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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Football

Ben Roethlisberger dealing with injury ahead of Week 3

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury during last week’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, and it is apparently one that could impact his performance going forward.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters on Monday that Roethlisberger is dealing with an injury to his left pectoral muscle. While Big Ben is expected to play against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Tomlin admitted that the quarterback could be at less than 100 percent health.

Roethlisberger was hit 10 times in Pittsburgh’s loss to the Raiders. The Steelers have a lot of new players on their offensive line this season, and the unit has clearly experienced some growing pains. Tomlin said he will not make any changes, however.

Roethlisberger went 27/40 for 296 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Week 2. He issued an apology to Steelers fans for his performance. It’s unclear at what point during the game he suffered the pec injury, but it may have been a factor.

Did refs botch game-changing call in 49ers-Eagles game?

Trey Sermon hit

San Francisco 49ers running back Trey Sermon fumbled his first ever NFL rushing attempt on Sunday, but officials ruled that the Philadelphia Eagles committed a personal foul on the play. That negated a crucial turnover, and there has been extensive debate over whether the right call was made.

Sermon fumbled near midfield with the Niners leading 17-3 and roughly five minutes remaining in the game. There was a flag on the play, however, as Eagles safety K’Von Wallace was called for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the ball carrier. Wallace definitely hit Sermon in the head, but many felt the contact was totally unavoidable. If you watch the replay, it looks like Wallace was going in for a low tackle when Sermon was hit by another Eagle.

Here are a couple of angles of the hit:

The initial hit from Anthony Harris was clean. He hit Sermon in the shoulder area with his forearm, which caused Sermon to fall forward. You can even see in slow motion that the hit from Harris led to Wallace making contact with Sermon’s head. A lot of people feel the officials should know the difference and penalize (or not) accordingly.

San Francisco ended up winning the game 17-11. The Sermon turnover could have served as a huge momentum shift if it was not negated. Had there been no flag, Bart Scott might look a lot differently today.

H/T SpinMax

Jerry Jones critical of special teams blunder that Cowboys coach defended

Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys committed a brutal special teams mistake on Sunday that they are fortunate did not cost them a win, and one member of the coaching staff has since defended the decision that led to the blunder. Jerry Jones views the play differently.

The Cowboys had 4th-and-20 on their 46-yard line late in the first half of their game against the Los Angeles Chargers. They should have gotten the ball back with a chance to build on their 14-11 lead, but they instead roughed the punter. On Monday, special teams coach John Fassel said he was giving Cowboys fans what they wanted by trying to block the punt.

“I think Cowboys fans aren’t the play-it-safe type. So I was going to give them what they wanted, come after their a– on the punt rush,” Fassel said, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “So I hope they’re happy with it. We came after him.”

Fans certainly were not pleased with the result. Neither was Jones, who made it clear on Tuesday that he disagreed with the play call.

The Cowboys won 20-17 on a last-second field goal from Greg Zuerlein, so all is forgiven. They also benefitted from a brutal call that went against the Chargers late in the second half. Had they lost, the roughing the kicker penalty would have been a much bigger topic of conversation.

Aaron Rodgers has message for critics after bounce-back win

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers were pathetic in their loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, but they proved they are still a contender with their dominant win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night. The performance must have felt particularly good for Aaron Rodgers, and he did not exactly take the high road when addressing his critics.

With Rodgers having missed a significant portion of the offseason, there was a lot of talk after Week 1 about him not being committed to winning anymore. He responded to that following Green Bay’s 35-17 win.

“I think we maybe tried to show that we cared a little bit more tonight … I just think people like to say a lot of bulls–t, and it’s nice to come back in here after a game like that,” Rodgers said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Rodgers was an extremely efficient 22/27 with 255 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against Detroit. He was just 15/28 with 133 yards, no touchdowns and two picks in the 38-3 loss to New Orleans last week.

The Packers trailed 17-14 earlier in the third quarter, which led to some premature rumblings about them beginning the season 0-2. Rodgers then threw a beautiful touchdown pass and celebrated accordingly (video here). Green Bay never looked back after that.

This may wind up being Rodgers’ last year in Green Bay, but it would be an exaggeration to say he doesn’t care about winning. The 38-year-old clearly wants to add a second championship to his resume.

Donovan McNabb’s daughter announces college commitment decision

Donovan McNabb

Donovan McNabb’s daughter Lexi inherited her mother’s and father’s athletic genes, and the University of Buffalo is set to reap the benefits.

Lexi McNabb, a guard at Seton Catholic High School in Chandler, Ariz., announced on Monday that she has accepted a scholarship offer to play basketball at Buffalo. She made an official visit to the school over the weekend with her family, according to Rachel Lenzi of The Buffalo News.

Donovan also shared the news on social media:

“Happy to announce that my baby girl @lex.m5 has committed to @ubathletics. Proud father and great staff. We’re back in Upstate NY. Let’s Go,” McNabb wrote.

Raquel Nurse McNabb, Lexi’s mother and McNabb’s wife, was also a star athlete. She played point guard at Syracuse from 1994-1998, which was around the same time Donovan was the quarterback for the Orange.

Lexi averaged 13.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.8 assists in 21 games during the 2020-21 season. She helped Seton Catholic win back-to-back Class 4A championships in Arizona.

Randy Moss has message for Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore

Randy Moss has some advice for Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Moss is one of the analysts who appear on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” program. The crew was discussing the Cowboys-Chargers game from Week 2, which led to Moss’ advice.

The Hall of Fame wide receiver said he felt the Cowboys would use too many multi-receiver formations in the past. He feels they’re best off using 12 personnel, which is a combination of one back and two tight ends.

“12 personnel, that’s the meat and potatoes. We call that ‘Tiger’ personnel too,” Moss said.

Moss noted that the Cowboys used some versions of 12 personnel that included Ezekiel Elliott, Jeremy Sprinkle and Dalton Schultz. They also mixed it up with Tony Pollard, Schultz and Blake Jarwin.

“I think it’s up to the OC Kellen Moore to be able to put a two-headed monster in the backfield and let it be successful,” Moss suggested.

Then as they went to commercial Moss repeated his advice: “12 personnel, Kellen Moore.”

The Cowboys are 1-1 so far this season. They lost to Tampa Bay in Week 1 but beat the Chargers 20-17 in Week 2. Dallas is looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, when they won the division but lost to the Rams.

Rob Gronkowski has great reason for not studying film

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski doesn’t need to waste time reading the book, because he has the best Cliffs Notes possible.

Gronk joined Peyton and Eli Manning’s telecast of “Monday Night Football” between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He was asked by Eli whether he watches film. Gronk says teammate Cameron Brate asked him if he watched film, and Gronk gave a great response.

“No, I don’t,” Gronk told Brate. “I just run by guys. If I’m feeling good, I’m feeling good. I don’t watch film. But I watch film when the team is showing it.”

So, why doesn’t Gronk watch film? Because he has Tom Brady, who watches for him. And that’s all he needs.

“Every once in a while I watch teams, like right now. And I actually do go up to Tom, because I know Tom watches I dunno, 40 hours of film a week. I go, ‘Tom, who’s covering me this week? What type of coverages are they doing?’ I go, ‘That’s why I love playing for you, Tom. You just know everything!'”

Now that is efficiency to the max. Gronk knows how to ace the test by borrowing notes from the smartest kid in class. And it works!

Now you also know why Brady is the only quarterback Gronk will play for. He’s also probably exaggerating for comedic effect, because he’s a Hall of Fame tight end and definitely smarter on the field than he lets on.

Aaron Jones has amazing jewelry tribute to his late father

Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones had a monster game for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, and he got to pay tribute to his late father with the big day.

Jones rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown. He also caught six passes for 48 yards and three touchdowns, giving him four scores in the game.

The 26-year-old is playing for his late father, who died in April due to COVID-19.

In a postgame interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the Packers’ 35-17 win over the Lions, Jones says he had some of his father’s remains with him. Yes, Jones plays with a chain that contains his father’s ashes. He actually lost the chain in the end zone after scoring one of his four touchdowns. But the best part is Jones says his father would approve of the way he lost the chain.

“I have a chain with a football and his ashes are in it,” Jones told Salters. “I scored and it fell off in the end zone. I’ll go look for it. But he’d be happy. He’d be like, ‘if you lose it anywhere, lose it in the end zone.'”

Hopefully the grounds crew could find the chain.

Jones says he is playing the season in dedication of his father, who taught him the sport and was his biggest fan.

Peyton Manning says Patriots would bug his locker

Peyton Manning

Peyton and Eli Manning continue to produce the best broadcast for “Monday Night Football” possible.

The brothers were featured on ESPN2, giving their commentary of Monday night’s Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions game. They brought in a slew of guests to join them. They offered sharp analysis as well as great wit throughout the game.

Early on, they also brought the conspiracy theories.

Peyton was noting how the Packers were running the ball frequently, which followed the suggestions they made to the team. He joked that Green Bay had them bugged.

“I feel like the Packers were listening to our conversation. I think our conversation was bugged, kind of like the Patriots used to do back in the day,” Peyton joked.

Peyton then took it further. He said that the New England Patriots used to have his locker bugged, so he wouldn’t discuss plays near it. Instead, he would go into the shower.

“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers. Don’t talk about a play next to my locker because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there. Very strange to see 7 guys hanging out in the shower,” Peyton said.

Was he being serious or joking? That’s up to you to decide.

Keep in mind, this is nothing new. Tony Dungy said in 2015 that Peyton feared the Patriots had his locker bugged. The Colts used to sweep for bugs when they played in New England. Many NFL teams used to do that but never found anything.

Maybe the Patriots were just in opponents’ heads.

Video: Aaron Rodgers does ice in veins celebration after TD pass

aaron Rodgers ice veins

Aaron Rodgers broke out a celebration after throwing a touchdown pass on Monday night.

Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers were down 17-14 early in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions. They had a 3rd-and-6 from the Detroit 22 and sent four receivers out for a pass. Rodgers threw a laser beam over the middle to Robert Tonyan, who made the catch for a 22-yard touchdown.

Rodgers was seen pointing to the veins on his inner arm afterwards to signify he has “ice in his veins.”

Maybe he was showing that Tonyan had ice in his veins for that clutch catch on third down. Either way, it was a beautiful pass from Rodgers, who gave his team its first lead of the night.