I’m sure we’ll eventually get through a Detroit Lions game controversy-free but that won’t be this week. For whatever reason, the Atlanta Falcons have taken up the “Ndamukong Suh and the Lions defensive line are dirty” meme.
The FOX broadcast shows Lawrence Jackson and Corey Williams in the vicinity of Matt Ryan following the play. Williams helps Jackson to his feet while Jason Snelling and the Falcons offensive line surrounds their quarterback. Cliff Avril doesn’t enter the picture until just before the broadcast cuts to replay. The only time he could have kicked Ryan’s feet was while FOX was showing the replay and he would have had to walk past half the Falcons offense and do it while a member of the training staff was tending to Matt Ryan.
Not only that, the Falcons would have responded strongly had such an act actually taken place. Ndamukong Suh offered that explanation today:
I know, for the fact of the matter, Cliff, or anybody for that matter, would have kicked their quarterback, I’m sure there would have been a riot – there would’ve been a fight broken out real quick. Because I guarantee you if that would’ve happened to Matt Stafford, and he was on the ground and somebody kicked him, I guarantee you all hell would’ve broken loose.
That makes a lot of sense.
One last point to remember: there are a lot of cameras and just because the telecast might be showing a replay doesn’t mean there aren’t eyes on the field. The fact that we haven’t seen what took place while the replay was being shown is a pretty good indication that nothing interesting actually happened.
Could Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril been guilty of a little trash talk? Yeah, but is that newsworthy? Really? There is trash talk on an NFL football field? I’m shocked. If the Falcons had a problem with something that happened they should have taken a page from Rasheed Wallace’s post-game playbook and stuck with “both teams played hard“.