Well that game was a total disaster! Only the damn Browns could earn their best divisional win in years and still somehow come out of it as losers. Way to blow it for everyone with 8 seconds left, Myles Garrett.

It feels a bit old news now since it happened last Thursday night but seriously let’s pull it back for a bit because there’s no way this doesn’t deserve more discussion. It might have been the outright worst dirty play I’ve seen on a football field. I think it’s worse than Suh’s stomp. I think it’s worse than Vontaze Burfict’s AB hit (At least the play wasn’t over yet for that hit). Worse than the Andre Johnson/Finnegan fight where helmets were ripped off and punches thrown, but no weapons used. This was simply outrageous. Myles Garrett ripped off Mason’s helmet and bludgeoned him with it. He used the damn helmet as a blunt weapon. That’s not just against football rules, that’s legitimately assault. Mason is lucky it just bounced off his numbskull of a noggin because the right angle could have potentially killed him.

I want to be clear on this: Mason started the fight, but using that fact to try and rationalize and lessen what Garrett did is messed up. Garrett’s swing is the centerpiece of this mess, and it is far above all other things that occurred. This feels like the equivalent of a pitcher going and intentionally hitting a batter in the leg, and the batter reacts by charging the mound with the bat and smashing the bat on the pitcher’s head. That batter might have legitimate reasons to be pissed, but there’s no valid reason to escalate that sharply. Garrett has had a few incidents this season and the entire Browns roster is woefully undisciplined because Freddie Kitchens sucks. Now Garrett is going to have the label of dirty player applied to him for the rest of his career. I have no problem with that. He deserves it. He has to earn any trust back now. The only people he hurt in this mess (thankfully) was himself, his teammates, and his organization. 8 seconds left. You couldn’t hold your damn temper for 8 fucking seconds? One more play? Way to ruin your season and ruin what should have been a banner night for the team.

Now that is out of the way, we can look at the other parts. Watching the replays my guess is that Garrett hit Mason right after Mason threw the ball. Garrett was in close enough that he either might not have known that Rudolph got rid of it and thought he was getting a sack, or he did know, and still decided to tackle him to the ground a little harder than necessary. Either way, Mason took offense to it (and Mason seems like a douche anyway) and appears to grab Garrett’s helmet and may have tried to rip it off himself. Garrett, understandably, was kinda pissed about that, and retaliated. While both get back up to continue the struggle Mason also appears to kick Garrett in the balls. Garrett rips the helmet off and DeCastro is doing his best to push Garrett away, but Mason comes back in for more and that’s when Garrett hits the drum break.

I actually do think this fight was largely Mason’s fault. Maybe Garrett’s tackle was unnecessary but it’s on a grey line since I’m not sure if Garrett thought he was getting a sack. He started it by taking offense to Garrett’s tackle and escalated it, and Garrett seemed willing to back off after he ripped the helmet off in retaliation. Then Mason charged back in and provoked him. I think it’s bad that Rudolph isn’t getting suspended over this. He deserves at least one game. He ended up the ultimate victim here because nobody deserved to be bashed with their own helmet and maybe that’s why he’s likely escaping with a fine. Rudolph acted like an asshole and made the situation worse. He deserves a suspension.

After the helmet bash I’m not surprised to see Maurkice Pouncey throwing haymakers and kicking Garrett in the head. At that point, after an act like that, the struggle has gone beyond argument and has escalated into a street fight. Pouncey was defending his QB. He shouldn’t be throwing punches and kicking a downed player in the head but like, at that point in the mess, I get it. He got suspended 3 games and I think everyone, himself included, agrees that was the correct decision.

Larry Ogunjobi rushed in while Maurkice Pouncey was being Maurkice Punchey and gave Rudolph a shove and that’s another case of “I get it”. Mason acted like a dick and I enjoyed watching him take one more shove. Obunjobi deserved the single game suspension because the shove wasn’t necessary.

I’m glad Garrett is likely out for the rest of the season (well deserved) and if he is still suspended for a few games next year I won’t be mad about it. I feel the other punishments to Pouncey and Ogunjobi are fair. I believe whatever fines the NFL hands out to tertiary rumblers who came in late is fair. I fear the NFL is making a mistake not suspending Rudolph at least one game. He was more than just a victim, he was an active participant, and his actions should not be ignored just because what other people did was far worse.

Mason Rudolph also looks like a dillweed but that’s not really related to anything.