The NFL’s player discipline team is embarking on a busy Monday right now. Five players were ejected across three games Sunday (and it could have easily been more), with two marquee receivers in the center of the action.
Bengals WR A.J. Green went first, taking Jalen Ramsey down not once but twice in a shocking sequence before halftime. Both players were quickly kicked out of the game—a 23-7 Jaguars win. “I should have just walked off in that whole situation,” Green said afterward. “It’s never going to happen again.”
In New Orleans, during the Bucs’ 30-10 loss to the Saints, Tampa Bay wideout Mike Evans laid out corner Marshon Lattimore from behind after the defender got into an exchange with Jameis Winston (out of the game after aggravating a shoulder injury) along the sideline. Evans wasn’t ejected, but he should have been. He finished with one catch for 13 yards, and he was similarly apologetic afterwards. “I let my emotions get the best of me,” Evans told Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “I thought [Lattimore] was picking a fight with my quarterback. It’s something I shouldn’t have done. It was very childish. I shouldn’t have done that. Unprofessional.”
Though both said the right things afterwards, Park Avenue will still weigh in. Both are likely to receive fines. Evans seems more likely to draw a suspension, in part to rectify the fact that he was not ejected on Sunday, but also because of the recklessness of a violent hit on a player with his back turned. Whatever the league decides, it’ll be another ugly moment for two guys who were supposed to be providing highlights rather than haymakers. Last year, Green and Evans were second and sixth respectively in receiving yards per game. This year, they are eighth and 18th, with their teams boasting a combined record of 5-11.
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1. Cowboys 28, Chiefs 17. Kansas City earned the highlight of the game, a well orchestrated 56-yard catch-and-run by Tyreek Hill at the end of the first half. Just watch it. But Dallas earned the win at home. Ezekiel Elliott, in what might have been his last game for a while (who knows anymore?), had 93 yards and a score. After the home team went up 11 in the fourth, the Chiefs’ response was stymied by a Jeff Heath interception, Alex Smith‘s first of the season.
2. Washington 17, Seahawks 14. Kirk Cousins bounced back from an early safety to lead the drive of the day en route to the upset of the day. Seattle went up four with 1:30 to play, but Cousins found Josh Doctson on a 38-yarder to the 1 and running back Rob Kelley punched in the game-winner. Blair Walsh missed three kicks in the loss.
3. Panthers 20, Falcons 17. Carolina’s run game (201 total yards, 86 from Cam Newton) outdid Atlanta’s air attack (313 yards for Matt Ryan), partly because Julio Jones dropped a ball in the endzone. These teams will see each other again the last week of the year.
4. Eagles 51, Broncos 23. Brock Osweiler‘s return to Denver’s lineup went very not great (208 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, three sacks) while Jay Ajayi had a strong debut for Philly (77 yards and a score on eight carries). Oh, and Carson Wentz bolstered his MVP case with four touchdowns.
5. Raiders 27, Dolphins 24. Amari Cooper recovered a last-minute onside kick to secure a road victory that keeps Oakland in the hunt at 4-5.
6. Titans 23, Ravens 20. Despite being outgained, 341-257, Tennessee won at home thanks to the other phases of the game. Its first two touchdown drives were only 46 and 26 yards long thanks to a bad punt by Baltimore and an interception. Joe Flacco hit Mike Wallace for a TD with 46 seconds left, but the Ravens could not recover the onside kick, dropping to 4-5.
7. Rams 51, Giants 17. Yet another Sunday to forget for the Giants. The low point for New York came when its defense gave up a touchdown on a third-and-33 screen. And that’s saying something, considering L.A. went on to score 34 more points after that, with Jared Goff throwing a career-high four touchdown tosses.
8. Jaguars 23, Bengals 7. Two cats headed in opposite directions. Jacksonville won consecutive games for the first time in over a year—and won at home for the first time this season, keeping pace with Tennessee atop the AFC South. Cincinnati, meanwhile, had another anemic offensive effort: 119 passing yards and 29 on the ground.
9. Colts 20, Texans 14. Maybe next year we’ll be able to talk about an Andrew Luck-Deshaun Watson matchup. But Sunday, Jacoby Brissett bested Tom Savage, as Savage lost the ball on a strip-sack on fourth-and-goal to end the game.
10. Saints 30, Buccaneers 10. Make it six straight wins for New Orleans and five straight losses for the Bucs. Jameis Winston left with shoulder soreness at halftime before instigating the sideline skirmish with Saints corner Marshon Lattimore.
11. Cardinals 20, 49ers 10. Adrian Peterson isn’t putting up too many career highs these days, but he did notch one Sunday with 37 carries, the most ever by a 30-something. Meanwhile, it’s time to start looking for a win for 0-9 San Francisco. If it doesn’t come next week against the Giants, it might not ever happen.
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Even the Eagles were surprised by their dominance Sunday. They reportedly ran out of fireworks.
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