The headline from the post script to the Thursday night game between the Jets and Patriots was the low hit from Jets center Nick Mangold against Pats cornerback Aqib Talib, chased by a brouhaha that resulted in Jets offensive linemen Willie Colon and D’Brickashaw Ferguson being ejected.
But there will be even more to the story. The league office will, we’re told, pick through all available video to determine who should be disciplined beyond Mangold, Colon, and Ferguson. That includes the game broadcast, the coaching film, and any footage collected by NFL Films cameras.
We’ve looked at the game broadcast and the NFL Game Rewind coaching tape. Based on what we’ve seen, several guys should expect to hear from the league office.
Colon and Ferguson were the primary aggressors for the Jets, but offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse also enters the fray. Ducasse doesn’t seem to take a swing at anyone, but he quickly becomes a pin cushion for fists/open hands to the head from Patriots defensive lineman Michael Buchanan, Patriots defensive lineman Joe Vellano, and Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who knows a thing or two about taking swings at people.
Apparentlystirred up by a head butt from Colon, Dennard’s first effort at hitting Ducasse resulted in a swing, a miss, and a pratfall. Then, after both Dennard and Ducasse were pulled away from the action and presumably had begun to calm down, Pats quarterback Ryan Mallett gives Ducasse a one-armed shoulder shove, Ducasse shoves back, and here comes Alfonzo.
Dennard applies a sucker punch to the face mask/helmet area of Ducasse, who reacts by getting in Dennard’s face but doesn’t retaliate.
The league office could see even more as the powers-that-be attempt to reconstruct the Royal Rumble that unfolded along the New England sideline. But the guys who are seen throwing hands/fists to the heads of opponents likely will be hearing from 345 Park Avenue.
The level of discipline could be significant, since the NFL seems to regard with more gravity action that occurs after the whistle. In 2011, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was suspended for a post-play stomp on the arm of Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith. In the 2013 preseason, Texans defensive end Antonio Smith received a three-game suspension (two in the preseason) for swinging a helmet at the unhelmeted head of Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito.
Regardless, plenty of additional contributions will soon be made to the Human Fund, once the NFL parses through the cluster of humanity that exchanged pleasantries at the end of Thursday night’s game.