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Aaron Rodgers won’t land MVP vote from one balloter who believes Packers QB is ‘biggest jerk in the league’

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As the 2021 regular season races toward the playoffs, the usual dialogue regarding who deserves the annual NFL MVP honor is officially at full throat. There are several worthy adversaries, from newcomers to the conversation like running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Cooper Kupp, to usual suspects in Tom Brady and reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers. And after the Green Bay Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC last week — for the second consecutive season — it’s Rodgers who is beginning to pull away from the pack, but one MVP voter in particular vehemently disagrees.

Hub Arkush, a Chicago sportscaster, analyst and executive editor of Pro Football Weekly, recently disclosed to 670 The Score in Chicago that there is no way Rodgers will earn his MVP vote this season. As for why that is, well, he has his reasons.

“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Arkush said, via USA Today. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. And so, from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice.”

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Arkush is undoubtedly referencing the in-season scandal that involved Rodgers using doublespeak regarding his vaccination status — labeling himself in the offseason as “immunized” — a move that created a firestorm between the Packers and the league after it was realized he was unvaccinated (following a positive COVID-19 test) and had broken NFL protocols. He’d go on to miss the Week 9 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the only three losses on the Packers record, before returning the following week to take on the Seattle Seahawks.

Rodgers was not suspended for his actions, but Arkush isn’t letting the matter go. He’ll hold Rodgers’ feet to the fire when it comes time for MVP voting to commence, and much to the chagrin of many around the league. 

“And we let guys like [Arkush] vote for awards and All-Pro. Real flaw system,” said two-time All-Pro cornerback Casey Hayward, via Twitter. “Trash system of picking who votes.”

Former two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long joined the fray as well, skewering Arkush for his decision.

“This is dumb,” Long wrote, via Twitter. “He lied, the cancellation boogeyman isn’t real, but this is dumb. Also, if you think he’s the biggest jerk in the league, you don’t know players. He’s the MVP. 

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“This is about football.”

Arkush may not be the only voter with this train of thought, but he’s the one who said it out loud and, as such, the aforementioned boogeyman is now at his door. 

The public shaming didn’t stop with Hayward and Long though, and not by any stretch of the imagination, with players and media members alike taking aim at Arkush for allowing his personal feelings about a player to override his assessment of MVP-caliber play. That said, it’s not the first time such a thing has happened in the NFL (ask Terrell Owens about his Hall of Fame process) and certainly won’t be the last, but Rodgers will likely garner more than enough votes to land the award for a second consecutive season.

But it has zero chance of being unanimous. 

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What Would It Take For The Nuggets To Win A Title?

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(Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)

 

The Denver Nuggets have assembled a very strong squad over the last few years.

They boast two-time reigning regular season MVP Nikola Jokic, a throwback wide-bodied center who is a load to deal with in the paint but can also handle the ball and facilitate a bit like some other modern big men.

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In the backcourt, they have Jamal Murray, who has become an All-Star caliber point guard and has shown some ability to go off in big games.

Denver also has Michael Porter Jr., a forward whom many feel has All-Star potential, plus strong supporting players such as Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Jeff Green.

Many expect the Nuggets to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, assuming Murray and Porter, both of whom are coming off serious injuries, return to their pre-injury form.

But are the Nuggets legitimate championship contenders, or just a bit short of that category?

They can win it all, but there is a checklist of things that would need to happen.

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Jokic Needs To Maintain His MVP Form

Jokic, the 27-year-old Serbian native, is one of the most unique players ever, as he doesn’t just score and rebound at a high level.

He is also one of the league’s best passers, despite being a 6-foot-11, 284-pound center who isn’t too mobile.

He averaged 7.9 assists per game last season, and the year before that he put up 8.3 dimes a game.

Outside of perhaps Wilt Chamberlain, who actually led the entire NBA in assists one year, and Bill Walton, Jokic is probably the best passing big man ever.

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One thing Jokic can and should improve on is his 3-point shooting, which has fluctuated throughout his seven-year career.

In the 2021-22 season, he made just 33.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, but the year before, he shot a robust 38.8 percent from deep.

 

Murray Needs To Be His Best Self

In the 2019-20 season, his last fully healthy season, Murray put up fine regular season numbers of 18.5 points and 4.8 assists per game.

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But during the playoffs, he went into volcano mode, averaging 26.5 points a contest on 50.5 percent overall shooting and 45.3 percent from 3-point range.

In that postseason, he had four 40-point-plus games, as well as two 50-point outings.

When Denver upset the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the second round and overcame a 3-1 series deficit, Murray led the way with 40 points on 15-of-26 shooting.

He improved to 21.2 points a game the following season while significantly boosting his 3-point shooting accuracy before an ACL injury ended his year late in the schedule.

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For the Nuggets to win the world title, Murray has to continue where he left off in 2021 while putting up huge playoff games when they really need him to.

 

Better Depth

The Nuggets are not a particularly deep team, and so, they will need some unheralded men to step up.

The backcourt and wing rotations look solid, but they could use some better depth up front.

As of now, Jokic’s main backup will be DeAndre Jordan, who is 34 and coming off a season with the Los Angeles Lakers in which he looked washed.

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If Jordan doesn’t cut it, Denver will be at a sizable disadvantage when Jokic is resting.

The team could also use one more serviceable forward with legitimate forward height.

As of now, Bruce Brown is slated to be its backup 3, and even though he’s a solid 3-and-D player, he is just 6-foot-4.

The post What Would It Take For The Nuggets To Win A Title? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark

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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

Thanks to the recent slide of the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers now have the best record in all of baseball and are dominating everybody in their path.

After signing Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers became instant favorites to win another World Series title, just as they did in 2020.

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They’re in a good position to potentially do that again.

Last night, they opened up a series against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.

They had learned of some tough news earlier in the day when it was revealed that Walker Buehler would be out for the rest of the season.

But that didn’t stop Julio Urias, who dominated the Brewers for five innings and led the way as the Dodgers became the first team in all of baseball to reach 80 wins.

 

80 Wins For The Dodgers

Once again, these Dodgers are at the top of the heap.

Even with all of the injuries they have dealt with, they remain as one of the top teams in all of baseball.

Even more impressive, they’ve picked up their 80th win before they even reached 40 losses on the year.

They expanded their lead in the NL West to 17 games.

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They’ve effectively buried the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants.

The new “Evil Empire” resides in Los Angeles now.

This is one of, if not the best team in all of baseball from top to bottom.

The wins keep piling up.

Despite the end of their 12-game winning streak, they remain hot and are showing no signs of slowing down.

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The Dodgers are going to be a tough team to deal with come October, which is where they always shine the brightest.

The post The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins ‘continues to improve’; John Harbaugh not ready to commit to RB’s Week 1 status yet

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J.K. Dobbins continues to progress in his rehab from last season’s ACL injury that took away his entire sophomore season in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens are still being cautious with Dobbins, giving him two off days to rest up the knee before ramping things back up Monday. 

Dobbins looked good when he participated in team drills, yet didn’t take any snaps against a live defense. John Harbaugh still liked what he’s seen from his starting running back. 

“He looked good. He’s kind of back on track, and I thought he looked a little better than he did before – last week,” Harbaugh said Monday. “So, he continues to improve, and we’ll see where it goes.”

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Are the Ravens going to ramp things up every practice to get Dobbins ready for the season? Harbaugh still doesn’t have a timetable if Dobbins will be ready for Week 1, staying noncommittal amid the rehab process. 

“I think it depends on the injury and just the improvement with it – the progress he makes from one day to the next,” Harbaugh said. “That remains to be seen.”

Dobbins returned to practice a week ago, and insisted he’ll be ready for the season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 11. He’ll be a vital part of the offense when he returns. 

Dobbins was dominant in his rookie season, leading all NFL running backs in yards per carry (6.01) while setting a Ravens’ rookie record with nine rushing touchdowns (third amongst all NFL rookies). His 805 rushing yards were also third among rookie running backs as Dobbins finished with a franchise-record seven consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. 

Dobbins closed out the regular season with six consecutive games of 50-plus rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, tying Eric Dickerson (1983) and Franco Harris (1972) for the longest rookie streak of its kind since the AFL-NFL merger. Dobbins is one of just six running backs to have 800 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns, and 6.0 yards per carry in a season — and the first rookie to accomplish the feat. 

The Ravens are deep in running back depth with Gus Edwards, Mike Davis, Justice Hill, and Tyler Badie — yet having Dobbins at 100% would be a game changer for a team that’s expected to compete for the AFC North title. Baltimore is taking a cautious approach with Dobbins with the depth of its running back room — and can afford to be patient in order to get Dobbins ready for Week 1. 

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