so you're going to find that poll coming up after our CBS on Twitter. 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. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it's just, it doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. On our Facebook page too, we're just excited to get back to some football because it also means that there's positive news around DeMar Hamlin and the NFL is going forward full speed ahead. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. His dad said the first thing that he's going to ask when he wakes up is, who won the game? And sure enough, that's what he did, man. And his teammates, he loved hearing that response, that the first thing on his mind wasn't, you know, poor me, it was, how are my teammates doing?

Did we win this game? And that's powerful in itself. And I don't think people really understand the bond and the relationship and the brotherhood that you have as an NFL team, especially this one here.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. That is the voice of Josh Allen, captain, quarterback, locker room leader for the Buffalo Bells. And he says Mario Hamlin told them that DeMar will want to know who won the game when he finally wakes up and becomes cognizant. And apparently he didn't realize that he'd been there two days, that he was really kind of blown away when he found out that he'd been in a hospital bed for a couple of days. And he's still in ICU.

He's not out of the woods. He does have some lung damage, though they're not able to assess how much. The next step is for him to be able to breathe on his own without the ventilator. But the fact that he woke up this week, the fact that they do not believe that there is neurological damage, that it sounds like his neurological function is intact, that's amazing.

And he is able to communicate and move his hands and feet. And all of this is huge. It's massive. And his family is over the moon excited, as you can imagine, as is his medical team.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. A lot of the focus, a lot of the conversation that I've seen on our social media over the last 24 hours has been about T. Higgins. Now, I will confess, I don't really understand that. It's social media, which means it's a cesspool anyway. People always have to complain and find a scapegoat or point fingers.

That's what social media is about for the most part. But how in the world anyone could think this was T. Higgins' fault is beyond me. He was the one getting tackled. And I know that people are pointing to how he lowered his head, blah, blah, blah. But this is a routine football play.

If Damar Hamlin doesn't stumble backward, no one thinks twice. No one even gives this a sideways glance and believes there's anything wrong with the way that T. Higgins and Damar Hamlin collided and the way the tackle was made. And yet, for some reason, T. has been the target of fans, I guess. I don't know how you can call yourself fans when you're going after T. Higgins.

But it's been the target of some criticism on social media. And he actually explains his thoughts in that moment. And you can imagine his emotions of the last couple of days. But taking us back to that tackle on Monday night. First, you know, me being a football player, I think he just flopped.

One of our guys bumped him. I looked, I just hadn't seen him fall. But I looked again and I seen what happened. So I just turned my head, trying not to think about it. Because I knew it was something crazy, something tragic.

But, man, it was hard. Obviously, it wasn't a good place to play for the rest of that game. So I'm kind of glad that we chose not to play. So he said, I'm kind of glad we chose not to play. He initially thought that Damar Hamlin was flopping.

Again, you can understand why. These guys see all kinds of things on the football field. And in the aftermath of this collision, his emotions were, they were all over the place, similar to what everyone else on that field experienced. His phone call with Hamlin's mom, Nina.

So father is Mario, mom is Nina. She actually reached out to him, has been in touch, and told T that she's thinking of him and praying for him. And telling me that Damar is okay. That was one of the things that T revealed, good and positive stuff. And so you can imagine that that's another weight lifted off of the shoulders of Higgins, too.

Because whether or not he bears any responsibility, sometimes as humans we feel guilty, even if there's nothing that we could have done or really in that moment wouldn't have changed anything. So now he, along with the Bengals, are preparing to face the Ravens on Sunday. That's something that's hard to forget about. But at the end of the day, we are professional football players.

We do have a job to do. And it's got to shift your focus and focus on the Ravens. If you didn't know this, because I actually didn't know this until I was doing some reading, T. Higgins, we know, went to Clemson. But he played against Damar Hamlin when Damar was at Pitt. And the two spent time together, so they knew each other and worked together, at Tyler Boyd's annual football camp in the Pittsburgh area because both Tyler and Damar are from Pittsburgh. And so they had a connection prior to being on the field on Monday night and had played against each other before that.

And so I don't think even it's worth legitimizing people going after T. Higgins because that, to me, is absolutely ludicrous. But still, Josh Allen wanted to make sure that he spoke about T. on Thursday. I haven't reached out to T. I hope that he got some relief today.

And I don't know, I saw some stuff on Twitter, and people should not be attacking him whatsoever. And I'm glad that Damar's family came out and said that. And hopefully he found some relief today because, again, that's a football play.

And I hope that he doesn't hold that upon himself because, again, there's nothing else that he could have done in that situation. So I just wanted to say that too. Just after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio, the parents, the family being in Cincinnati, to me, is still one of the great pieces of this that shouldn't be overlooked. I just think it's a miracle that they were there. How often are parents, family members on site at a road game? And I know it's closer.

It's not a real long trip to get from Buffalo to Cincinnati. But both his parents were there, which meant they could go to the hospital in the ambulance with Damar. And actually it was Dane Jackson who is a childhood friend of Damar's and also a former Pitt teammate who got Damar's mom on the field on Monday night. When everything went down, I kind of like took a moment to, I don't know, I just popped in my head that they were there.

So I had seen them over there. By that time, Damar's mom was already talking to one of the security guys on the field, trying to get over there, and I think it was Lynn or Dr. Dez that I had asked to go over there and get them help to get down there. Dane Jackson, and I don't remember which player said this, when he saw Dane Jackson sprinting to where Damar Hamlin had fallen backward, that's when he realized something was horribly wrong.

I can't remember who, was it Dion Dawkins that said that maybe? That when he realized that Dane Jackson had lost it and was running to where Damar had fallen, that's when he knew this was serious. And so you can imagine that he's been dealing with a wealth of emotions. We'll hear a little more from Dane and also some of the others inside the Bills locker room. They had limited media availability on Thursday, but they are back to practice. There were photos of them smiling and thumbs up, and Josh has said it multiple times. There's relief in knowing they can get back to football, and Damar would want them to do that.

And the family is encouraging them to get back to football, but how much easier it is now that he has awakened and that he is making progress and that they can be hopeful about him in the future. We do have our poll up. It does include the Patriots-Bills game because that is a win-and-get-in scenario for New England. You'll hear from Bill Belichick and Mac Jones coming up. Also, Titans-Jaguars Saturday night in Jacksonville is for the AFC South title. Lions-Packers Sunday night, you know about that one.

You're going to have to check out the poll to see what else producer Jay put in there. It's after our CBS Sports Radio. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way? Well, because it just doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to first and pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high-level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way?

Well, because it just doesn't really happen that often anymore. Subscribe to first and pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 08:40:16 / 2023-01-06 08:59:42 / 19

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