5-at-10: Great parade, NFL power poll, questions abound about Rodgers’ injury on MNF

Photo by the Mrs. 5-at-10 / A Cobra helicopter flies over Monday's parade in downtown Chattanooga. The Cobra was the same model used by Capt. Larry Taylor when he saved four soldiers during the Vietnam War. Taylor, who got the Congressional Medal of Honor last week, was honored at the 9/11 parade. Mrs. 5-at-10 has mad talent; the 5-at-10 knows a lot of movie quotes. So there's that.

Power poll

It's Tuesday, and the NFL is here. That means one thing around these parts.

But before make our way to the power poll, visor tip to all involved with Monday's awesome parade and tribute to Capt. Larry Taylor. It was really cool.

We also have to discuss the unreal theater that happened before America's eyes on Monday Night Football.

So Aaron Rodgers — the most ballyhooed off-season New York sports acquisition since Reggie Jackson came east and put on pinstripes — lasted four plays with the Jets.

Four. He left with what is being reported as an Achilles' injury, which of course would end his season and potentially his career.

Someone needs to check on Mike Greenberg this morning.

That said, I watched the drama with Peyton and Eli, and I was routinely surprised by how great those guys are. They rarely discussed the actual real-time play, rather they spent time dissecting the plays and the players.

And know this: As heart-breaking as Rodgers' career potentially ending right in front of our eyes, when Peyton asked "Who is the Jets' back-up QB, Richard Todd? Or Ken O'Brien?" I laughed out loud.

Let's get to the power poll.

1. Dallas. Watching that defense turn the other New York football offense into mush was overwhelming. Side question: Who is happier right now, Dallas fans who can repeat the famed Jimmie Johnson quote, "How bout dem Cowboys?" or TV executives who salivate at the idea of the Cowboys — already the biggest draw — potentially being the best team in the NFL?

2. San Francisco. If Dallas had the most complete win, the 49ers were a close second with their thrashing of the Steelers. It also makes you wonder, if the Steelers had it to do over again, would they draft Brock Purdy, who went with the last pick but looks every bit the part of QB1 with San Fran, rather than Kenny Pickett with that first-round selection a few years ago? Discuss.

3. Green Bay. Yeah, pretty shocking that the shock and "awe (bleep)" from Jets fans after Rodgers' injury actually make the decision-makers in Green Bay look even smarter. That, and Jordan Love's solid showing in a one-sided win over Chicago.

4. Detroit. Yeah, Detroit. Who had a better Week 1 victory than the Lions' come-from-behind W at Kansas City?

5. Cleveland. Yep, the Browns are the class of the AFC after a dominating defensive showing against an overmatched Bengals bunch. Yep, just like we all expected.


28. Cincinnati. Yes, I think the Bengals are going to be there until the end. And the best news for Cincy was that its other AFC heavyweight foes in Buffalo and K.C. also lost. But dang, 3 points with Joey Touchdown and JaMarr Chase on the field is criminally poor coaching.

29. Seattle. That's the Geno Smith I remember. Welcome back my man.

30. Houston. Get comfortable Texans fans, you're going to be here for a while. And at least you will find out if CJ Stroud is a QB1 and if not, there are a slew of dudes in next spring's draft who are.

31. Carolina. The Falcons were not overly impressive. In fact, not getting the ball to Kyle Pitts more is a fireable offense Arthur Smith. But the Panthers are rotten. And Bryce Young continued an amazing streak in that No. 1 overall QB picks are 0-14-1 in their first start dating back to David Carr winning his debut with Houston in 2002.

32. New York Giants. Man, all that rigmarole from Saquan Barkley and the rest of the RB1s about not getting their due sure feels like hyperbole at this point. Barkley in prime time against the Cowboys Sunday night had 15 touches for 63 total yards with as many scores as a middle schooler posting up Shaq.

Speaking of Rodgers

So we were correct with our assessment. Mike Greenberg, renowned ESPN host on TV and radio, breaker-upper of Mike & Mike and arguably the biggest New York Jets fan on the planet, lasted about 15 seconds before going full fan and bemoaning what is thought to be a season-ending injury to Aaron Rodgers.

Here's the clip from the opening segment of "Get Up" this morning on ESPN proper.

Of course it leads with Rodgers' injury. Every sports report for the next few days will and likely should.

Rodgers was the biggest off-season signing in quite some time. He is a no-doubt-about-it first ballot Hall of Fame. He has dated Hollywood starlets and one-name sports stars. He plays in NYC for a team that was just on "Hard Knocks" and rightly entertained Super Bowl aspirations.

It's a big deal in the biggest entertainment monolith in the free world.

But how many of us thought about Mike Greenberg last night when the injury happened, and is that a good thing?

Should hosts be that connected to a team? Yes, Greenie is not a reporter like Woj or Schefter who break news. Yes, I am guilty of some of that, too — on a much smaller scale of course — but you guys know where I went to school and that I spent way too much of Sunday morning stressing about a football game in Berkley, California.

But is the depths of crossing that line worrisome in a media culture where everyone screams bias whether there is bias or not?

I am asking for your thoughts because on one hand, Mike Greenberg's job is to create connections and in turn loyalty with viewers and listeners, and he does that as well as anyone in sports media.

But is it too much (or even a bad thing for said media personality) when something like that happens and you wonder, "Man, I hope Greenie is OK."

Speaking of Rodgers again

So, this also should be discussed in the wake of Rodgers' injury as we await word on whether it's a calf strain (best case scenario, but highly doubtful considering he was carted off) or an Achilles injury:

Should the online sites refund any season prop bets because of the injury?

Rodgers was a trendy (cough-cough, ahem) MVP pick at plus-1600 before the season. (Side note: If the Jets finish 1-16, he could make a case for that, still, I suppose.)

The Jets were among the AFC hot picks to get to the Super Bowl at plus-1000 behind the Chiefs and Bengals and right there with the Bills and others.

Last night, I was on the over. That felt doomed as soon as Greenie started drinking heavily. Zach Wilson was not getting us to 46 total points.

And injuries happen of course, so the in-game stuff is a win or lose kind of deal.

But here's betting that a lot of conversations in the offices of DraftKings and FanDuel and the other online operators are being had about this very topic.

And the swing variable is whether the money that would be refunded is worth the good will and free pub the refunds would generate.


This and that

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on Saban's reaction to last weekend's home loss. Yeah, still kind of mind-blowing to think a 10-point loss is his worst home loss since his early days at LSU two decades ago, but there's that.

— While we're talking about Alabama, anyone want to lay odds that either Wednesday in his call-in show or Thursday Saban unloads on the importance of Alabama ponying up and getting neck deep in the NIL race ASAP?

— Braves played. Twice. Braves won, and Braves lost. Braves scored a lot of runs, which they are apt to do these days. Are we in a place to discuss if Matt Olson's 2023 > Freddie Freeman's 2023? Discuss, and here's betting each finishes in the top five in the MVP voting. Olson has 50 dingers, and as Maddux and Glavine told us many moons ago, "Chicks dig the long ball."

— OK, Mel Tucker has responded — directly and energetically — to the allegations made by Brenda Tracy of sexual harassment and Title IX violations. It's the kind of denial that deserves attention. It also brings up the very real and pertinent questions of why Michigan State has dragged its feet in this matter. And how anyone involved in type of leadership at Michigan State could not realize that after the Larry Nassar nightmares, matters like this must be addressed post haste.

— Forget the big boys, if you are a Power 5 program like Auburn or even Tennessee, you know that Alabama and Georgia can swoop in at almost any time with almost any recruit before the letter is signed. That's standard operating procedure these days. But everyone — Georgia and Alabama included — better keep their head on a swivel on what's happening with Coach Prime in Boulder friends.

Today's questions

True or false, it's Tuesday. Morning, Ernie.

True or false, you attended the parade Monday. I was there.

True or false, the Mrs. takes a mighty impressive photo.

True or false, the Manning MegaCast needs to be on the Westminster Dog Show later this year.

True or false, you are OK with media members being fans.

True or false, you believe Mel Tucker.

True or false, betting sites should refund Rogers MVP prop bets?

True or false, Dallas is the best team in the NFL.

As for today, Sept. 12, let's review.

On this day 42 years ago, "The Smurfs" debuted. I vote foe on Smurfs.

Jesse Owens would have been 110 today.

Paul Walker would have been 50.

Does Paul Walker make the Rushmore of modern actors who died way too young?