Just when you think the NFL can’t get any crazier it stops you in your tracks with something you haven’t seen before.
At the beginning of the season when everyone was talking about how good the Browns were going to be I said, “The Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland Browns until proven otherwise,” meaning that I’ll believe the Browns are good when I see it. Over the first nine weeks of the season we didn’t see it and they looked closer to the old Browns than the new Browns.
Fortunately for them they looked like they had turned the corner with two straight victories over the Bills and Steelers, who are both right in the playoff mix.
And that is when we were stopped in our tracks with something we have ever seen before. With about 10 seconds to go in the game Thursday night Myles Garrett who is the best player on the Browns hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. Rudolph was not a huge fan of the hit and a small wrestling match ensued on the ground. Rudolph then reached for Garrett’s helmet and tried to rip it off.
What happened next was one the craziest things I have seen on a football field. Garrett pulled Rudolph’s helmet off and proceeded to smash Rudolph over the head with it. After the head smashing a full-out brawl took place and it resulted in Garrett being suspended for the year and Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers who protected Rudolph and kicked Garrett was suspended for three games along with huge fines for both teams.
Now I want to point out that I am not trying to let Rudolph off the hook because he definitely had a part in why it exploded the way it did. But Garrett should have absolutely been suspended for the year. Fights happen all the time in the NFL and sometimes when you get grown men battling each other in a very physical sport things get ugly.
But under no circumstance can you get to the point where you are playing whack-a-mole with your helmet. I have joked a lot about this situation but when you break it down, Rudolph could have seriously been injured. So at the end of the day I think the NFL got everything right on the suspension front other than maybe Rudolph should have been suspended a game or two.
But I think if you’re the NFL maybe you’re thinking that getting your head bashed by a helmet is enough of a punishment. For years the Browns were begging to be relevant in the NFL but now they are and it is for that absolute wrong reasons.
Although that was the biggest story of the week in the NFL, Sunday was a pretty good day of games. The Ravens proved that they are a serious contender with backing up their win over the Patriots two weeks ago and massive blowout of the Bengals with a thrashing of the Houston Texans. The Patriots stayed ahead of the 8-2 Ravens with a win over the Eagles on the road. The win over Philadelphia helped my Dallas Cowboys by giving them a full game lead in the division after the Cowboys defeated the Lions earlier in the day. The Falcons have quietly risen from the dead after destroying the Saints and Panthers two weeks in a row. The 49ers stayed at the top of the NFC after bouncing back from a Monday night overtime loss to the Seahawks with a comeback win over Arizona. It is hard to believe that there are only six weeks left in the NFL regular season and at this point there are still a lot of question marks. It feels like the Patriots are still the favorites but I think Baltimore, Kansas City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Green Bay, Seattle, Minnesota and maybe the Cowboys are all in the group of teams that could bring home the Lombardi trophy.
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@Rantoulpress.com or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP.