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REShow: Tom Pelissero - Hour 1 (1-6-2023)

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January 6, 2023 2:32 pm

REShow: Tom Pelissero - Hour 1 (1-6-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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January 6, 2023 2:32 pm

Rich breaks down the NFL’s decision to cancel the Bills-Bengals Week 17 game and what that means for the league’s playoff picture including the very real possibility of playing the AFC Championship Game at a neutral site.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tells Rich how the NFL came to the decision to cancel the Bills vs Bengals game, which stadiums could host a potential neutral site AFC Championship Game, and when the Eagles and Ravens can expect to see Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson back on the field.

Rich comments on the Steelers’ playoff chances and the fact that they need some help from Jets QB Joe Flacco of all people to reach the postseason. 

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The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen

This is the Rich Eisen Show.

Y'all ready? Can you tell the Randy Moss story? Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. Randy just hit his fingertips, probably back at a wide receiver scope. Moss was like, hey, don't you come over here with that F.U. Moss was like, no F.U., camera's right behind us. I ain't gonna let him punk me on national TV. Today's guests, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, ESPN broadcaster and host Chris Fowler.

Plus your phone calls, latest news and more. And now, it's Rich Eisen. Well, hey everybody, welcome to this edition of the Rich Eisen Show here on Friday, right before week 18 in the NFL. That is gonna go off as scheduled right before the weekend where the national championship game finishes things up right here in Los Angeles, California. And the man who's calling that game on the Disney family of networks, Chris Fowler, is making his way to our studio. He's gonna be hanging out here in hour number two with us today. Yeah, wait, that's gonna be awesome.

It is gonna be a lot of fun. And 844204 Rich is the number to dial here on the program. Good to see you over there, Chris Brockman. What's going on?

Good to see you, Rich, man. Day number three of Mike Del Tufo being eligible as the speaker of the house. The vote is still open. Day number four in which he's wearing pants. I think these things are related. Five.

I think it's five. Okay, good to see you. TJ Jefferson has lit the candle. Good to see you, sir. And also, Mike is here for Friday, and that's a rarity. That is true.

Yes, that is true. He's turned over a whole new league this year. So I should be winning the vote today. New year, new Mike. My gosh, what a week this has been. I mean, what a week this has been right here. Monday, we come on the air Monday. It's fresh off of our week off, so we had a whole bunch of sports news from the previous week, Christmas week, and then, of course, New Year's weekend to talk about the national champion semifinal week 17 in the NFL, what it means for who's in and who's out. And then, of course, that big Monday nighter.

We had both Josh Allen and Jamar Chase on Monday's show in advance of the Monday nighter that we all know didn't get past the first quarter. And then Tuesday, we come on the air here just absolutely losing our minds, hearts in throats, just like the rest of this country about Damar Hamlin, the defensive back of the Buffalo Bills, who tackles T Higgins, absorbs the blow and then collapses on the field. And then here we are on Friday and Damar Hamlin is awake.

Damar Hamlin is now talking and Damar Hamlin is now. Face timing with his team that happened this morning, yesterday, we heard from his physicians talking about how he grabbed a piece of, I guess, was handed a clipboard with a piece of paper on it on Wednesday night into Thursday. And the nurse handed it to him after he opened his eyes and he wrote down on the piece of paper who won the game. And the doctors, as they told us in a press conference on Thursday, said they responded, I met you. You won the game. You won the game of life. And that's the sort of stuff that gives you the goosebumps.

Yeah. And and and now today. Because yesterday, the doctors who spoke. On behalf of the UC Medical Center medical team that has been expertly working on Damar Hamlin, they said the next step was they'd love to have him breathing on his own. Well, guess what? The breathing tube is out.

Nice. And he is talking with his family. And he face timed with the team as Sean McDermott recounted just about an hour ago to the media.

I can't remember the order of things. And it was not a long interaction, as you'd imagine, with his with his situation. But he made hand signals, hand gestures.

Right. He the thing that makes me laugh is he did this to the guys, you know, right away. He flexed. He flexed. He flexed on them, I guess. And he's just got some staple things that they know him for and that he does.

And he made the heart, the heart symbol probably more than anything. Then he gave him a thumbs up. So and then somewhere in the midst of of that and it was a little bit hard to hear. But he, as you'd imagine, he said, he said, I love you, boys.

And of course, I think I got the guys. Wow. Wow. Right. Without speech.

Love you, boys. OK. All right. OK. Yes. This is what we were hoping for.

Right. So the Bills are going to win by like 70. Well, I think what you're touching upon here is now it is time we can safely turn the page to football or or feel comfortable. And and and the Bills are talking about, OK, we got a game this weekend. And the Bengals yesterday, who, as you might imagine, have been on pins and needles, just like everyone else, but maybe more so than the rest of the 31 other teams in the NFL because they were on the field. They were part of this.

They saw it themselves, too. They're turning the page. They're practicing. Bills are practicing their smiles.

I mean, the Sean McDermott smile, their smiles. And yes, you could turn the page to football. And yesterday, the NFL felt compelled to push the pedal to the metal of some of the conversations that they were potentially having behind the scenes. And not knowing if it was appropriate to.

Push the pedal to the metal on what to do. With the Bills and the Bengals game. And. They wanted to make sure everybody knows this stuff, or at least that was the goal before games are played this weekend. And those games start tomorrow, two of them, very important games as well, I might imagine. Chiefs and Raiders and Jaguars and Titans. And so the league made an announcement yesterday.

Let's get into it. They decided to not play the Bengals and the Bills game at all. Mark Schlereth said yesterday when he was on this program, three time Super Bowl champion, I don't want to play that thing. And I don't want that game played. Just imagine, could you imagine, OK, if they decided to replay that and just say, OK, you Bengals, you Bills, you get out there and start the game from the spot.

The line of scrimmage is the spot where Hamlin dropped. I mean, seriously. No, I wanted to say these words out loud.

It's important, I think, for me to say these words out loud for anybody who's out there. And there's a lot of them on my Twitter feed saying, why can't these guys play? I've seen it, too.

You know, I haven't because, you know, Twitter. Let's spot the ball right where Damar Hamlin was resuscitated. Yeah. Oh, come on.

No, I mean, seriously, smack yourself if you're thinking that. So the the NFL also gave three reasons, three bullet point reasons outside of that obvious one as to why they didn't want to replay the game or decided not to. And they pointed out that not playing Buffalo, Cincinnati to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. It does not like somebody doesn't need for that game to have been played in order for their club to make the postseason. And no club would qualify for the postseason. No club would be eliminated based on the outcome of the game. That's true.

Cool. The other point that they made is that it would require positioning the start of the playoffs for one week in the future, repositioning, postponing it for a week, thereby affecting all 14 clubs. So not playing it affects no club's ability to make it or not.

And that includes Buffalo and Cincinnati. And postponing it a week would affect all 14 clubs making the playoffs. And they wanted to make sure that they made this decision. Now this is their third bullet point, because it's consistent with letting everybody know before the final week of the season what to do and who needs to do what to get in. Makes sense. So now what does it mean to cancel this game?

Plain and simple. The Bengals clinched the AFC North. The Ravens can't win the division. And the Bengals, however, can't get the one seed and a first round by. Only Kansas City and Buffalo can do that now. The Chiefs clinched the one seed if they win in Vegas in the first game of week 18.

It's the first game of the ESPN doubleheader starting tomorrow. And if they lose that, Buffalo and New England is a crucial game. Buffalo would clinch the one seed if they then win against New England if Kansas City loses at Vegas. But if they lose that game, then Kansas City gets it regardless of winning or losing on Saturday. So the Chiefs now have the win and end position.

The Bills did prior to Monday Night Football. As we know, if they had won out, they would have gone through because they beat the Chiefs earlier this season in Kansas City. The Bengals have a shot at the two seed if they beat Baltimore and then Buffalo loses to New England. Otherwise, they're the three seed.

That's it. That's the impact of canceling Buffalo and Cincinnati with one another. Now, then, let's take it one at a time here about what it would mean if for the AFC North.

Let's do that. So the bottom line is, if the Bengals beat the Ravens on Sunday, they win the they they would be able to host a playoff game against the Ravens if it is three versus six. And it's entirely possible that the Bengals stay at three and that the Ravens wind up at six. As a matter of fact, if you look at all the AFC seeding possibilities as to who's five or six, twenty five percent chance that the Ravens finish fifth, seventy five percent chance that the Chargers finish fifth.

So it's most likely, yeah, it could be three versus six. So if Baltimore wins this game, it would have clinched the AFC North for them, OK, potentially had had the Steelers not beaten them. But if the Ravens win this football game, they will have swept the season series from the Cincinnati Bengals. And thus would have gotten the right to have hosted a playoff game.

Against the Bengals. But now they can't because the division's gone. So if the Ravens win this game against the Bengals, they will decide who hosts three versus six via coin flip.

This is mind blowing. This is the stuff that they've come up with. By the way, the competition committee and the commissioner came up with this together and the owners are having a special meeting today to vote on it. And I proffer to say if the competition committee and the commissioners say this is what we're going to do, the owners will just rubber stamp it.

Coin flips are not unprecedented. So what else could you do if Baltimore defeats Cincinnati, it will have defeated Cincinnati twice, but not able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati is the higher winning percentage. So if Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are scheduled to play a wild card game against one another, the site will be decided by a coin toss.

If Cincinnati wins the week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play one another in a wild card round, then everybody, the game sites are as you would normally decide it for anybody. After all that, are you glad you're not on the competition committee? No, I want in. I want in. I want in, especially since there's still more to be decided. What about the AFC Championship game?

What about it, Rich? Where's that going to be played? Again, if Buffalo had won out, they would have had the one seed in the bye week and everyone would have to go to Buffalo. If Cincinnati had won that Monday night game and Kansas City losing on Saturday to the Raiders, guess who would have been the one seed? Cincinnati would have been the one seed.

Now, Cincinnati has no shot at the one seed as it currently stands and will be. So what about the AFC Championship game and where is it played? Well, there's three scenarios for that. Scenario one, Buffalo and Kansas City both win or tie this weekend. That would mean if Buffalo and Kansas City wind up playing each other in the AFC Championship game, neutral site.

Number two, Buffalo and Kansas City both lose this weekend and Baltimore wins or ties. A Buffalo versus Kansas City championship game would still be at a neutral site. Scenario number three, Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins this weekend, then Buffalo or Cincinnati versus Kansas City would be at a neutral site. So the bottom line is Kansas City might play an AFC Championship game at a neutral site. The only way it does not play a championship game at a neutral site is if it's against the Jaguars, Titans, Chargers, Ravens or anybody else who finishes seventh or Titans. So the AFC Championship game is going to be at a neutral site.

It sure looks like that way, yes sir. Like we've been talking about all year long, it's like who's going to be? Kansas City versus Buffalo, Kansas City versus Cincinnati or Cincinnati versus Buffalo?

Here we go, yo. So what's the scenario? The AFC Championship game is a de facto Super Bowl anyway, so let's have it at a neutral site.

How about this? Cincinnati versus Buffalo it looks like would not be played at a neutral site. So anything involving Kansas City is neutral site. It's going to be a neutral site, yeah. And we don't know the neutral site either. And it looks like Buffalo and Kansas City, if that's the way it goes, if they play in an AFC Championship game, this weekend's games are crucial in deciding will that be at Buffalo or Cincinnati.

And they all came in there and decided like it's not fair for everyone, but this is the most fair that we could figure out for everyone and that's it. Great, let's rock and roll. So once again, Cincinnati can't be the one seed, but Baltimore can't win the division. So Cincinnati wins the division. However, if Baltimore beats Cincinnati this weekend, that'll give them two wins against Cincinnati.

And I feel like I'm back in algebra class. They'll decide by coin flip, is it at the bank or is it a pay court? And then the one seed is either Kansas City's or the Bills. Kansas City wins Saturday, it's over. Which, by the way, do the Bills then play everybody against New England?

And I say, based on the circumstances of this past week, they will play and they'll play for DeMar. And on top of it, it is important to be the two seed. Yeah.

Because you don't want to have to go back to Cincinnati for many reasons. True that. Right? Yeah.

And with the exception of visiting their comrade in the hospital. Clearly. And then we just decide where's the neutral site? We'll discuss that later on in this program because you have some thoughts, I have some thoughts, you have some thoughts, and I'm sure everybody at home has some thoughts or listening in their cars or watching wherever they're watching the Roku channel.

We see you have people at work watching us on the Roku channel. I'm just wondering why Bengals fans are like butthurt about not getting the one seed. You just got gifted the division. You know what?

There's going to be a lot of people, if you will, to use your phrase, butthurt. I mean, the Ravens can't win the division either. You know, the division's over. That's what I mean.

So, so, and, and, and, um, it's just, look, anybody who's upset about anything about anything of this is just like some guy. Yeah, take a step back. And they got killed on the field. I mean, like, this is unprecedented.

And they did the best they could do. And the last thing that they were going to do is delay the playoffs for a week. And I totally understand that.

Yeah, me too. Because this whole idea is like, well, you know, play it because you got that bye week in between the, the championship weekend and the Super Bowl. And you don't want to mess with that for dollars and cents or whatever.

I'm seeing all this sort of garbage. It's just like, well, you can tell the NFC, NFC, you would basically be telling the NFC one seed, you got to wait three weeks to play your first football game. You know, can't do that. And I know, I know there's a bunch of people out there who don't want to say it, but feel it. And they're there, if you will, but hurt because their fantasy leagues are still hanging in the balance. And to those people, I will say, A, check yourself and B, just use the point totals for this week. And add it to last week and be done with it. And that's it.

And it's not fair for you either. Guess what? DeMar Hamlin's breathing and talking to his family and his team and flexing to his teammates like this is what life's about. All right, let's take a break here. Tom Pelosaro is going to join us in just a few moments time to let us know what he knows behind the scenes. Yes, I also know apparently Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are under investigation for something that you read the articles and it's like, it's not that serious to raise the level. It's either level two or level one or whatever.

Again, I don't know what it is. I have no idea what the heck's going on right there other than the fact that I want my coach back. And Fowler is going to be here in studio hour number two, Chris Fowler. You've got what's more likely because we're returning to the business of wondering what's going to happen over the weekend, our Friday staple of what's more likely. I've got a top five list of the top five wild card playoff matchups I want to see. And it doesn't involve the Jets, OK? Because I know I can't wave a wand and make them eligible again.

Of the teams that are in the mix. Rich, it's Flaco time. Let's take a break. Is it really? Yeah.

Oh, you didn't know? It's Flaco time. 844204 Rich, number to dial. Tom Pelosaro and everything going on next. This is it. The putt to win the tournament. If you sink it, the championship is yours.

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What happened? I say it's time you and your dream get back together. Think about it. You could live the van life in a totally customized Mercedes Benz Sprinter.

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Head to the Mercedes Benz van dealership and get that Sprinter. Tell them your dream sent you. Stopping by once again. Second time this week. We're thrilled to always have him here on this program, whether it's to call in or sit in this chair when I'm not able to. NFL Media Group, NFL Insider, our friend Tom Posaro back here in the program. How are you doing, Tom?

Probably better, I think, like a lot of people than a couple of days ago when we talked. No doubt. The news with DeMar Hamlin, how that's upended so many different things and how terrifying that experience was. And so to just keep hearing the updates and how quickly it's progressed in a positive direction to the point that he's addressing his teammates on FaceTime today and flexing at them. I just I'm thrilled. I'm so surprised how quickly it's gone, but I'm thrilled that it's headed this direction. Me too, brother. Me too.

No doubt about it. He's flexing on his teammates and Sean McDermott and, you know, just seeing some seeing him smile, you know, seeing the smiles out there. Now I'm looking at, you know, footage on our network right now on NFL Now and just seeing both teams working out. You know, I just I didn't know if we'd see it this weekend.

Quite frankly, I really don't know if I would see it this weekend. So I'm glad that we are, you know. No question. And I think that, you know, for the for the bills, you have to also be, you know, in a completely different state of mind that you might have been a couple of days ago. You know, if you were still, you know, at this point asleep, for lack of a better term, sedated and, you know, those lingering questions. Obviously, he's got a long road to go.

As far as I'm aware, he's not yet been upgraded from critical condition. But just seeing that and knowing someone that you saw and quite literally died before your eyes and be brought back to life to be three days later. And he's, you know, and I love you. And, you know, one that want to know who won the game.

I mean, it's an it's an unbelievable story. And now the attention, as it always does, flips back to football. And I would certainly expect that the bills are going to be a lot better frame of mind than they might have otherwise been.

No doubt. OK, Tom Pelissero, let's jump in with Tom Pelissero here on the Rich Eisen Show, Mercedes Benz Van's phone line. What can you tell me about the NFL and competition committees deliberations that spat out a very, you know, deeply detailed and confusing set of circumstances as to seeding and who plays who, what and potentially where? What do you got for me on that, Tom? Well, our NFL research colleagues sent out the permutations last night at the playoff seeding. It's like a three page color coded thing that almost looks like one of those Magic Eye posters. I'm holding him up right now, Tom.

I'm holding him up right now. In terms of these, you know, the potential modifications, which owners started their meeting about 25 minutes ago. They're actively engaging with it. It really came down to trying to create some form of equity in a very rare situation where you did not have every team play the same number of games. Troy Vincent said on a conference call the other day that they would lean on the guiding principles from covid where there was no game lost during covid.

They played every game over two years. But the plan was to go with what the policies and the bylaws say, which is if you have an uneven number of games, there's a cancellation that you go off of winning percentage. So if it were strictly winning percentage, then this would be very cut and dried, which would be the Chiefs would be able to lock up the number one seed home field advantage through the playoffs. The first round by by beating the Raiders on Saturday.

They still can wrap up the number one seed and the by. But the NFL and the competition committee tried to figure out a path forward where the bills or the Bengals are not disadvantaged in terms of needing to go on the road for a potential AFC Championship matchup. On top of that, then you also have another unique situation where had the Bengals lost that game on Monday night that did not end up getting completed, then the Ravens could have won the division by beating the Bengals on Sunday. They would have swept them so they would have the head to head try breaker.

Now that opportunity doesn't exist. But in the NFL's telling, because the Ravens could have swept the Bengals and then not won the division with a chance to have the same record if the Bengals had played all their games, that then they would in the event of a wild card playoff match up, an old me wild card playoff matchup, decide home field advantage by a coin flip. So part of what the NFL and the competition committee were examining from what I was told was how important really is home field advantage. They know that it's important to the clubs.

They know it's important to the fans. But if you go back over the past four post seasons, there have been 44 playoff games, not including Super Bowls, which, of course, are always in a neutral site. Of those 44 games, 24 were won by the home team, 20 were won by the road team. Last year, both the Bengals and the Rams went on the road to win one or more games in order to get to the Super Bowl.

The year before that, the Bucks won three road playoff games and ended up, of course, winning the Super Bowl, which oddly enough was in their home stadium. So it certainly is something that's important to a lot of people, but not important enough for them to completely upend the entire schedule. If they had, if there were a game, if that Bill's Bengals game had decided whether one of those teams or someone else was in or out of the playoffs, that would have been different.

But it did not bear on that. The same teams would make the playoffs regardless. If they shifted everything back by a week in order to make up this Bill's Bengals game next week, now you're impacting all 14 teams that are in the playoffs. And the league wanted to make these decisions prior to week 18, so everybody's on the same page. You're not making the decisions after you see what happens in the games. And to the extent that some teams, you know, these things might factor into whether they play their starters or how they game plan, all those different things.

You at least have that information going into the weekend. We also know the Bengals are not happy about this because there is no provision to do this in the league's bylaws. It's supposed to be, again, going back to the COVID guiding principles, it's supposed to be winning percentage. So the league and the competition committee trying to do the right thing here. It's not a surprise that not everybody is going to be thrilled with this setup. I sense that from the people I talked to last night and this morning, there's a lot of people who think in a really unusual and frankly unfortunate situation, even though it appears Debar Hamlin is going to be OK.

This is maybe the best of the kind of middling types of options relative to some of the other, you know, draw names out of the hat type of things that have been that have been suggested. So is it possible, is it a what's the percentage of the vote from ownership, from membership? Is it just a simple majority? Is it possible that the commissioner and the competition committee came up with this and the owners reject it?

Is that feasible, Tom? Rules changes always require the supermajority. So you need 24 to enact the rule.

But this is also on a one year basis. It's unclear, frankly, where there's a lot of this that's unclear. You know, could you end up with a modification? Could somebody propose, you know, a different version of it or if there's substantial pushback on certain elements of this? Could that change? All of that is possible.

There's also, you know, there's some inconsistencies here, too, that I think have been pointed out. For instance, if the Bills and Bengals met in a divisional playoff game and they ended up with the same record based on this weekend's games, the Bengals would host that. It wouldn't be at a neutral site. The Bengals would host based on the strength of victory tiebreaker. The neutral site only applies to a potential championship game. And same thing with the Bengals and the Ravens. If the Ravens somehow this weekend end up in the five seed, and there are, again, in those lengthy scenarios sent by NFL research, there are scenarios with that, they would play the AFC South winner. But if they were to win and somewhere down the line in a divisional game or a championship game, the Bengals and the Ravens ended up facing each other, there's no coin flip. That would only apply to the wildcard round.

So there's all these different things. And I think that as much as the Bengals, I think everyone would agree, did all the right things in terms of how they handled Monday night. You can certainly understand where a team is not going to be happy about a rule change that potentially, even though they have by virtue of win percentage already clinched the AFC North, they potentially then will play a harder schedule next year.

They will have a lower draft pick and they will not get to host a playoff game. Wow. Oh, my gosh. I know that I see your reaction, TJ. You're like, what? I mean, but this is this is this is why we have you on here, Tom, as well.

Tom Posaro on the Rich Eisen show. Let's talk about the neutral site AFC championship game based on the way I'm reading it. You tell me if I'm reading this correctly, that the only way that they're the the the Chiefs will have a neutral site AFC championship game, unless they're taking on the winner of the AFC South or any of the teams that would make it as a wild card. If it's if it's Cincinnati or if it's Buffalo, they're going to end up having to go to a neutral site to play an AFC championship game. And if the Bills and Bengals play one another in an AFC championship game, that will be in either Buffalo or Cincinnati, depending on the results I would imagine of this weekend's contests and where these teams wind up in the standings.

With an actual two teams that have an actual same number of games being played in the regular season. Right. Did I get that right, Tom? Well, let's let's start with the clean scenarios.

Yes. At this point, I'm rooting for just for all of our sanity. If the Bills win and the Chiefs lose this weekend, Bills get the one seed. They're got the first round by AFC championship game between Bill Chief would be in Buffalo.

Flip that around. Chiefs win. Bills lose. Chiefs get all the normal benefits for the number one seed, including hosting the AFC championship game. If they both win, that's where, based upon the possibility they could have finished with the same record, even though they played an uneven number of games, that could go to a neutral site AFC championship game. There also are, again, so there's scenarios here where you could have that matchup being Kansas City, Buffalo or the neutral site. There's also one scenario where the Bengals and Chiefs would be at a neutral site. That only happens if, brace yourself, the Raiders beat the Chiefs, the Patriots beat the Bills, the Bengals beat the Ravens, by which then the Bengals end up in the number two seed and they're a half game back of the Chiefs. That would trigger a neutral site AFC championship game if it's the Chiefs against the Bengals. Every other scenario where it's the Chiefs versus the Bengals, that's going to be in Kansas City. And then, yes, you're right. Any of those other games with the lower seeded teams, if the neutral site doesn't come into play, it would be normal. And again, based on the past couple of years, you'd say there's a decent chance that somebody seeded 4 through 7 may make all this moot by the time we get to that last weekend in January.

All right. And then there's the thorny issue of where's the neutral site. Any idea what they're talking about right now? They're still, as of when we were gathering information last night, they were still very much going through the logistics. I mean, you have to think through a lot of different things here, one being what stadiums are available. And our colleague Ian Rapport tweeted earlier today that the Lions stadium, for instance, Ford Field, which would be a natural middle ground for a potential game, is not available because they're replacing their turf.

They could make the playoffs depending on the results this weekend, but they cannot host a playoff game. So if they were already planning to rip the turf out, that's going to take a while. So that building is not available. Indianapolis, you would think, makes sense. Atlanta makes sense. They also have not taken off the table, from what I'm told, the possibility a neutral site could be an outdoor stadium. All three of the teams impacted here, between the Chiefs, the Bills, the Bengals, they're all outdoor teams. Cold weather teams, certainly in Cincinnati and Buffalo and certain times here in Kansas City as well. So it would not be completely out of the realm of possibility that, and I'm not saying that this has been discussed as a possibility, but can you imagine an AFC championship game at Lambeau Field or a setting like that?

That's not completely off the table either. You also got to figure out, I mean, all these big events normally, you've got some type of lead time and you know what the possibilities are in a neutral site with flights and hotel rooms for two fan bases and everything else. There's a lot that they have to explore besides just whether or not the stadium is available. Well, I mean, that's why you'd have to choose a possible spot now, right?

And then block off hotel rooms now that you either, you know, you tell them, hey, what would the cancellation fee be, right? And you'd block it off now and then you'd have to really turn the machines on, to use the trading places phrase, the minute the divisional playoffs are over and then you'd have to send somebody to a town or you wouldn't and you'd cancel all those plans. And I just find it fascinating, and this is going to be a conversation I think that we're going to have later on in this program, is that, yeah, these teams that are all involved are all outdoor teams. Shouldn't this game be played outdoors? Or do you just do it like a Super Bowl and just say, weather is a non-factor, let's throw them in somewhere indoors and can't, can't Detroit just like, you know, push back the whole like turf replacement? You know, like, I wouldn't Detroit want to host?

Wouldn't the city want to host an AFC Championship game? Are you trying to reschedule your carpet guy, Rich? It's just a big process. I hope those guys are done months in advance.

It takes a while. Yeah, I mean, selfishly, as somebody who may or may not be at that game, I kind of root that it's in a place like New Orleans and not in, you know, in Green Bay, where I really should check and see if the hotel rooms have already been jacked up from $89 a night to $900 a night. That would give us a pretty good indication if anything's being considered there.

You want to know, you want to know something, by the way, you want you want to know something that would be totally wild. OK, and I'll just throw it out here. Like if you want to play outdoors. OK, and let's just say it's but don't you want to play somewhere that would be easy for the fan bases to get to? Right. Like so you'd have to play outdoors. Like, so why not Chicago if it's Kansas City versus Cincinnati? Right. Or why not?

How about this one? If it's Buffalo and it's Cincinnati that well, they would play in their they would play in their respective spots. New England. You send Buffalo fans to New England if it's them versus. Oh, I want it indoors in Indy. I want a Super Bowl type atmosphere because I want to see these teams with amazing offenses.

I want to see a high scoring game. So, I mean, you'd have to choose a place that is geographically sound for the fan bases to get to, wouldn't you? Right, Tom? Right. You would think so. And that's where I'm saying that the Green Bay would be considered because it's a really hard place.

There's not direct flights from anywhere there outside of, I believe, Minneapolis, Chicago and maybe one other place. Right. But let's also remember this. Like we get through the weekend, there's a bunch of different scenarios here.

Right. Where there is no neutral site game. I mean, if again, if Kansas City wins and Buffalo loses, there's no neutral site. If Bills win and the Chiefs lose, there is no neutral site.

There's a lot of different versions of this. I would certainly imagine that they're, you know, depending again how this vote goes, let's get by the vote as well and see whether or not this all ends up passing. But if it does, you know, you may get the Monday and this was all a lot of work for no particular reason. But honestly, I do give credit to people for trying to come up with creative solutions to this, even if some of the teams, namely the Bengals, are not real thrilled with the creativity right now.

All right. Before I let you go, big game obviously for Philadelphia this weekend. They needed to win it to just secure the one seed in the least dramatic way possible. And then we're talking about the Ravens having an opportunity to get up to the five seed or maybe even the three seed.

And then we're coin flipping and all that business. And Lamar Jackson is, I mean, what's going on with him? Start with him and then give me a Hertz update, if you don't mind.

Tom? Well, Lamar Jackson hasn't practiced in over a month. Everybody continues to say that they expect him to be back when you get to the playoffs.

But it's important to keep in mind here. They initially believed that Lamar was going to be back in a couple of weeks. They were not thinking it was going to be a five week absence.

And given that this game, again, depending on the results of this vote today, could be massively important for a 50-50 chance, massively important for the Ravens, you would like to be at full strength. But it's not as if they're going to dust Lamar Jackson off when he's missed 15 consecutive practices and then four games and say you're going to go out there and play on Sunday. Until he gets back on the field, we really don't know where he's at with that knee, even if, okay, he's going to go out there. Is he going to be Lamar Jackson or is he going to look like Lamar Jackson who came out for one practice when he was dealing with that bone bruise in his ankle last year and was not even able to bend his legs? He was kind of limping around the field and we never saw him again.

We'll have to see when we get to next week. But again, the Ravens have consistently said they anticipate he is going to be out there. And then as for the Eagles with Jalen Hurts, he's been pushing to play really since the start of this. Hurts' original thought, his hope was one week absence, get back out there. The Eagles have taken the cautious route medically. He's got an FC joint sprain, which is right where your sternum connects to your collarbone here. It's not a common injury that you see a ton in quarterbacks, but it's something that if this were the Super Bowl this week or a playoff game, we'd see Hurts out there.

Nick Sirianni said today everything is trending the right direction. And now it just comes down to, you know, if he does play, how do the Eagles, how much do they expose him? Is he the running threat that he normally is? Are they cautious knowing that they're hoping to get a deep playoff run in? You certainly don't want to give up the number one seed because there is no question in the NFC what that means.

It's a first round playoff bye in home field all the way through the NFC playoff. Tom, you're the man. Thanks for the time. Greatly appreciate it, brother. Thank you. You got a rich thank you.

But that's Tom Posero. Bless him, man. Does he know everything off the top of his head or what? Man, I mean, to keep that all straight.

I think I pride myself on knowing this stuff cold. How about that? You can listen to the NFL and the NFL app on the Odyssey app on via Westwood1Station streams or by asking Alexa to open Westwood1Sports sponsored by AutoZone. When we come back, the seventh seed in the AFC. Oh, Steelers fans are hoping and praying. They have no idea who their hopes and prayers are in the hands of right now, do they? We will inform them when we come back.

We'll start season two on YouTube or wherever you listen. Tomlin beats the Browns this weekend. He will tie Chuck Knoll for the most wins ever against the Browns. Twenty five of them.

OK. Yesterday was Chuck Knoll's birthday. He's used to beating the Browns, right? Bills are taking on the Patriots. I don't like your chances, Chris, even though the Patriots are winning. And I got to tell you, I don't even want us to win. Now, then, if I had told you, Steeler fans, when you were two and six, you could make the playoffs if you win against the Browns and get some help. What would the Steelers fans say?

Never say never, but never. They might have said that. Good one. They would have said, OK, where do I sign?

Where do I sign, Mike? Hold on a minute. If you had told them you're two and six, you could make the playoffs if you beat the Browns in week 18.

And the help you need. OK. Is the Jets beating the Dolphins? You know what they would say? Yeah, sure. Why not? They would have said that.

Is he doing this on his own? Hold on a minute. Because the Jets, when the Steelers were two and six, they were five and three. They were five and three. They were playing defense. They were beating the Packers in Lambeau Field. They were they were playing football. If you had told the Steelers, though, that the Jets that would have to beat the Dolphins would be coming off of a, let me see, give it this right, carry the one, a five game losing streak. They'd be, that's the Jets I know.

And wait a minute, hold on a second. You had to tell a Steeler fan with a straight face. The help you need to make the playoffs after you beat the Browns and the Bills beat the Patriots in Buffalo. Two very, very, very feasible scenarios that Steeler fans would have been, I'm down for that, right? You need the help of Joe Flacco.

Am I reading this right? Joe Flacco! Now, the Dolphins are starting Skylar Thompson, it looks like, right? Oh, yeah. No, that's happening. Right?

Yeah, two is out. Skylar Thompson versus Joe Flacco. It's an elite matchup. Not as elite as it can be, because guess who the Dolphins signed to back up Skylar Thompson? It's possible.

Yes, Rich, say it. That we get at some point in a game. I have no idea who this is. Right! With playoff implications. Yes. That Flacco will be going point for point with Mike Glennon.

This is entirely possible. I'll tell you about Glennon, man. Are we sure adding the 18th week was a good idea? What are you smoking, bro? Give me some.

I still thought she pawned the left hand side. Do we really need 17 games? Steeler fans are like, really?

Really? We come all the way back. We go from two and six to eight and eight. Only. We beat the Browns. Buffalo's coming off this whole season, taking on the Patriots with a whole heck of a lot to play for, as we know now. And now we gotta light the candle for Joe Flacco.

The answer is yes. And I'll tell you what. I can't believe it, but this is the truth. Coming off that draft when we got all those kids and all that optimism and rightful optimism. There's a lot going on for this jet team to be happy about and look forward to, despite the recent circumstances. This jet season is going to be started and finished.

But Joe Flacco, he was the week one starter. What the hell's going on? It came full circle for you, baby. What the hell's going on?

Should have just started him the whole year. Oh, boy. Don't take the cheese, Rich. Don't take the cheese. I didn't see that one. That one caught me. That one caught me. That one caught me right across the chin.

I'm wobbling from that one. You know how Sonny Liston felt. He started week one against the Ravens.

He's going to go for the sweep of the Dolphins. And the guy who could try and prevent it is Mike Glennon, who was on the couch last week. McLennan versus Joe Flacco and Steelers fans are like, really? That's not what they're saying. Rod Whitson always said that Chuck Knoll would always tell them before a game, play better than the refs ref, because, you know, you got to make sure that you play well enough.

All the variables don't matter. What if the refs are really bad? Hey, if you don't want to put your fate in the hands of Joe Flacco on the Jets, don't go two and six. That's a good point. All I'm saying. I've been thinking of a neck joke for like the last 60 seconds.

I've been avoiding it, to be honest. What if it was a nasty stop? Joey Flacco's got a Super Bowl ring. Joe Flacco can show up and start winging it around and put the Steelers in the pocket of all the quarterbacks to put the Steelers in the playoffs.

Joe Flacco talk about strange bedfellows. That's pretty good. It's entirely possible.

Because I don't have the schedule here in front of me. They all go in. It's all at the same time.

I was just looking right now. All at the same time. All at the same time.

All at the same time. Speaking of big necks, you got Davis Mills, right? Maybe his last start for the Texans.

I would say that's highly likely. Just looking at the screen right here. I just said speaking of big necks. I literally said those words into a microphone. Mills didn't need to take a stray there.

But he's got a Merton Hanks thing going. We're back, people. We're back. It's been a long week.

I'm glad that we can all smile and we're back. By the way, McCarthy just lost again. He's 0 for 12. Don't say those things to him this week. You might think he's talking about Mike. Every time you bring it up, you're like, wait a minute.

Square biz. Every time I hear McCarthy. He doesn't want his McCarthy to lose this weekend.

He doesn't want any piece of Brady. You're going to get it. Is it too late for the GOP to nominate Hugh Jackson? You're looking to your left. Look at your man.

I'm in. That's your next speaker of the house, Mike Del Tufo. We're going to miss you, Mike. Chris Fowler's coming up in studio. For over 40 years, Jim Ross has been the voice of wrestling.

Nobody has stories like Jim Ross, and he shares his tales with co-host Conrad Thompson on Grilling JR. The Bismick Man was the top heel in the Attitude Era. It was a fresh character. It was new. It was material that we had not seen or heard to that date. We couldn't have created a bigger or better heel. We wanted to make more heels, and we tried to make more heels, and we did, but nothing compared to Vince.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 16:26:00 / 2023-01-06 16:45:53 / 20

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