Technically talking, Rashard Mendenhall did fumble the ball in Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. But Mendenhall strongly believes he shouldn’t be held chargeable for the play, inserting the blame elsewhere. That’s what he tweeted out Sunday morning, on his birthday no much less, defending his notorious second.
I by no means fumbled that ball… #SBXLV
My coaches would really feel like assholes to say that I did, I by no means did.
I was SEPARATED from the ball, 4 yards into the backfield.
That’s the RB equal of a strip-sack.
There’s NOTHING I might’ve carried out about it.
Respect my profession.#Free34
— Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) June 19, 2022
Mendenhall states he was “separated” from the ball so he’s clearly arguing semantics. He’s primarily inserting the blame on the offensive line and to be truthful, there’s benefit there. Fair warning, we’re going to revisit that play.
After a poor Packers’ punt, the Steelers known as an influence run to the best with #64 Doug Legursky and FB/TE #85 David Johnson pulling left to proper. Neither blocked properly right here and Clay Matthews finally received to Mendenhall first, blowing him up and knocking the ball out, recovered by Green Bay.
There’s no query the blockers in entrance of him did not do their job. And in being much more truthful, Mendenhall exhibits good ball safety right here. Matthews simply got here in full-speed with a robust blow. From that side, Mendenhall’s level is sensible.
Still. Mendenhall is the runner. His job is to guard the ball in any and all circumstances. He had cleanly secured the ball lengthy earlier than getting hit and on the finish of the day, it’s his job is to maintain the ball in his arms. If a operating again fumbled after each deal with for loss, each offense would wrestle to place up ten factors a sport. For Mendenhall to throw his teammates below the bus a decade later is somewhat gross. They know they screwed up and have needed to reside with that because the second it occurred.
This isn’t the primary time Mendenhall has referenced the fumble. Two years in the past, he despatched out a profanity-laden tweet telling followers to “cool out” concerning the fumble. He’s most likely heard about it for years on social media and infrequently, like as we speak, has shot again.
It’s simple to overlook now however that fumble got here in such a vital second. Down 21-17 initially of the fourth quarter with glorious area place, already in area purpose vary. Green Bay recovered the fumble and marched downfield, Aaron Rodgers hitting Greg Jennings for an eight-yard rating eight performs later. Pittsburgh turned the ball over 3 times that day whereas Green Bay didn’t give it away as soon as, a vital issue within the consequence.
Bottom line. There’s loads of blame to go round for that play and that loss. Line, runner, everybody instantly concerned. And on the fee we’re going, Mendenhall will carry it again up in 2024. See you then.