|Things got chippy between Chicago and Detroit Sunday, and the NFL will no doubt punish them accordingly. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
If the Lions were as aggressive between the whistles as they were after it against the Bears on Sunday, the final score would've been a lot closer than 37-13. Instead, Chicago's defense took advantage of four Matthew Stafford interceptions (including two pick-sixes), Devin Hester added a special-teams touchdown, and Jay Cutler and the offense just got out of the way.
Well, they tried to anyway.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh ripped Cutler's helmet off after a tackle (he called it "part of the game"). Later in the game, Suh's teammate, Nick Fairley, drove Cutler into the turf on a late hit. (See here and here for the video evidence.)
Stafford also started a fight when, following his third interception, he brought Bears' cornerback D.J. Moore to the ground by grabbing his helmet (see the video below). Moore, unimpressed, went after Stafford and just like that, it was on like Donkey Kong.
"I thought the play on Stafford was a little bit over the line," Lions linebacker Justin Durant said, according to MLive.com's Anwar Richardson. "That's how I feel about it. He was just trying to make a play. He had thrown an interception and was trying to get there. The guy just took it overboard."
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, appearing on ESPN Radio Chicago, had a different take on the play.
“Their defense was saying something to our sideline late in the game after D.J. Moore beat up their quarterback [Matthew Stafford]. They said some stuff to our sidelines. I don’t know what…their defense was saying something to our sidelines. I don’t know what it was, but there is ways to handle things and there is ways to not handle things. I don’t know…they are a good football team. No doubt about that. They don’t do very good when they get beat up I guess.”
You can judge for yourself if Moore beat up Stafford:
The Lions and Bears mix it up after Stafford takes down Jennings.
Either way, both teams can expect heavy fines, and Durant realizes as much.
"I can imagine some people will have some $20,000 fines," he said. "I'm not sure who was doing what or if anybody was throwing blows. … One time when I was in Jacksonville, we had a fight against the Titans and a couple of guys came off the sidelines and they got fined just for stepping across the sidelines. More than likely, there are going to be some fines."
Using history and the NFL's haphazard approach to punishing players as a guide, we'd wager that, yes, there will be a lot of fines coming out of this.
Lions wide receiver Nate Burelson added: "If you go out there and throw some blows, you got to expect that FedEx letter in your locker."
Much of the conversation this season has been about how the Lions, and Suh in particular, are dirty. Here are two examples from last season that had people so worked up.
Suh explained his approach to the game during an appearance on ESPN's First Take.
"I like to punish the quarterback. I like to punish running backs for them trying to make plays on my defense," he said. "Whether it's dirty or aggressive or whatever that may be, we're going to continue to play that way and make sure we stand up and make sure teams don't run over us."
Urlacher was asked if he thought the Lions were dirty.
“You know what? They play to the echo of the whistle," he said, via Sports Radio Interviews. "As a player you can’t be mad because that is the way the game should be played. They play fast and they play physical and sometimes they go a little bit too far, but you know what? Sometimes you get away with it. …
"I like their head coach. I will tell you that much. I think he has done a good job for that organization and he’s a hard-nosed guy. He wants his guys to play, so I can’t be mad at him, but you don’t like it when you are playing against them because it pisses you off, but you know what they do a good job and they play hard.”
To recap: the Lions aren't dirty, but both teams should expect to be a little lighter in the wallet this week.
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