Nyheim Hines’ kickoff return TD connected to Damar Hamlin – NBC Sports – Misc.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.—You want the truth about the coin flip that set in motion the script so unlikely that Spielberg would have found it far-fetched? If the Bills had won the toss, Sean McDermott would have deferred.
The Bills would have kicked off.
“I’m glad they lost this one,” McDermott told me.
I should say so. Someday, and not too long from now, this generation’s “Brian’s Song” (look it up, kids), will be a movie based on the life and near-death of Damar Hamlin. There will be a centerpiece moment based in an old stadium in western New York. John David Washington will play Nyheim Hines, and Michael B. Jordan will be Damar Hamlin. Sean McDermott? Maybe Jude Law. There won’t be any problem finding extras in Cheektowaga, Tonawanda and Lackawanna for the crowd scenes.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. The Patriots actually won the toss at Highmark Stadium Sunday afternoon, and as Bill Belichick loves deferring and taking the ball to start the second half, New England deferred.
When Nick Folk kicked the ball high into the air, headed for Nyheim Hines inside the five-yard line, Hines had a lot to think about. He thought about Hamlin, foremost. Nine weeks ago, Hines was the new guy, traded from the Colts to Buffalo to be a return specialist and backup back. Hamlin, a stranger to Hines, came up to him on his first day in the building and introduced himself. Every day that first week, Hamlin would stop and talk to Hines, the new kid in school, and he started telling Hines he’d break a long one soon. “You’re gonna take one,” Hamlin told him. “I can feel it.” Every day at practice, Hamlin would say something about a big return.
“He would say, ‘Hashtag free Hines!’” Hines said late Sunday afternoon. They’d say that silly little thing to each other almost every day, Hamlin reminding the new kid not only that he could take a kick to the house, but he would do it.
So the ball was coming from Folk, and Hines thought for a millisecond about Hamlin, watching in his Cincinnati hospital room 425 miles to the southwest, and he said to himself, “All right, Nyheim, let’s give ‘em something to cheer about.”
Said Hines: “Our team, we had Damar’s wings on our backs today.”
Hines certainly did. He ran untouched for 96 yards on the opening kickoff, fulfilling something Hamlin foresaw. Touchdown. Mayhem in the rebuilt place that 30 years ago this week housed another miracle: the Bills’ comeback from 32 points down to beat Houston in the Frank Reich Wild Card game. Hines’ touchdown came at 1:03 p.m.
From Hamlin’s Twitter feed, at 1:06 p.m: “OMFG!!!!!!!!!”
“Flabbergasted,” Hines said later.
“Trying to manage the game is my number one job,” McDermott said. “But this week, I thought to myself, ‘How special would it be if we took the opening kickoff back?’”
Then Hines did it again, returning one 101 yards for a score in the third quarter. Now the absurdity of the opening kickoff was doubled. The 70,753 in the place, and millions watching to see if the Bills could give Hamlin a consistent ear-to-ear grin in his University of Cincinnati Medical Center room, knew it was a game, and returner, they’d never forget. No one in the NFL had returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in a game since 2010.
“I’m the new guy here,” Hines said, “but hopefully I had a little impact on something that’s way bigger than myself.”
We’ll let Netflix be the judge of that.
Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column
After a blowout win against the New York Giants in Week 14, the Philadelphia Eagles became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff berth for the 2022 season. The 48-22 victory at MetLife Stadium guaranteed the Eagles their fifth playoff spot in the last six seasons (missed the postseason in the 2020 season). The Eagles are vying to earn their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2017 season, when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. On Sunday the Eagles play another crucial contest against the Giants in the Divisional Round
RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks for Divisional Round and more
See below for a full breakdown of the Eagles’ Super Bowl history as they prepare for the leadup to Super Bowl LVII.
RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more
One (2017 season). The Eagles have won one of their three Super Bowl appearances in franchise history. The Eagles appeared in four pre-merger NFL championship games, where they won three of them (1948, 1949 and 1960).
The Eagles were victorious in their last Super Bowl appearance. The victory was a redemption 13 years in the making, after the Eagles lost to Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX in the 2004 season, 24-21.
That 2017 appearance was of course Philadelphia’s most recent Super Bowl triumph, and one of the most memorable Super Bowls in history. The game is most remembered for the heroics of quarterback Nick Foles, who stepped in late in the season to replace the injured Carson Wentz, and for Foles’ catch on the trick play known as the “Philly Special.”
Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!
RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more
If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.
If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 
Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.
Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.
Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.
After 5 straight seasons with double-digit losses, the New York Giants are finally back in the NFL playoffs. The team clinched the sixth seed in the NFC with a 38-10 thrashing over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17 and battled their way to the Divisional Round with a 31-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings during Wild Card Weekend.
RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks for Wild Card Weekend and more
There were many uncertainties surrounding 2019 first-round quarterback Daniel Jones at the start of the season. Jones has been plagued with both injuries and inconsistent play in each of his first three seasons but the 4th-year QB has shown great signs of improvement. With new GM Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll in charge–both former Bills employees–the Giants hope to hoist the franchise’s first Lombardi trophy since February 2012.
RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more
 Super Bowl LVII  takes place on Sunday, February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. See below for additional information on how to watch.
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The New York Giants have won 4 Super Bowls in 5 total appearances.
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Daniel Jones: Sunday’s win means a lot
Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!
If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.
If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 
Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.
Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.
Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.
Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

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