The anatomy of a football melee

The anatomy of a football melee
November 26, 2012, 12:24 am
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CINCINNATI -- Tensions were already high on the Raiders sideline midway through the fourth quarter of an eventual 34-10 Cincinnati victory when Lamarr Houston decided to take down Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, well after the whistle had blown the play dead due to a false start on right tackle Andre Smith.A play earlier, the Raiders felt wronged by the inadvertent whistle ruling that gave the Bengals another shot at third down. And a few minutes before, a late clipping penalty called on right guard MIke Brisiel moved the Raiders from the Bengals 27-yard line back to near midfield.So yeah, Houston probably added a little extra oomph to his takedown of Dalton, and the Bengals took exception, with left tackle Andrew Whitworth charging over and getting in Houston's face. The fight ensued, as did the madness. Two Raiders were thrown out of the game -- Houston and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly -- as was Whitworth.Strangely, a trio of Bengals defensive players who left the bench to join the fracas were not penalized -- defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Manny Lawson and safety Taylor Mays. Even former Raiders coach Hue Jackson, now a Bengals assistant, joined the fray, pulling players out of the scrum. As did current Raiders coach Dennis Allen."You know," Houston said, "it doesn't matter. The game is over now. Give them credit, they played well today. They played well as a team. We'll be back at work on Monday."The Raiders were trailing 27-10 at the time and after the Bengals drove 84 yards, the final score was set. Even if the trash-talking was just getting started."The guy slammed Andy after about four whistles," Whitworth said. "It's my job, my responsibility to keep Andy clean and stay protected. I saw it and just walked up to him and told him to not let it happen (again). And then he head-butted me and three of their other linemen started swinging at me from behind."They were probably looking for a fight because they weren't doing much on the fieldteams like that, the last couple weeks they've had, I'm sure they're frustrated and they were getting beat again."PAUL G'S INSTANT REPLAY: Bengals 34, Raiders 10
Ouch."Whit just protected his guy," Dunlap said. "Al I know is that in a situation like that you've just got to protect your quarterback."I don't think he threw any punches. He just checked out his quarterback."Of course, the Raiders had a different point of view."I just remember one of their guys attacking one of our guys and then our guys defended themselves," said safety Mike Mitchell. "The next thing you know, we get two guys kicked out and they only get one guy kicked out. That is crazy."