There is no question it was “kneel down mayhem” at the end of the Jaguars 30-24 Sunday night over the Seahawks at Everbank Field. There’s also no question that the Jaguars, who have been one of the laughingstock’s of the league for going on a decade, acted like veteran professionals in the situation. Meanwhile, Seattle acted like bullies who had finally been punched in the nose and couldn’t take it.
The ending marred what had been a wild exciting fourth quarter of arguably Jacksonville’s biggest win, so far this season, in a decade.
Let’s quickly recap the situation.
The Jaguars had stopped Seattle on downs and taken over at the Seahawks 43 yard line to try to run the clock out. Seattle had two timeouts remaining and the two minute warning to stop the clock. So, the Jags would need at least one first down.
After the two minute warning and the Seahawks burning their second timeout, Jacksonville was facing a 3rd and 11. Leonard Fournette ran left for 13 yards and the first down and essentially, ended the hard fought game.
What happened next was an embarrassment for the NFL, but mainly the Seattle organization.
As QB Blake Bortles attempted to kneel on first down and get the clock rolling, defensive lineman Michael Bennett purposely and classlessly, rolled into center Brandon Linder’s knees at the snap. It’s a highly dangerous play for injury and Linder legitimately reacted by going after Bennett on the ground.
Here is the replay of the incident with Darryl “Moose” Johnston of Fox providing the commentary:
Here's the video of Bennett diving into the centers legs. pic.twitter.com/Hmx0gSew9S
— The 617 Report (@617Report) December 11, 2017
Also, Fournette saw what happened and stood up for Linder, going after Bennett shortly after. They both were flagged for personal fouls. During the “scrum,” Seattle’s Sheldon Richardson threw a punch and was also flagged and ejected.
The officials finally got things calmed down after sending both teams briefly to their sideline and sorting out what happened.
But, as much as referee Gene Steratore and crew tried to restore order, they had to deal with the Seahawks, the bullies who were having to accept the tough loss, and their antics, again.
On the next kneel down, Seahawks lineman Quinton Jefferson tried to start another fight, was flagged and quickly ejected. As he left the field, he was hit by a plastic bottle thrown from above and attempted to go into the stands after Jaguars fans. Here’s ESPN’s Jeff Darlington capturing part of that situation:
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 11, 2017
Steratore and his crew also had to remove coach Pete Carroll from the field (above), as he came out to the Seattle huddle not only trying to settle his players down but also, arguing with two officials. He was flagged and taken back by a ref to the sideline.
The officials acted properly enforcing new rules about coaches being on the field, while the game is going on, as to not make the situation worse.
Bortles, finally knelt on the ball one last time and the clock ran out.
It took over nine minutes of actual time for three kneel downs to overcome Seattle’s “crybaby” antics, the flags and ejections, and then, allow the Jaguars to celebrate their win.
The bigger problem is, Seattle under Carroll and with Michael Bennett, has done in the past, specifically, when it came to trying to be bullies and take cheap shots during the end of game kneel downs.
At the end of Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix, while Tom Brady and the Pats were trying to kneel on the ball after Malcom Butler’s famous interception at the goal line, there were numerous attempts that day at cheap shots. There a couple by Bennett on and after that kneel down and a fight started in the endzone and New England TE Rob Gronkowski was tangled and fighting with Bennett. Observe:
It marred the end of a classic game and was an eyesore that night on the biggest stage for the NFL.
This December game yesterday, albeit a huge win for the Jaguars, wasn’t that magnitude, but it was still big. And, the Seahawks were still just as embarrassing with their classless acts.
We’ll see in the coming couple of days what the NFL does, or doesn’t do, with possible fines and suspensions.
This much we do know: the highlights of what happened on the kneel downs and the Jefferson antics are everywhere on t.v. and the internet.
Seattle is suffering national embarrassment for their behavior, while the Jags are celebrating being in first place in the AFC South.
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