Is Wentz Finished in Indy?
PERSPECTIVES FROM THE PLAYOFF CHOPPING BLOCK
NFL Wild Card - "I had never been rooting for a tie more in my life. That's the unfortunate part of being so close."
—Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert knows that both the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders would be in the playoffs if their teams had tied on Sunday Night Football. Unfortunately, the Raiders kicked the last-minute field goal in overtime to send the Chargers home. (Associated Press)
"I dozed off. I think at one point, [the Raiders] were up by 15. … I'm probably better off not having watched it."
—Even though a tie would have eliminated his team, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin ended up falling asleep while watching the Raiders and Chargers play. (Sports Illustrated via Twitter)
IT'S A LIVING
"If I don't get this seventh catch, I have to go get a real job."
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski needed seven catches in Sunday's game to activate a $1 million contract bonus. One catch shy of the bonus, Gronkowski lamented about what he would do if he fell short of the mark. He finished with seven catches in the game, 55 on the year. (NFL Films via Instagram)
"What bonus money? I'm kidding."
"Everybody plays this game, obviously, because they love the game, but there is obviously the payment aspect of it. When you've got a guy in that type of situation, I'm not saying I was trying to force him the ball, but I might have given him a little extra second his way on some of these routes. Just give him some opportunities tonight. If it was anyone in that situation I would have tried to do the same thing."
—Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen on helping wide receiver Stefon Diggs get six catches to hit a $1.55-million contract incentive. Diggs finished with nine catches in the game, 103 catches on the year. (B/R Gridiron via Instagram)
AT LEAST HE'S HONEST
"As a group, you understand that we probably aren't supposed to be here. We're probably not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams I think are in, we're probably No. 14. … We don't have a chance, so let's just go in and have fun."
—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing with house money after sneaking into the playoffs, so he's going to relish every moment of it. (ESPN via Instagram)
CAME AND WENTZ
"We'll take it piece by piece. We'll evaluate (Wentz's) play. We'll evaluate how we're coaching him, how I'm coaching him, with each position in the pass game. Take it apart piece by piece, and then put it back together."
"We loved the team we had this year, we knew everyone we brought in this year, we expected to play winning football. Next year's roster will be next year's roster. I don't want to open it up about one player and then start talking about all of them."
—Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich addressed speculation about whether quarterback Carson Wentz will be the starter for this team in 2022. (NFL.com)
"When we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision, we felt good about it. And I still don't regret it. ... I won't make a comment on who's going to be here and who's not going to be here. That's not fair."
—Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard reflected on the decision to trade a first round pick to the Eagles for Wentz last offseason. (Stephen Holder, The Athletic via Twitter)
BURN THE TAPE
"You can always draw on previous experiences going into the playoffs. Winning or losing really hasn't been much of a factor on how teams do dependent upon whichever lens you want to look at it through. So, we're going to choose to say it doesn't mean sh*t."
—Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay washed his hands of the Rams' Week 18 loss to the San Francisco 49ers heading into the postseason. (NFL.com)
THE CAKE IS A LIE
"I think being in the meetings every day, it helped me in a way, helped me in a sense because I felt like I was a part of it. I feel like I was a part of everything. I was like a little kid going to the birthday, but I just couldn't have any birthday cake."
"That's the best way I can put it. That's how this year has been for me. So next year, I'm just looking forward to just indulging in all the cake that I can."
—Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne was sidelined with a Lisfranc foot injury for all of his rookie campaign, but that didn't stop him from trying to make the most of his first year in the NFL. (NFL.com)
JONATHAN TAYLOR KNOWS THE NUMBERS
"Just a little kid from Salem, New Jersey, and then you guys allowed me to lead the league in rushing. … This is the least I can do. We definitely gonna have more good years to come."
—Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor thanked his entire offensive line for helping him lead the league in rushing by buying them all Louis Vuitton bags.
"Y'know J.T., I never fancied myself as being a Louis Vuitton guy, but I am. I'm gonna be rocking the sh*t out of this at the airport."
—Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly's reaction upon seeing the gift. (NFL Films via Instagram)
ONE GIANT LETDOWN
"Honestly, I would have to say yes. Yes it is. I kept thinking during the season that we had hit rock-bottom and then each week it got a little worse. Honestly, I'm not proud of saying this, but if I'm going to be 100% honest, I would have to say yes."
—New York Giants co-owner John Mara kept things extremely blunt when asked whether the 2021 season was the most embarrassed he had ever been during his association with the Giants franchise. (NFL.com)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
HE HAS EARNED THIS ONE
"You gotta bet on yourself." — Stetson Bennett on his journey from walk-on player to @georgiafootball's starting quarterback!
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 11, 2022
—Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett was pulled away from celebrating his team's win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship Game to give a delirious interview on Good Morning America.