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NEW YORK – January 18, 2022 – The Emmy® Award-winning studio show INSIDE THE NFL continues tonight, January 18 at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on Paramount+. Host James Brown is joined by analysts Phil SimmsJulian Edelman and Michael Irvin in-studio to discuss the latest news and storylines from an action-packed Super Wild Card Weekend.  

Entering the Divisional Round, the analysts make their picks for each game with the crew split on who wins between Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC, and Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills vs. Patrick Mahome’s Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC. Additionally, the crew analyzes the New England Patriots crushing Wild Card loss to the Bills and evaluates necessary steps to become a contender next season. U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team star Margaret ‘Midge’ Purce also joins the show for an exclusive interview with her former high school classmate in Bills receiver Stefon Diggs.   

Buccaneers coach Bruce AriansPhiladelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, Rams linebacker Von MillerArizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, Patriots running back Damien Harris, Bills safety Jordan PoyerSan Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo SamuelDallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Chiefs linebacker Melvin IngramPittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam HeywardLas Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller and Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah are wired for sound.  

* Click HERE for a preview of the Diggs-Purce interview.  

* Click HERE for a clip of Samuel and the 49ers.  

Following are excerpts from this week’s episode: 

On the Bills-Chiefs matchup… 

Edelman – “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. I like the Buffalo Bills. Last week was an absolute message to the National Football League: ‘Hey, we’re out here to play. Nothing less than the Super Bowl is good.’ Seven consecutive touchdowns against a Bill Belichick team – that’s tough.” 

On the Rams-Buccaneers matchup… 

Irvin – “I’m taking the Rams to win this game. If the Rams run that formula they ran Monday night, they’ll win this football game.” 

On the Rams success running the football…  

Irvin – “You put Matthew Stafford in and you say throw the ball 17 times…154 passer rating. They rushed for 140 yards. No matter how much we talk about ‘this is a passing league’, you have to run the football in the National Football League. If you take Matthew Stafford from being your necessity to being your luxury, now you have a chance to give us two years in a row, back-to-back home teams winning the Super Bowl. That’s what we saw last night when we saw the Rams.” 

On what went wrong for the Patriots… 

Edelman – “Lack of urgency, lack of energy…They got out-coached. They got outplayed. They got out-efforted. That was a disappointing and an embarrassing type of loss for a football team. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t care if it’s a young team. That’s not a young team anymore.” 

On what the Patriots need going forward… 

Edelman – “Honestly, I think this second year is going to be huge for Mac Jones…He needs to get some of his arm strength up. He needs to get a little stronger, you saw him get weaker throughout the year, and that’s natural…This is a great feeling for this team going forward because they have a taste in the back of their mouth. They also have experience in a playoff game with a young offense. So, I think they can build off of this, but it’s still going to be a miserable off-season, any time you get handed a game like that.” 

On the dead ball whistle in the Bengals vs. Raiders game…  

Edelman – “It was so bang-bang, I don’t think it really mattered… Ultimately they got the right call. Everyone wants to say he stopped playing, nah he would’ve batted it down just like they do in the NBA. If you can hit it, you’re hitting it. It was a tough call, but it was the right call.”

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Tyler Butler