– Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Packers to to a 31-25 victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. He was also awarded with the Super Bowl MVP award. A-Rodge was automatic, displaying precise timing and anticipation while fitting the ball into tight spaces throughout the game. A few wideouts had some potentially big plays that were foiled by drops on good passes, otherwise he’d probably have reached 400 yards and 4 TDs–all against the league’s best defence. The Pack scored 21 points off Pittsburgh’s three turnovers, with the last of Rodgers’ 3 TDs slowing the Steelers’ momentum and producing an 11-point lead. Rodgers thoroughly outplayed QB Ben Roethlisberger, posting a 111.5 passer rating to Big Ben’s 77.4. With a ring and a Super Bowl MVP under his belt, Rodgers is officially considered an elite NFL QB.
Meanwhile, WR Jordy Nelson went off for 9 receptions, 140 yards and a TD. Nelson just destroyed William Gay tonight, as he was targeted 15 times. Nelson started the scoring with a 29-yard TD over Gay, and his 38-yard catch-and-run set up WR Greg Jennings’ second touchdown. If not for three drops and a near catch on a diving end-zone attempt, Nelson would have had 200+ yards and 2 TDs. With WR James Jones due to hit free agency and WR Donald Driver losing a step, Nelson is in line for a nice season next year.
CB Charles Woodson (broken collarbone) left early. “I’m a champion. It doesn’t matter.” Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers’ leader tried to address his teammates at halftime but was too emotional to continue. The 34-year-old Pro Bowler has a full offseason to recover.
– Vic Lombardi of CBS-4 Denver reports that Broncos’ WR Eddie Royal (hip) recently underwent surgery and is expected to miss 6 months. Royal was slowed by a groin injury in the first half of the season, which may have led to issues with the hip. The 6-month recovery schedule puts Royal in a tough spot heading into camp. Even if he’s ready for the start of the regular season, he’ll probably have a slow start.
– Redskins’ WR Santana Moss’ contract is set to void on Friday. That will make him a UFA once a new CBA is agreed to. Moss hauled in a career-high 93 receptions in 2010, but averaged just 12 yards per catch. Even though he’s really only a slot/possession receiver at this point, it’s hard to believe a Redskins team lacking in impact receivers will let Moss walk. If he hits the open market, Moss would generate a lot of interest.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday NFL Countdown that the Cardinals have consulted WR Larry Fitzgerald about what they should do at quarterback this offseason. Fitz’s “first recommendation” was to pursue Eagles’ QB Kevin Kolb. He reportedly also “brought up” free agent QB Marc Bulger. With Fitz entering into the final year of his current contract, the Cardinals can be expected to take what he says to heart as they look to begin talks on a new deal.
– Bruins’ F Marc Savard (concussion) will be shut down for the season due to a concussion, and will likely not doing anything hockey-related until September at the absolute earliest. Not surprising, considering Savard’s recent history of head injuries. Savard, 32, recently suffered his second concussion in less than one month. He is still experiencing headaches, irritability and dizziness as a result of his latest concussion two weeks later, and appears to be suffering from the same post-concussion syndrome symptoms that hampered him last season and again this summer. In 25 games this season, he finishes with 2 goals and 10 points with a -7 rating. We wish him the best in his recovery.
– The injury to Devils’ G Martin Brodeur (kee) isn’t actually a knee bruise, but rather a “tweak,” although he did state that he didn’t feel it was major. “I just kind of tweaked my knee when my leg got caught up under me there in the first. When I got up I kind of felt a little twinge under my knee.” Stay tuned.
– The Avalanche have officially signed F Peter Forsberg for the remainder of the season. Forsberg, 37, helped the Avalanche win two Stanley Cup championships during his 11 seasons with the franchise. He captured the 2003 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP after leading the league with 106 points (29g/77a) in 75 games that year. The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native also earned the Art Ross Trophy in 2003, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1994-95, was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team on three occasions (1997-98, 1998-99 and 2002-03) and was selected to seven NHL All-Star Games.
– Capitals’ coach Bruce Boudreau had some strong words about the alleged knee-on-knee hit delivered by Penguins’ F Matt Cooke on F Alex Ovechkin towards the end of Sunday’s game. “It was Matt Cooke. Need we say more? It’s not like it’s his first rodeo. He’s done it to everybody and then he goes to the ref and says: ‘What did I do?’ He knows damn well what he did. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s good at it and he knows how to do it. He knows how to pick this stuff. We as a league, we still buy into this [idea] that, ‘Oh it was an accidental thing.’”
– Rangers’ 3B Michael Young “has grown disillusioned with his diminished role on the team” and and the Rangers will attempt to trade him in the coming week, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. The Rangers have been in contact with the Rockies and Angels about Young, with Colorado being the most talked-about and likely destination. The Denver Post’s Troy Renck reported earlier that the Rockies are requesting that the Rangers pay roughly $20M of the $48M remaining on Young’s contract, which we think is more than fair. He posted a .774 OPS last season to go with mediocre defense at the hot corner. Young, 34, has his 10-and-5 rights beginning in May. Expectba trade in the near future.
– Magic’ F Brandon Bass (ankle) is progressing faster than expected and could return as soon as Friday, according to beat writer Dan Savage. If Bass sits out just 10 more days, he’ll have the whole All-Star break to get back to 100%. They desperately need Bass’ size and rebounding back in the lineup, though.
– Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers said that F Shaquille O’Neal (Achilles, hip) could be shut down through the All-Star break. Shaq won’t play against the Magic today or the Bobcats on Monday. He’ll then be reevaluated for the final three games before the break. O’Neal does not have any serious ailments, just general wear-and-tear.
– Wrestling journalist Mike Mooneyham, a longtime friend of Nature Boy Ric Flair, is reporting that Flair is owed a “considerable amount” of backpay by TNA Wrestling. TNA owing Flair money is said to be the reason for Flair’s dispute with company officials on the recent European tour. According to Mooneyham, Flair felt disrespected by TNA on the tour and asked them for advance pay based on them owing him money for future dates on the tour and money unrelated to the tour. After Flair was denied the money, he was told the reason management would not advance any pay to talent is because former TNA star Dustin “Goldust” Runnels took advantage of TNA by getting money advanced and they no longer do this. Flair was offended and asked, “Am I Dustin Rhodes? Is that my spot in the company?”
It’s been reported that Flair has been asking co-workers to borrow money at bars, which Mooneyham says is untrue.
– TNA star Kurt Angle wrote the following on Twitter regarding this week’s TNA iMPACT!:
“The “Jarrett” segments on TNA Impact were appalling. It made me look like a dead beat Dad, which I am not (I can assure you). And it made Karen and Jeff look like the perfect American Family. MY kids were calling Jeff “Daddy Jeff”.
“NOBODY will ever replace me as the Father of my kids. You want me to look like the bad person? Don’t forget who wanted the divorce! I didn’t walk away from my family, Karen did. So keep your little “act” going on TV. It’s amusing to me, but don’t think for a million years that my fans are buying this crap.”
– Paul Heyman wrote the following on Twitter on Saturday night during UFC 126 regarding Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar:
“It’s funny. Vince McMahon hated when I called Brock Lesnar “The Next Big Thing!” HATED IT. WANTED ME TO STOP CALLING BROCK THAT NAME! I’ll tell that whole story … and a lot more … in the book this year. Brock comments on it in his book, too. It was a real war to get Vince to let me keep calling Brock “The Next Big Thing!””
– In addition to World Heavyweight Champion Edge, the SmackDown brand’s Elimination Chamber Match at WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV event will include Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre – all of whom claimed their opportunity in a series of Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches on SmackDown. “Acting” SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero used her authority to automatically insert her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, into the bout.