Loser Talk Angers Rodgers; Another Terrible Staley Decision That Worked; Cowboys QB Non-Issue

I don’t know if Aaron Rodgers has read the Bible where it says the power of life and death is in the tongue, or maybe he’s into some metaphysical stuff, but the guy is convinced one can manifest blessings and cursing, success and failure, by speaking them into existence.

And a misstep by a teammate on that front had Rodgers seemingly more upset Sunday than the Packers’ 27-22 loss to the New York Giants.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Oshane Ximines #53 of the New York Giants and fumbles the ball in the fourth quarter during the NFL match between New York Giants and Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Here’s what happened: Cornerback Jaire Alexander told reporters he wasn’t worried about the Green Bay defense despite its role in a second-half collapse against New York.

“I ain’t worried, but if we lose next week, then I’ll be worried,” Alexander said.

Aaron Rogers Got Fired Up

The Packers play the New York Jets next week and the idea that one of his teammates raised the possibility of losing that game a week out lit Rodgers up.

“Frankly, I don’t like all this conversation about losing next week,” Rodgers said. “I’m a firm believer in the power of words and manifestation. And we’ve got to check ourselves on that, because talking about that is not winning football. There was conversation about it in the locker room, and I don’t like it. And [Jaire’s] my guy, but we don’t need to be talking like that.

“I understand there’s a reality to this game and it’s a win and loss in every single game. But there’s also a reality in life that what you put your energy towards, that’s where your focus is going to go. So I’m not going address prospects of losing up here, other than we just lost this game.”

Look, winners think and talk like winners.

Losers typically think and talk like losers.

And Rodgers obviously buys into that being true even before a game is played.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 10: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at SoFi Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Brandon Staley Gets Lucky

Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley has over the past year gotten the reputation for going for it on fourth down come what may. He actually went for it on fourth down from his own 18-yard line in a key game against Las Vegas last year.

And it didn’t work.

He was back at it Sunday afternoon when the Chargers, clinging to a 30-28 lead over the Cleveland Browns with 1:14 to play, went for it on fourth down from their own 45 yard line.

Understand … Chargers make it, game over.

But Chargers fail, the Browns win this game with two short completions and a field goal.

Well, the Chargers didn’t convert. And it doesn’t matter the Browns only got one completion and missed a 54-yard field goal for the win.

It was still a terrible decision by Staley.

“I just wanted to finish the game with the ball,” he said afterward. “I felt like we liked the play and we liked the matchup. We knew what coverage they were going to be in. We wanted to finish the game on our terms on third down. We felt like we had a good runup against that defense. We had a pass solution. They defended it well. Then on fourth down, it just really felt like the slant to (WR) Mike (Williams) was going to be the play call there. It just didn’t go down for us, but I had a lot of confidence in our defense to go out there and get them stopped.”

Not All Chargers Are On Board

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, inactive for the game because he’s injured, didn’t love his coach’s decision.

And guess what? Allen is right.

In wanting to put the outcome of the game in his players’ hands, Staley actually accomplished the opposite. He had to rely on an opposing kicker failing to bail out his failed decision to go for it on fourth down instead of punting and playing defense from deep inside Cleveland territory.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 09: Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys drags his feet to stay in bounds after catching the ball against Derion Kendrick #6 of the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Cowboys DO NOT Have QB Controversy

Multiple media outlets — including this one — have asked if Cooper Rush might continue to be the Dallas Cowboys quarterback even after Dak Prescott is healthy enough to return.

And those questions are likely to grow louder following Sunday’s beating of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams because, well, Rush has been the starter four games. And the Cowboys have won all four.

But, folks, let’s be real. Rush and the Cowboys offense had a 6-0 lead Sunday before they stepped on the field. The way coach Mike McCarthy has managed the offense has changed and that included running the football 34 times while passing it only 16 times.

So, yes, Cooper Rush is great in small, controlled doses.

But what’s really winning in Dallas is great defense and a balanced offense that leans on running the football.

Which leads me to the truth about what’s going to happen once Prescott is healthy:

Dak Prescott will start for the Dallas Cowboys as soon as he can grip a football without concern he’ll hurt his team in a game or hurt himself.

And that might be as early as next Sunday night’s game at Philadelphia against the undefeated Eagles for the NFC East lead.

Jerry Jones Speaks His Mind

“Dak is the No. 1 quarterback,” club owner and general manager Jerry Jones said when pressed by reporters. “Dak is our guy. But isn’t it great that somebody came in and played well enough so that we can ask that question? That’s my point.”

The actual reason Prescott is not yet in the lineup has nothing to do with Rush. It has to do with his injury. And his healing is progressing but not to the point anyone can guarantee his return Sunday.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Jones said of his starting quarterback. “He’s feeling good, made a lot of improvement. He’ll throw a lot this week.”

And when he’s ready, he’ll start.

As expected.

Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin Gift Black Air Force 1s Reaction
Mike Tomlin means business. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Mike Tomlin’s Perspective

The Buffalo Bills simply rolled over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 38-3 in what was billed in Pittsburgh as the Kenny Pickett debut game because it was his first NFL start.

Pickett, like most other players wearing black and gold, was not good enough — he completed 34 of 52 passes for 327 yards and 1 interception.

And afterward reporters asked coach Mike Tomlin what he thought of his rookie quarterback’s first start.

“I thought he was highly competitive,” Tomlin said. “But I’m not dissecting it in this way as I stand here right now. We got smashed, and that’s the only perspective that I have.

“I understand the nature of your question. It’s his first start, so you’ve got to write a story, etc.., but football is the ultimate team game. That’s why we all love it so much. That’s why we all respect it so much. And we got smashed as a collective today. So, I don’t have a lot of individual analysis.”

Love it.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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