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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2023 6:08 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 13, 2023 6:08 am

There are some young QB's in the playoffs this season.. | A piece of our conevrsation with NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund | Cowboys/Bucs WC preview.

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The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey. Non-stop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team and post-season games streaming live for free. Your playoffs, your Odyssey. Get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. And add shows to your queue to catch up later.

There's a lot to listen to. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Ooh, I did it. Well, Jay helped me so I didn't do it entirely myself, but we did it.

We did it over the course of that break at the top of the hour because I was curious. It felt odd to me that Trevor Lawrence at 23 would be the youngest starting quarterback in these playoffs because I was thinking about the three rookies presumably that we could have starting. And I'm referring to Skylar Thompson who very well could be on the field for the Miami Dolphins and we just talked about the Dolphins and their quarterback situation at the top of last hour just going back to these last few minutes coming up to the top of the hour. And then thinking about Brock Purdy. Brock Purdy is 23 as well. So it would be Trevor and Brock and actually Brock just celebrated a birthday. His birthday was two days after Christmas, which means he technically is the youngest of the two 23 year olds.

I believe. I guess I could check Trevor Lawrence's birthday. But then Anthony Brown, if he starts and I don't know that he will, but if he starts for the Ravens, he's 24. Yeah, actually Brock Purdy is younger than Trevor Lawrence by two months it looks like. So you have a pair of 23 year olds who we know will be starting. You've got a pair of 24 year olds if Anthony Brown does start because Jalen Hurts is also 24.

And then think about Justin Herbert making his playoff debut. He's 24 as well. So I guess you have Jalen and Justin. Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert we know will be starting. And then if it's Anthony Brown, there's another 24 year old.

Skylar Thompson's 25. Daniel Jones is 25. So not a lot of talk about Daniel, but he's also making his first playoff start because the Giants are in for the first time since 2016. Then kind of working your way up, in the AFC you have the three experienced QBs in Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes not only has the most experience, he's never started a playoff game away from Arrowhead other than the Super Bowl. But if the Chiefs and the Bills make the AFC title game, they would be in Atlanta. And so he's got the most experience and he's the oldest at 27. Josh Allen and Joe Burrow are both 26.

So how about that? That's kind of a wild upside down measure of the AFC playoffs. And then we know that the old dude, the GOAT, Tom Brady, 45 years old, making yet another playoff start that will come on Monday.

So we'll talk about that game before this hour is done. Kirk Cousins, it's been a couple years, not forever and a day. The last time the Vikings were in the playoffs was 2019, but he's 34 if you think about it. And then Geno Smith, I actually didn't, he must have, did he start a playoff game? Did the Jets make the playoffs when he was? This could be his playoff debut as well at 32 years old.

So there you've got kind of the elder statesman. Dak Prescott, he's 29. So all of those guys are older than any of the quarterbacks. Not that age is everything and sometimes it's just a number and it doesn't matter, but it's such a strange contrast between the two conferences. Daniel Jones is 25, as I mentioned. Jalen Hurts is 24. And then Brock Purdy, we know for sure, is going to be on the field when the Seahawks and the Niners kick off the very first game of this super-sized wildcard weekend.

I just find all that stuff fascinating. And the fact that you've got seven brand new teams. So we tell you every year, it's kind of a ritual that we do in training camp. We talk about how roughly half the playoff field turns over every year. In the NFL, it's a thing. On average, half the NFL playoff field turns over. And that's exactly where we are this year, going into the playoff run here in January. Once again, it's seven teams in the playoffs that were not there a year ago. Gosh, that's so important when you talk about the competitive nature of the NFL. I don't love the word parody.

I kind of think it's overused. But at the very least, the salary cap, of course the injuries. We've been talking about quarterbacks, the number of starting quarterbacks that have appeared in the NFL this season.

It's a record outside of the strike season in 1987. Not to mention the movement, the free agent movement, the coaching movement, and games that go down to the wire. Every game matters the same, right? So games that hung in the balance until the last second, or even the fact that you have ties. The Giants have a tie and they're into the playoffs. So there's all kinds of ways that you can measure these 14 teams that have made it in, but uber competitive. There's no margin for error really, especially when you get to the month of December and then on into the postseason.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. We put behind tailgate Thursday and now we're full speed ahead into a fantastic, frenetic, freaky football Friday. And yes, it is Friday the 13th, which is where we come up with the freaky. And we're doing our previews. We've gone through half the game so far. It's weird not to talk about Kansas City and Philadelphia much, but we'll get to them coming up next weekend. We've put up two polls and so we're asking you to pick the game of the week in the AFC and pick the game of the week in the NFC.

They're both on my Twitter page, easy to find, ALawRadio, or you can go straight to our show, Twitter, After Hours, CBS. Right now it's a fairly tight race among the three wildcard games in the NFC. We talked about Chargers-Jaguars a little bit ago.

That one's kind of pacing the field. It's really lapping the field because of what we're looking at in the other two games, which are not only divisional matchups in the Dolphins-Bills and Ravens-Bangles, but potentially are dealing with third string quarterbacks. So I don't know what happens in the playoffs.

I just know that it's a lot to put on a rookie's shoulders, even if he does have a bunch of appearances under his belt to this point. So whether it's Twitter or Facebook, vote for the game of the week and we're diving right back in with the AFC. He is kicking from out right to left in the direction of the Russell Street end zone.

McManus for the win. Kick on the way and it is down the middle and no good. The kick is short.

Time has expired. The Hayes and the Bard and the Ravens defeat the Broncos 10 to 9. Joe catches the shotgun snap.

He throws it deep down the left field, left sideline. A leaping catch in the end zone. Jamar Chase hauls it in and the Bengals have scored again. Chase beating Worley and with that throw, Joe Burrow has set the new single season record for touchdown passes in a season breaking the mark that he set last year.

It's his 35th of the year. Oh, congratulations to Joe Burrow. That's Dan Hoard, Dave Lapham and yes, we did see one super cool moment for the Bengals. Now that was against the Ravens last weekend, right? They just played in week 18 and then the Ravens audio. So I'm listening to that and I'm thinking, wait a minute, the Ravens didn't play the Broncos in week 18. It's been a while since the Ravens have played the Broncos and then it dawned on me, producer J is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with a positive. Now they did have a win.

They actually had a win over the Steelers going back to, I think it was early December and then they had a win over the Falcons in there. But otherwise, because of the Lamar Jackson wrinkle and also not having Tyler Huntley, they've lost three of their last four and so they're limping into the playoffs and it's a little bit anxiety for Ravens fans, maybe a lot of anxiety for Ravens fans. So yeah, the Lamar Jackson tweets on Thursday seem to make it very clear that he's not ready to go. He talked about the quality of the knee sprain that he's got and also indicated that it's unstable and we know he hasn't practiced yet. So even though the Ravens aren't officially ruling him out at this point, and they don't know if Tyler Huntley is going to be ready, we just got an on schedule from John Harbaugh on Wednesday.

At this point, man, it's maybe tough for the Bengals to prepare for, but also this is not how you want to go into a playoff game against a division rival. It's just something you deal with. You don't blink. You just keep going.

You try to adjust as you go. You know, it's been a very fluid situation and it probably will be up until game time, but you really don't even pay attention to it. It's an X man up and coach who's there and away we go.

Obviously, Lamar is Lamar. You can't replace that kind of guy, but I do still think that we have quarterbacks that can go out there and get the job done and play at a high level. Obviously, the people in the front office and our teammates wouldn't be supportive of guys if they weren't capable of doing the job.

So I feel like we have everybody on the scene that we need to be able to go up there and get a W. So that's Patrick Queen and I appreciate his confidence. They definitely do have a strong defense and so that's important too, but did you hear what Greg Roman said? This could be a game time decision. I mean, that's tough on any locker room. Maybe not exactly kickoff. Maybe could they have five minutes to prepare? So you hear Patrick again, the linebacker for the Ravens and this is what you have to do. You have to go forward knowing, hey, we got to take care of our business and we're just going to have to be confident in whoever is out there. But if it truly is a game time decision for the Ravens, that means they don't yet know if Tyler Huntley will be available and in addition to that, you know, they're going to have to try to give Anthony Brown reps to be ready. So whether you're trying to prepare Tyler Huntley and you're hoping that he's okay and you're testing him out or you're giving multiple reps, the majority of reps to Anthony Brown, neither situation is optimal. Right?

That's tough. And I feel badly for Lamar, obviously. This is hurting him and you can hear it in his tweets even though script necessarily and print and font don't give you a lot of emotion. But if you know Lamar, you know this is tearing him up and so maybe he spoke out to set the record straight.

Maybe he spoke out because he just wants the fans to know how much this is hurting him and how hard it is for him to watch. As for the Bengals, they've maybe got some unfinished business, right? And they are the hottest team in the AFC as we launch into the postseason. There was a chance there for them to get a bye or the number two seed, but because of the way things played out in the last couple weeks, they've won eight in a row.

They finished 12 and four, but they are hosting this weekend and it turns out that they're hosting their division rival. So there are challenges in facing a team that knows you really well. They're a really good defense and they know what we try to do on offense. We know what they try to do on defense.

And so they try to take away our bread and butter stuff and they're pretty good at it. You know, we play them a lot and they have a really good defensive coordinator that makes it tough on you. We're the big dogs of the AFC and everybody knows that they gunning for us. And we know we're going to get everybody best shot. But at the end of the day, if we're not turning the ball over and taking care of the little things, we can't be beat. So we just got to go ahead and we're going to take everybody best shot, but they better be ready to take ours. Running back Joe Mixon, we are the big dogs of the AFC. It's interesting because Joe Burrow answered a question earlier this week about their playoff window. And I don't know why someone would ask whether or not it was closing.

That seems ridiculous. But he said every year of my career, the playoff window is open or the Super Bowl window is open. So he was exuding confidence. Now you've got Joe Mixon.

I don't know. Does it matter that this might be bulletin board material for not just the Ravens, for teams like the Bills and the Chiefs? Whether it was the Bills, whether it was the Ravens, it could be bulletin board material for anybody. But, I mean, the facts is the facts. And when it comes down to it, when it comes down to it, we know when we take the field, can't nobody touch us if we're on our game. So we just got to go ahead, go out there and take care of business. There ain't no other way around it. Alright, well he said don't turn the ball over.

That part I like. They certainly are going out there with a full head of steam and playing from a position of strength. Having the game in Cincinnati, knowing they just played them last weekend, and obviously recognizing the limitations of the offense if it's not Lamar Jackson. Though they could still run the ball and Burrow does point to the stout defense. It's a tough physical defense and they obviously recognize the pressure the defense does because they've got to limit the points as best they can. But it's a high flying offense to be sure and they've been flexing their muscles lately. That is your Sunday night game under the lights. Before that, we kind of sandwich in some NFC between the two AFC rematches. Snap spot. Joseph, right footed kick.

It is good! And the Minnesota Vikings have completed the greatest comeback in the history of the National Football League. Final seconds. Tick off.

He and Wink with a big, hearty handshake. And Brian Dabel plumping his fist to the crowd. There it is! And the Giants will make it to the postseason as the sixth seed. Nobody, and I mean nobody, thought this giant team could do that this year, but they've earned their ninth victory and they're going to the postseason. I don't know if I would say nobody.

That might be overstating it. They were kind of a dark horse that I heard even thinking about earlier stages of the season if they could stay healthy. And of course Brian Dabel. There was a lot of excitement about him. First-year head coach. Bob Papa on Giants radio.

And before that, the great Paul Allen on Vikings radio. Yeah, it's funny that he has the highlight from that incredible comeback because Patrick Peterson references 33-0. That's how far down they were against the Colts before they came back and he feels like that puts them in a good spot for the postseason. The margin of error is just very small and we have to start fast. We can't find ourselves in a hole and try to dig ourselves back out because it may not happen. And like I said, it may not be no tomorrow.

It may not, oh, let's clean that up the next day. So I think we have a great mixture of older guys, veteran guys, guys who's been in that moment as able to continue to share stories and things that's going to be able to help guys throughout this week and also throughout this run as well. We're right where we need to be at. It's playoff time. Like I said, coming towards the end, I feel like we was kind of hitting some of the runs we needed to hit, seeing what we needed to see. The O-line is getting better each and every week no matter the guy who's out there.

I believe in all those guys. But I feel like we can be productive as we want to be. We just got to go out there with the mindset and go do it.

We just got to play one game at a time. Everybody is zero and zero. Everybody has the same record. The stats doesn't matter.

None of that matters. It's all about winning the game and reaching that big stage. Three very prominent voices for the Minnesota Vikings and Patrick Peterson makes a good point.

They're not new to this. They've got a bunch of guys who have been on the postseason stage before. In fact, if you think about the Vikings the last few years or their last few playoff appearances, they've had some of the most dramatic wins. Some of the most notable wins in the postseason.

Of course, they also have had some really painful losses over their history. Then you hear Dalvin Cook. 1173 rushing yards this season. That run game is so critical. And then Justin Jefferson who is obviously making Kirk Cousins look like a world beater at times.

But Jefferson who can catch anything you throw to him. 1,800 yards this season. New franchise record. So all of that, this Giants defense, we'll have to contend with.

And remember these two teams played each other not that long ago. So Coach Daball, what did you learn about Justin Jefferson? That he's really good.

But we knew that going in. Again, I said this before when we played him. There's not a lot of players, a lot of teams that can just stop him. He's one of the best in the league. He's a dynamic player. He's got a lot of production. He's an exceptional route runner. He's a very tough player to defend. So much is being made of the fact that we've got Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert in the same game making their first playoff appearances.

But you know what? That's the same for Daniel Jones who's 25. He's certainly benefited from Daball's tutelage from the coaching.

You can see the freedom there. He looks a lot more confident cutting down on the turnovers. But as we've been pointing out, we know that the playoffs are something completely different. So how do you get ready?

I've coached a few of them. I think, again, it's the next game. We're privileged and honored to be part of it. But the things that got you to have an opportunity to be here, that's what you've got to lean on. We're definitely not satisfied just to have made the playoffs. That's not how we see it as a group. We were confident in our team dating back to training camp and knew what we were able to accomplish. So we're by no means satisfied just to be in the playoffs. We expect to play well and to win. That's our expectation every week.

That doesn't change. I know there's a lot of confidence on the defensive side of the ball. They've got some great stars. And so when you think about what they will try to do against Minnesota, first thing is attacking the ball, obviously wanting to turn the ball over. Kirk Cousins has a propensity for throwing the ball away, for throwing interceptions at the worst possible time. Going back to 33-0, that was partly the reason why. And so you think about the Giants and their momentum and the fact that they have used that defense to give them a chance to win almost every single weekend. Maybe they're a dark horse.

I don't know. I feel like this is a very evenly matched game. And they're different, according to Darius Layton, different than they were just a few weeks ago. Dory didn't play that game. Xavier didn't play that game. So we've got some guys back. Some guys in our front are a little banged up. We played that game.

They're a little bit healthier now. So I think we've got some really good players back on top of the performance we already put out there. So, you know, confidence through the roof. Giants radio network and Darius Layton there, yeah. He, looking at what that defense can do, having to match up against the defense all the time, right?

Saquon Barkley, same thing. If anybody knows what the Giants defense is capable of with these guys on offense. So I like the mix. I think they're a really balanced team. And if it's not confidence through the roof, well then it's a quiet confidence recognizing what they've accomplished this season. We had an opportunity to catch up with Cynthia Freeland going back earlier in the show from the NFL Network. I mean, as much as I think the funnest, funnest?

As much as I think the most interesting part of our conversation was about the new puppy in her life, we won't bring that part back instead. Just a little bit about what we're looking at wildcard weekend because infinite possibilities abound. On Twitter, take our polls, AFC and NFC game of the week after our CBS and then on our Facebook page.

It's after hours. Your playoffs, your Odyssey get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey touchdown as time expires.

Unbelievable turn of events. Nonstop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team and postseason games streaming live for free. Looks right, throws right, hands on clock, touchdown. Your playoffs, your Odyssey get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. Amy Lawrence, a fantastic, frenetic, freaky football Friday here on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the after hours podcast. The lions fighting to get this ball game right here.

They're going to go empty. Gough takes the snap back, looks, throws, caught. First down Detroit Lions. DJ Chuck down inside the 10 yard line. This game is over. It is over.

This is after hours with Amy Lawrence. Dan Miller on Lions radio, one of my favorites and we had games again this year that went down to the wire with all the excitement and not just that, they won eight of their last 10 and we're still talking playoffs in week 18. Our friend Cynthia Freeland is a Lions fan. In fact, her brand new puppy who we talked about, his name is Gordy. He has a Lions jersey.

He got one for Christmas. So if you want to hear the conversation that has to do with Gordy and the new love of her life, definitely check out the full chat with Cynthia on our well, the link will be on Facebook as well as on Twitter later today. But also on our podcast after hours, Amy Lawrence dot com. But a little bit of the football to get you ready for wild card weekend. So we'll pick it up here. I told her, asked her, even as we have seven new teams in the playoffs this year, so half the playoff field has turned over. What jumps out to her as we think about this wild card weekend? You know, I'm really excited for this Bills team. I want to see if Micah Hyde can come back. This has been quite the season for the Bills. I mean, truly a like from start to finish, not even just the DeMar Hamlin stuff, but also like, you know, we saw so much this whole season. Remember, there was a shooting there ahead of the season.

And then, you know, unfortunately, Dawson Knox lost his brother. Like, there's just been so much I want to see. Does Micah Hyde come back and join Jordan Poyer? And can they just finish it off?

I mean, it seems like this improbable run. There's so much, but like they're a family team. I spent the preseason with them. And there's just something really like special about the way that whole team treats each other and the way that that it feels so much family like.

So, I mean, in terms of just pure storyline, that's the one I'm looking for, for sure. They do have some incredible pieces on that team. Josh Allen being one. And I was reading through some of your postseason prep and your probabilities, and you were pointing to his ability to throw passes on the run.

Yeah. So, I mean, he's thrown the most touchdowns on the run this season, which I guess if you watch the games, you're like, well, that doesn't seem surprising. But the interesting part there is it speaks a lot to the chemistry of the team, right? Like, throwing touchdowns on the run is not something where like a guy who hasn't played very often just you can do right.

You have to have your it just shows like the dedication that he and Stephon Diggs and Dave Davis and Dawson Knox and all the different receivers. Isaiah McKenzie have to working together and like kind of having fun with it. And we, you know, I understand it's been a very dramatic season, but at the end of the day, it's also fun, right?

Like we watch football because we like love it and fun and it takes us away from things that are scarier and harder. So, you know, those touchdowns on the run just sort of embody and exemplify like exactly what we're talking about with this whole team. As you look at all of these games coming up, Wild Card Weekend, their rematches.

So as you were putting together probabilities and kind of checking out where they are now, do you expect any major upsets? Well, without Lamar and without Chua, it does put those teams at a disadvantage. Yes. Obviously, that's that's very difficult. Right. So, you know, when you saw Lamar tweeting what he tweeted, I guess I technically haven't seen him be totally ruled out.

But it seems like that's what he was saying. But quarterback is just such an important position. And the AFC in particular is just so difficult. So while I think there'll be some upsets this weekend, I don't necessarily think it'll be like full chalk.

I do think that, you know, it's unfortunate with those with those injuries that we won't see kind of the same thing we would see potentially if all the pieces were playing. Why Kansas City as the team in the AFC with the highest Super Bowl probability? Well, you're always going to have better opportunities if you've got the buy.

The buy is just so dramatically important because one, I mean, frankly, it gives you one less opportunity to have something go wrong. Right. So that's that's part of it. The second is, you know, between the top three teams in the AFC, which to me is a much stronger division this top to bottom, you have some key injuries that will be interesting to overcome. And the Chiefs are actually getting healthier, kind of at the right time. Right. So while some teams like the Chargers are kind of getting healthier, I don't know, because Mike Williams, I'm not sure what happens with that.

You you still have some pretty significant. I mean, obviously, Novon Miller for the Bills makes things dicey. And then you see the when it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals, they're O-line. It's like we saw Lyell Collins is not.

And then now like the right guard. Like you've got a lot of missing pieces and they're also missing their starting corner and a number of other pieces. So at the end of the day, it's it's it's the Chiefs ability to, one, have the buy and to be a little bit more healthy at a time when it's really, really crucial. In the NFC, we're talking about a rookie starter in Brock Purdy that I think maybe people are forgetting are or is a rookie because he's already got these incredible six starts under his belt. What makes the Niners so strong around this young QB? You have a significant advantage if your defense is as good as their defenses and especially in the NFC, where the NFC is not as strong. I understand that the Eagles have a really good they have a really great record. But the NFC in general, the quality of play in the NFC has not been as strong top to bottom as the AFC. So that's the first part. And then the second part, when you look at what the potential changes are and what what the problems are that the two teams, the Eagles and the Niners with their ability to have multiple different offensive options.

Right. Like, please try to stop AJ Brown or whatever the run game is, et cetera, et cetera. And then please try to stop all the different weapons that you have for the Niners. The difference, though, is is when I'm looking at and we hopefully see the O-line be fully healthy for the Eagles. The Eagles, when they're fully healthy, have the number one O-line.

But right now, given that we've seen some issues with health there. Well, right now, the Niners have actually surpassed that. So the ability to consistently run and have a defense that just crushes quarterback Sol, which obviously the Eagles do as well.

That is a very big factor for success. Looking at your math and your models, what jumped out at me is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have some nice probabilities around them. Why?

As you were going through these numbers, Cynthia. I have the Bucks pulling off the upset this week. And yes, and in part it is actually we talk about getting healthy at the right time. I do have, you know, obviously I'm monitoring the injury report very, very closely. But what I saw is that Ryan Jensen could be back and they do have two great tackles. And then if they can get a little bit of help in that interior O-line, it makes a huge difference. Because what we saw two games ago, not last game because Mike Evans exited the game pretty early, was the return of the connection. The deep passing connection between Tom Brady and Mike Evans.

You've got that down. That is a huge difference that makes a gigantic change to what the opportunity is for that team. Because Chris Godwin, it's easier when you only have one true threat when it comes to the wide receiver position.

Well now you've got two true threats and one being this deep threat and one being this like crazy slot master. And it's going to be a lot harder. Good stuff from Cynthia. And there is more. We looked at some of the other trends that she's been working to use for probabilities and her various playoff models. So you can definitely check it out and also find her on Twitter at C Freeland. Yeah, there's pictures of Gordy in Bandana and she says he likes football.

The dog talk was the best part. I'll just be fair and honest about it. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence. We've got one game left on our playoff. So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey. Touchdown as time expires.

Unbelievable turn of events. Nonstop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team and postseason games streaming live for free. The NFL playoffs live on Odyssey. Touchdown as time expires.

Unbelievable turn of events. Nonstop coverage from the biggest sports radio stations in the country. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team and postseason games streaming live for free. Podcasts dedicated to each NFL team and postseason games streaming live for free. Thinks the handoff, looks right, throws right, hands on clock, touchdown. Your playoffs, your Odyssey.

Get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. Preview is Freaky Football Friday. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. First and 10 from the 25. Gives it to Sanders. It's rolling loose. Still rolling loose.

Oh, horrible things are happening on the ground there at the bottom of that pile. And the Cowboys have recovered a fumble. Anthony Barr comes away with it. Pass to the left side of the lateral. It's caught up by the, here on the pair, the tackle missed at the 40 yard line. Inside the 35, the lateral back. It's loose ball diving on it.

It's going to be loose. The ball is picked up and that should end the ball and still live and diving for it. The Buccaneers have come up with the ball. That's the final play. What a way to finish. The old hook and lateral up for grabs on the Bucks win. Fire the cannons. We're going to the playoffs.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Man, their roads were very different. Brad Sham on Cowboys radio as they were still on the running for the NFC Beast title and the top seed. As recently as week 18, though, we did not see the best the Cowboys had to offer in the ultimate week of the regular season. And then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who needed until week 17 to be able to clinch the NFC South title. And they were a mess this year, especially offensively. The O-line in particular really had a hard time coming together. They lost some pieces because of injuries. And with that, their offense was inconsistent at best miserly at worst, anemic at worst. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

Bucks ultimately finished below 500 because this is kind of funny. I'm not sure if you heard this, but Tom Brady actually was playing week 18 against the wishes of his coaches. Now it's Tom Brady. You don't bench Tom Brady or tell him to take the load off for the weekend. You hear the stories about the most established quarterbacks in the NFL.

And I dare say it's not just age, it's also experience. Brady decides when Brady sits. Peyton Manning decided when Peyton sat, which is why a lot of times Peyton would still be on the field in games late, even when the Broncos or the Colts were up big. Same thing with the Drew Brees.

You don't pull these guys. They kind of do what they play when they want to play. Anyway, so the Buccaneers specifically asked Tom Brady to sit out week 18 and he said no. He played most of the first half and then came out. They had the lead in, I don't remember who they were playing this past weekend, Atlanta maybe. They had the lead in the late stages of the first half and then Blaine Gabbert came and took over and ultimately the Bucks finished below 500.

But the game didn't mean anything. They were already locked into that number four seed in the NFC. This is a game that a lot of people are pointing to, including Cynthia Freeland, as one that could be the upset.

Producer Jay, I don't know if you want to look it up really quickly. The last I knew the Cowboys were favored by two and a half, three, something like that. It wasn't a huge margin, but they definitely were the favorite the last I knew. Except so many people are worried about how the Cowboys looked at the end of the regular season. And the fact that the offense specifically with all those weapons appeared to be out of sync and Dak Prescott had an awful game. We've got the right guys in this locker room that understand that are mature men that understand that nobody played their best ball. Simple as that.

And so but to be accountable, I'm starting with myself, be accountable for for what you put out there, what you did. And then from that 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. Reality of the game of football, no different life. You're much better prepared through your failures than you are through your success.

Thank you. The toughest challenge I've always felt is handling success. So I just look at it as, you know, chalk it up as experience that we can move forward with.

But yeah, there's there's there wasn't a top secret meeting or two more hours of videotape and correction. We know we feel like we do a very thorough and consistent job of that week in and week out. So that's been our approach. Mike McCarthy wasn't part of all the playoff failures, but boy, is he carrying that weight. These Cowboys are carrying that weight into this wild card game against the Bucks on Monday night. And all you have to do is ask a Cowboys fan. I mean, you could ask Jerry Jones to no one has forgotten.

It keeps getting regurgitated over and over again. A couple of things. But the one that sticks out to me for this weekend is they haven't won a playoff game on the road since 1992. It's been a while. I mean, it's been a long time since they've had success in the playoffs overall. Obviously, haven't been to an NFC championship.

It's a Friday morning. Yo, an NFC championship game or a Super Bowl. I mean, we're talking about the just droughts for the Cowboys fans that they can recite back to you. And meanwhile, you have Tom Brady, who pretty much owns every offensive playoff record there is.

You're talking most games played and wins and Super Bowl titles and appearances of passing yards and touchdown passes. But if you ask the Cowboys, they still sound confident and they should. They've got 12 wins to their credit.

They played some tough teams down the stretch. And so for guys like Ezekiel Elliott, who's part of a run game that they're going to try to use to play ball control. Also, Micah Parsons, a defense that is all about takeaways and that has been flexing its muscles on that side of the ball all year. Well, then you're going to hear the confidence. Definitely confident. You know, we did what we needed to get to this point. And now it's all about winning these next games one game at a time. I think everything's been pretty good. That loss last week was humbling, I think, the focus, the demeanor.

Everything's been up this week. And I think exactly where we want to be running to this type of game. Every defense since the beginning of time has tried to figure out a way to get to Tom Brady. He just seemingly finds his own ways of getting rid of the ball quicker and quicker and quicker. Now, it sometimes results in throws that are off target. If the guy's got time to throw, well, then your defense, they're sitting ducks. And so how, Mike McCarthy, do you get to Tom Brady? It's very important every week and even more so against Tom Brady and their passing attack.

I mean, if you look at their numbers, they're still excellent. How they throw the ball and what they're doing, where the ball goes. And it just really goes back to my first answer. Time clock is such a big part of the success of the passing game. When you're able to play on time and your time clock, as far as your footwork, the ball release is in tune with the protection.

And then, you know, obviously, efficiency favors the offense. So, you know, that's something that we're cognizant each and every week. And definitely, you know, it's heightened this week as obviously Tom Brady gets the ball out of his hand extremely well and throws on time. And, you know, he's hitting the player, he's hitting the receivers as they're hitting the breaking points and all that.

So, I mean, that's all part of the challenge. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio as part of his podcast on Monday with Jim Gray. And I bring this back because it really stuck out to me. Jim asked Tom whether or not he was thinking about the fact that this could be his last playoff start since he doesn't know his NFL future.

And his answer, well, it was right to the heart of the matter. What did this last week teach us with what the brave and courageous Tamar Hamlin went through? We're not promised anything. None of us are. One play. So, just take it for what it is. And I'm not thinking about next and this and that and this.

No. Let's just – we got a chance to go practice. Let's be great at that. And that's how I feel. That's what we should all take from that. That's the lesson we learn. That's what happened that brought us together. And I don't want us to forget these things. It means a lot because we put a lot into it. And it can be gone pretty quick.

From his Let's Go podcast. That is poignant and powerful and so true. But thankfully, Tamar Hamlin, after the cardiac arrest, nine days later, he's back home in Buffalo. But that's not everyone's story, right? I mean, Lisa Marie Presley passed away on Thursday at 54 years old. And her cardiac arrest put her in the hospital on Thursday morning and she didn't recover. So, it's still a miracle with Tamar and I love the way that Tom Brady uses that and says, hey, we should know better than to be looking ahead and taking anything for granted.

So, we're not guaranteed a darn thing. You've got our polls up on Twitter and on Facebook, the AFC and NFC Game of the Week. Two separate questions, of course, because Twitter won't allow us more than four options in a poll. So, check those out.

ALOL Radio are on our Facebook page. Couple of quick things. Tom Brady's old team put out a press release over the weekend.

Sorry, over the week, in which they indicate kind of like an afterthought at the bottom. Oh, yeah, the Patriots will be immediately starting a search for their offensive coordinator. So, that was kind of interesting as Bill Belichick goes into season number 24 as the head coach. The Bears have hired Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren as their president and CEO. They've got the overall number one draft pick and good news about John Mechie of the Texans.

He's taking steps in his recovery from leukemia. We're back here on Sunday night to talk football. Have a great weekend. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-13 09:05:56 / 2023-01-13 09:23:17 / 17

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