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 4:24 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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