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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

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Ravens delay of game

Ravens get away with delay of game before winning field goal

The Baltimore Ravens got a miracle kick from Justin Tucker to beat the Detroit Lions on Sunday. But Tucker’s 66-yard field goal attempt might have been a 71-yarder had a penalty for delay of game been called. The Ravens had a 2nd-and-10 at the Detroit 48 with seven seconds left. Before Lamar Jackson took a… Read More

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Sixers teammate shares his message for Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons seems to have gone Casper the Unfriendly Ghost on the entire Philadelphia 76ers organization, so one of his teammates is sharing what he would like to say to the disgruntled All-Star.

76ers swingman Danny Green addressed the Simmons situation this week on the latest episode of his “Inside the Green Room” podcast.

“This has nothing to do with the organization,” said Green. “This has to do with us. We just want to meet with him on a personal level, on a human being, friend level. If he still considers us friends, we don’t know if that’s the case yet or not.

“I know he still communicates with some of the guys,” Green added. “I haven’t been in communication with him. But I would love to meet with him and sit down and talk just to see where his head was at. Let him know that we have his back and we want him back and just give him some friendly advice. Just first and foremost as a human being, as a professional.”

Green is going public with his message for Simmons, probably because he cannot reach Simmons in private right now. Several Sixers players were reportedly ready to fly out to meet Simmons this past week, only for the former No. 1 overall pick to tell them not to come.

Simmons’ relationship with the Sixers looks all but unsalvageable right now. He has alienated management, teammates, and fans alike, so it does not really appear that there is anything left for them to talk about.

Zach Wilson publicly criticized by Jets guard after latest loss

Zach Wilson

As a rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson is going to inevitably face some growing pains. However, he probably didn’t expect to hear public criticism from one of his New York Jets teammates.

After Sunday’s 26-0 loss to the Denver Broncos, veteran guard Greg Van Roten suggested Wilson was holding onto the ball too long. That remark came after Wilson was sacked five times and threw two more interceptions, bringing his season total to seven.

Van Roten made clear, however, that he was not blaming Wilson for the team’s 0-3 start.

Whether Van Roten is right or not, this probably won’t go down well, especially coming from him. The 31-year-old has been around for a long time and should know better than to say this publicly. Not only that, but with Wilson sacked 15 times through three games, part of it certainly falls on the offensive line. Van Roten admits that, but it almost seems like he’s trying to deflect from that unit’s struggles a bit.

For now, Wilson is handling the narratives and criticisms well, but this is far from an ideal start to his career.

Cam Dantzler hints at frustration with Vikings in deleted tweet

Cam Dantzler

Even though the Minnesota Vikings won on Sunday, there was still some drama in the camp following the game.

Second-year cornerback Cam Dantzler, who was the team’s No. 1 cornerback in 2020, found himself relegated to limited duty again on Sunday. It continues a trend that has persisted through the start of the season, with veteran Bashaud Breeland playing ahead of Dantzler.

After the game, Dantzler sent a since-deleted tweet that seemed to indicate he was not happy with how the team was handling him.

Dantzler sent a follow-up tweet claiming the initial statement didn’t have anything to do with football. That tweet was also deleted.

Dantzler had 46 total tackles and two interceptions in 2020. It’s not clear if he did anything wrong or why the coaching staff seems to prefer Breeland, especially with the Vikings secondary struggling as it has in 2021. Still, Dantzler’s cryptic deleted tweets are unlikely to get him back in the organization’s good graces.

Shohei Ohtani hints that he could leave Angels in free agency

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani is under contract with the Los Angeles Angels for two more seasons. But he could end up leaving them if they don’t get their act together.

Ohtani on Sunday started for the Angels against the Seattle Mariners. The game unfortunately was a painful reflection of what things have been like for him since signing with the team.

Ohtani gave up just one run and struck out 10 over seven innings. He exited with the game tied at one. Then the Angels’ bullpen blew it and they lost 5-1.

Oh yeah, Ohtani also had a hit in the game while batting second.

Though Ohtani has played at an MVP level, the rest of the team has not delivered in the same way. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, two of the team’s other top hitters, have missed most of the season. Their other pitchers haven’t really performed well either.

That all seemed to lead to his quote after Sunday’s game. Ohtani said that he and the team have not yet had contract extension talks. He was complimentary of the Angels and the team’s fans, but he emphasized his priority is winning.

Based on Ohtani’s message, the Angels have two seasons to show vast improvement. If they don’t, they risk losing Ohtani in free agency to a team that has been more of a winner (the Dodgers come to mind).

The Angels have not had a winning record since 2015 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2014. They have spent most of their free agent money on position players rather than pitchers. Guys like Rendon have been injured, while previous hitters like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton have not lived up to their deals.

The Angels seemed to have recognized this issue and addressed it in the draft, albeit in an extreme manner.

Blazers loved Raiders’ ‘Damian Lillard’ audible

Damian Lillard

The Las Vegas Raiders went with an audible on Sunday that got a Chuck Norris thumbs-up from one NBA team.

During their 31-28 overtime victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 3, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr called out an audible named “Damian Lillard” after the Portland Trail Blazers star.

The Blazers took notice of the audible call and gave it their seal of approval on Twitter.

After calling out the “Damian Lillard” audible, Carr went with a deep throw to receiver Henry Ruggs III that fell incomplete. Lillard is known as one of the best long-range shooters in the NBA, so the audible call may have been a reference to his prowess from deep.

The Raiders have also gone viral before for using another NBA star as the name of an audible. As for Lillard, he is a native of Oakland, Calif., which was the Raiders’ former home. Lillard is a proud Raiders fan as well, so he probably thought that it was a pretty cool moment.

Tom Brady’s return to New England is now even bigger for this reason

Tom Brady

Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium next week was already a massive deal, but Brady’s performance Sunday just made it even bigger.

Though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Brady put up a huge stat line. He threw for a whopping 432 yards in the loss, the most yards he’s thrown for in a game since joining the Buccaneers.

So why does that matter? By racking up that many yards, Brady almost certainly ensured he will pass Drew Brees and become the league’s all-time passing yards leader in New England next Sunday.

While it was inevitable that Brady would reach the mark, it didn’t seem likely he’d do it this early in the season. He entered the season 1,154 yards shy of Brees, so he needed about 300 yards per game to break the record in Foxborough. He managed to beat that pace pretty easily, and it would essentially take an injury to keep Brady from getting the 68 passing yards he needs.

Brady will probably enjoy setting the record in New England, even if he doesn’t make much of it. That said, he’s had this game circled for a while. He’ll really want a win more than anything else.

Report: Andy Reid had heart palpitations

Andy Reid

Andy Reid was taken to the hospital after his Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

All reports suggested that Reid was being taken to the hospital as a precaution. Chiefs players were told that Reid was expected to be fine. But now we have some more information about his issue.

Jay Glazer reported on FOX overtime after the Rams-Bucs game that Reid had heart palpitations. The writing on the graphic accompanying Glazer’s report said Reid had chest pains.

The 63-year-old head coach is in his ninth season as Kansas City’s head coach. He has never had a losing season in Kansas City, though his team is 1-2 through three weeks this year.

One of Reid’s top players expressed his concern over the situation on Twitter.

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