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#pounditMonday, October 18, 2021

Football

Look: Jaguars may have gotten away with huge late-game blunder

Jamal Agnew finger

The Jacksonville Jaguars came within millimeters of committing an unforgivable mistake late in their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday — or did they?

Trailing 20-17 in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville’s defense came up with a big stop around midfield to force a punt. Jaguars return man Jamal Agnew initially decided to let the ball bounce, but he appeared to change his mind and try to field it. Fortunately for the Jags, the ball bounced over Agnew’s hand and into the end zone.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores challenged the play, and for good reason. Replays showed that the ball may have grazed Agnew’s finger, but the play stood as called. Here’s a look at it:

That could have gone either way. It certainly didn’t look like there was any space between Agnew’s finger and the ball, but you can understand why the call on the field was not overturned.

The Jaguars retained possession and put together a field goal drive to tie the game at 20-20.

If you remember, Agnew is the same player who made an incredible play for the Jaguars on special teams earlier this year (video here). He got just plain lucky with his ill-advised decision on Sunday.

Jared Goff faces public criticism from coach after latest loss

Jared Goff Lions

Jared Goff had hoped a move to Detroit would revitalize his career, but it seems to be having the opposite effect.

The Lions quarterback faced public criticism from head coach Dan Campbell following Sunday’s 34-11 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Campbell made clear that it was hard to judge Goff because of the lack of talent within the offense. However, Campbell added that Goff needs to “step up” and made clear that the quarterback was not blameless in the team’s struggles.

“I don’t feel like we can accurately judge him one way or another — I don’t feel that way yet,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I feel like he needs to step up more than he has. And I think he needs to help us. Just like everybody else. And I think he’s going to need to put a little bit of weight on his shoulders here and it’s time to step up and make some throws and do some things. But he needs help.

“And look, I told him out there, he knows this, but some of that stuff, we’re getting these holding calls, well, it’s cause he’s drifting back in the pocket 10 yards deep. That’s not fair to those guys either, if you hang onto the ball. It’s like I told you, this is a collective effort now. Everything goes hand in hand, but I want to see him step up, I do. Cause I think he can do it.”

It’s not exactly a vote of confidence. Goff tallied only 202 yards despite 28 completions, and 120 of those yards came on the team’s final two garbage time possessions. He also has eight turnovers in six games. He has taken a generally conservative approach on offense, partly due to his lack of weapons, but at some point he has to take some shots downfield.

Goff thought it was very unfair that the Los Angeles Rams moved him and planned to use it as motivation. So far, he’s only proving that the Rams were right to upgrade at the position.

Kliff Kingsbury will not coach Cardinals on Sunday due to positive COVID test

Kliff Kingsbury

The Arizona Cardinals will face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday without head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

The Cardinals announced Friday that Kingsbury has tested positive for Covid and will not coach Sunday. Quarterbacks coach Cam Turner and defensive lineman Zach Allen also tested positive and will miss the game.

With Kingsbury at home, Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will split the head coaching duties. Other assistants will pitch in as needed. Joseph has head coaching experience, having spent two seasons as the Denver Broncos’ head coach.

The news is not great timing for the 5-0 Cardinals, who are traveling to Cleveland for a significant game. The Browns will be looking to get back on track after a 47-42 loss last week.

Cleveland will be able to sympathize with Kingsbury. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski had to miss a playoff game last season for the same reason, and he did not like it one bit.

Aaron Rodgers named Bears’ owner in funny Wikipedia edit

Aaron Rodgers taunts Bears fans

It did not take long for Aaron Rodgers to trash talk himself into becoming the actual owner of the Chicago Bears … at least on Wikipedia.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback delivered the viral moment of the week when he taunted Bears fans during Sunday’s divisional win over Chicago. Rodgers scrambled for a key rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter and rubbed it in by telling the home fans, “I still own you!”

The Chicago Bears’ Wikipedia page reflected just as much after the game. In light of Rodgers’ taunt, he was briefly listed as the owner of the Bears.

Another funny edit had Bears head coach Matt Nagy listed on Wikipedia as Rodgers’ son.

Though the taunt served as a bit of revenge, in reality, Rodgers can make a pretty strong case to be Bears owner. He is now 22-5 against them for his NFL career. Regardless, the reigning NFL MVP Rodgers probably prefers this Wikipedia edit to the last one that he was a part of.

Twitter reacts to Urban Meyer getting first NFL win

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer finally got his first ever NFL win on Sunday, and the Jacksonville Jaguars coach deserved it with the call he made at the end of the game.

The Jaguars had the ball at the Miami 44-yard line on 4th-and-8 with the score tied 20-20 and just five seconds remaining. Rather than have rookie kicker Matthew Wright attempt a 61-yard field goal, Meyer had Trevor Lawrence and his offense line up in a Hail Mary formation. But there was no Hail Mary attempt.

With the Dolphins lined up in a deep prevent defense, Lawrence completed a quick 9-yard pass to Laviska Shenault Jr., who immediately went down and called timeout with 1 second left.

Wright then came on and made a 53-yard field goal to win the game. The execution had to be perfect, and it was. The Jaguars would have turned it over on downs had Shenault come up short of the first-down marker.

Thanks to the savvy play design, Meyer got his first ever win. The Jaguars also snapped a 20-game losing streak. Twitter had a variety of reactions:

And our personal favorite:

The Jaguars may have gotten away with a massive late-game blunder (video here), but all that matters is the final score. Meyer has finally generated a positive headline in Jacksonville.

Funny video shows Vita Vea struggling with his postgame jersey exchange

Vita Vea jersey

NFL players often swap jerseys with opponents after games as a show of respect, but Vita Vea reminded us on Thursday night that the process isn’t an easy one for a 350-pound defensive tackle.

Vea swapped jerseys with Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jordan Mailata following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 28-22 win. The process seemed quite challenging. While Leonard Fournette was being interviewed by FOX, Vea was shown in the background struggling to get his jersey off. He eventually needed some help. Check out the hilarious video:

The NFL banned players from swapping jerseys last season, so this is the stuff we were missing out on. Vea had better have an equipment manager on standby the next time he wants to trade jerseys with someone.

Bill Belichick shown with cuts on his face – nose and lips

Bill Belichick with a cut on his nose and lips

What happened to Bill Belichick’s face? That is what people who watched Sunday’s New England Patriots-Dallas Cowboys game were wondering.

CBS’ cameras showed a few closeups of Belichick as the game was winding down over the final few minutes. The Patriots head coach was seen with a cut on the bridge of his nose. His lips also appeared to be bloody.

CBS’ announcing team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo did not comment on Belichick’s face. The only thing they did was show something about the marathons Belichick and his girlfriend Linda Holliday participate in.

This is the second time in a few weeks that the face of a Belichick coach drew attention. Last time it was Bill’s son Steve getting attention for the faces he made on the sideline (seen here). This time it’s Bill’s beat-up looking face that had people wondering what was going on.

He also could be seen wiping blood from his mouth at points.

Jon Gruden’s email comment about Colin Kaepernick draws attention

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden was forced to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders this week after numerous offensive remarks he made in private emails were leaked to the media. A strong opinion Gruden expressed about Colin Kaepernick has also drawn attention.

The topic of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest came up in the emails Gruden exchanged with former Washington team executive Bruce Allen. Both expressed anger over Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem to call attention to police brutality. In an email that was sent on Aug. 28, 2016, Gruden said Kaepernick should be cut.

“They suspend people for taking amino acids they should cut this f—,” Gruden wrote to Allen, via Henry Bushnell and Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports.

Allen responded that he had already “expressed my OUTRAGE” over the Kaepernick protests. Gruden then sent back, “Good for you.”

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 season and has not played since. Most people believe that the protests played a role in him not finding another job in the NFL, though his overall on-field performance was mediocre at best.

Kaepernick reached a confidential settlement with the NFL in 2019 after accusing the league of collusion in a lawsuit.

You can read more about the Gruden email leaks here.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Watch: Jamal Adams botched potentially huge interception

Jamal Adams dropped INT

The Seattle Seahawks lost a tough game to the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime on Sunday night, and Jamal Adams has to be kicking himself over blowing an opportunity he had to change the outcome.

Adams had a pass from Ben Roethlisberger hit him right in the face with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. He read the route perfectly and broke on the ball, but for some reason he wasn’t ready to come up with the interception.

The Steelers went on to kick a field goal on the drive to take a 20-17 lead. Seattle tied it up at 20-20 as time expired in the fourth quarter but lost in overtime. The Seahawks would have been in a much better position to win had Adams come up with the pick.

Mistakes happen, but Adams’ big blunder happened to come on a night where he declared himself “the best in the nation” in his “Sunday Night Football” player intro. Twitter had a field day with that:

Adams is a great tackler and is great in run support, but he struggles in pass coverage. He’s also extremely confident in his abilities, as evidenced by his player intro. That’s why fans were happy to jump all over him when he botched a huge play.

While Adams certainly isn’t the first defensive back we have seen with a brutal dropped interception, his mistake couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Patrick Mahomes’ mother lobbies for rule change after QB’s interception

Patrick Mahomes mother Randi

Patrick Mahomes continued his recent struggles in Sunday’s game against Washington, but he threw an interception early on that was not his fault. His mother wants the stat sheet to reflect that.

Mahomes threw an interception deep in Washington territory early in the second quarter. The ball should have been caught, as it was right on-target and bounced off Tyreek Hill’s hands.

Mahomes’ mother, Randi, had no problem throwing Hill under the bus. She immediately took to Twitter and lobbied for the NFL to stop counting passes that bounce off receivers’ hands as interceptions.

That’s not going to happen, mom.

Mahomes threw another pick deep in the red zone near the end of the first half. His mother didn’t have anything to say about that one, which is no surprise considering it may have been the worst pick of the Kansas City Chiefs star’s career.

The Chiefs simply have not been able to find a rhythm this season. Their defense has been horrible, but that wasn’t the issue on Sunday. It seems like Steve Young was spot on with his harsh assessment of the reigning AFC champs last week.