Hines Ward on the Miami Miracle & the Steelers

CNN's Hines Ward discusses his takeaways from week 14 in the NFL, including the Miami Dolphins' miracle against the New England Patriots.

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 4:41 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 4:49 AM

Two-time Super Bowl champion and CNN Sport contributor Hines Ward talks about his experiences from his 14 years in the NFL as well as providing other football observations. He was speaking to CNN's Perry Kostidakis.

In the 2005 season, we lost three straight heading into December, then won four in a row to end the season before winning another four on the way to a Super Bowl championship.

How'd we do it? We leaned on our veterans. Jerome Bettis, heading into the season, figured it might be his last ride, and we felt obligated to him to turn things around. We weren't exactly playing our best football, and we knew that it started with us. Since our playoffs basically had already started, we had to take each game at a time.

I remember, the first game of that streak against the Chicago Bears, we put Jerome in and he ran over Brian Urlacher for a touchdown and it galvanized our team.

It inspired us to see this guy, in probably his last year, pushing himself that hard, and we thought, "if he's doing it, we definitely need to be." We rallied behind it, put our egos aside, and really never looked back.

If there's a team today that reminds me of us then, it's probably the Cowboys. They've grinded out two big wins the last two weeks, over New Orleans and Philadelphia, and that gives you a different mentality and confidence at the end of the season.

The defense is playing well, Ezekiel Elliott is running hard and Dak Prescott is getting more comfortable in that game manager role and making less mistakes. They've got everything you want in a playoff team.

Rapid reactions

New England taking on Pittsburgh was supposed to be two Super Bowl contenders, now, both need to win to fix their season. The Patriots still are in a position to lock up that one or two seed with a win, but that loss to Miami shook things up a lot. The Steelers, if they don't turn things around, might end up missing the playoffs completely. That rivalry speaks for itself, you don't need to hype it up anymore other than, "Tom Brady is going to Heinz Field."

I think the Chargers are set to surprise a few people. A lot of people aren't picking them to go far, but they've still got a chance to win their division and maybe pick up a top-two seed, and it comes down to a big game this week, playing Kansas City on the road. If they win that game, look out -- they've got an experienced quarterback, Melvin Gordon's coming back from injury, you look at them all around, they're solid from top to bottom.

On the flip side, the Vikings have surprised in a bad way. Last year, they were one game away from the Super Bowl, and then this year they're so up and down. They had a disappointing loss to Seattle, and the theme of all season has just been too many mistakes. You see a team with that much talent, who just paid a quarterback a bunch of money, and you expect so much more.

Saquon Barkley has by far been my favorite rookie to watch this year. He's just so electrifying, so explosive, he's a threat to do something every time he touches the ball and I think he should definitely end up winning Rookie of the Year. What he's done for the Giants, especially in a down season, has been so much fun to watch. I just really love seeing the kid play.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 59185

Reported Deaths: 1681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18774828
Ramsey7307263
Dakota4250104
Anoka3553114
Stearns287420
Washington203744
Nobles17546
Olmsted170023
Scott150318
Mower10952
Rice10198
Blue Earth8935
Wright8555
Carver8293
Clay77140
Sherburne7107
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis50219
Lyon4243
Todd4222
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3163
Watonwan3070
Winona25716
Crow Wing22814
Beltrami2170
Le Sueur2131
Martin2065
Goodhue1928
Chisago1901
Otter Tail1893
Cottonwood1760
McLeod1730
Becker1491
Pipestone1499
Polk1494
Douglas1380
Waseca1380
Itasca13612
Carlton1330
Pine1280
Unassigned12641
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1210
Chippewa1011
Wabasha880
Brown872
Faribault850
Morrison851
Meeker842
Sibley832
Rock790
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass702
Mille Lacs693
Fillmore630
Renville625
Lincoln560
Grant533
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Roseau470
Pope460
Houston390
Norman380
Aitkin341
Kanabec341
Redwood330
Wilkin333
Hubbard320
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena250
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Cook30
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47904

Reported Deaths: 913
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10132206
Woodbury370951
Black Hawk309963
Linn231487
Johnson205416
Dallas185935
Buena Vista179112
Scott167414
Dubuque165331
Marshall143225
Pottawattamie129426
Story115114
Wapello87633
Muscatine84548
Webster7937
Crawford7263
Sioux6193
Cerro Gordo59817
Warren5501
Tama54729
Jasper47126
Wright4631
Plymouth4559
Dickinson3784
Louisa37814
Clinton3703
Washington29410
Boone2462
Hamilton2451
Franklin2359
Bremer2107
Clarke1973
Emmet1904
Carroll1851
Clay1811
Shelby1801
Hardin1750
Marion1660
Des Moines1582
Poweshiek1568
Allamakee1544
Benton1511
Jackson1501
Floyd1452
Mahaska13817
Guthrie1315
Cedar1291
Jones1282
Buchanan1241
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1102
Lee1083
Humboldt1061
Cherokee1041
Clayton1043
Delaware1031
Harrison1030
Iowa961
Taylor960
Page940
Winneshiek941
Monona910
Mills870
Kossuth840
Calhoun832
Fayette820
Jefferson820
Palo Alto820
Sac820
Osceola800
Winnebago790
Grundy781
Mitchell780
Union761
Monroe727
Worth660
Cass611
Lucas604
Montgomery574
Chickasaw540
Davis541
Howard490
Appanoose483
Greene410
Fremont400
Keokuk341
Van Buren341
Ida290
Adair280
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned10
Rochester
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Albert Lea
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Scattered Storms, Warm & Humid
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

Grief mask making workshop

Image

Mace's Weather 8/8

Image

Tractor pullers excited to rev up their engines in 2020

Image

Need school supplies? Iowa tax-free weekend on clothes

Image

War hero remembered with motorcycle ride

Image

Families react to RPS's "Return to Learn" plan

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast- Friday

Image

Giving your best volunteer of the month

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Friday

Community Events