In the NFL you have to bring the intensity on every single play. And this fact, combined with the inherent violence of the game, sometimes leads to on-field scuffles between players and coaches.
Of course, when that happens there are always ejections and fines. We all have to act like we disapprove, because nobody wants to encourage such behavior. But in reality everyone knows fights and brawls are part of the game and, in moderation, can be a good team-building experience.
Today, we’re going to run down some of the most notable NFL fights in recent years. And we’re going to get things started with the one we saw yesterday between the Philadelphia and Washington…
On Sunday, Philly OT Jason Peters went after Washington nose tackle Chris Baker after he delivered a cheap shot to Eagles QB Nick Foles. That in turn let to a pretty intense brawl (well okay, a really intense shoving match) near the Washington bench that left Peter and Baker ejected.
Can't really blame the Eagles players here. You gotta protect your quarterback. I'm sure there will be some fines, though.
12. Washington vs. Eagles ( September 2014)
Both Moss and Webster received $5,000 fines for this scuffle that came during the season opener in 2009. However, neither of them got ejected. Instead, officials issued offsetting penalties.
As for Giants coach Tom Coughlin, according to NJ.com he told webster, "I saw what happened over there. Try to stay away from it, but I understood."
11. Santana Moss vs. Corey Webster (September 2009)
Former Bucs (current Raiders) offensive tackle got into it with former Vikings (current Bears) defensive end Jared Allen during a Thursday night game back in 2012. Penn continued to push and grab after the whistle, so Allen pushed and grabbed back. Next thing you know these two behemoths are going at it like a couple of grizzly bears and Allen comes away with a bloodied nose.
How did Allen respond? By blowing right by Penn on the next play and sacking the quarterback.
10. Donald Penn vs. Jared Allen (October 2012)
There weren't a whole lot of NFL fans (or fathers of daughters) who felt bad for Big Ben when he got socked by Raiders tackle Richard Seymour. In fact, most got a vicarious thrill from watching such a renowned douchebag get his comeuppance. Still, was it really worth an ejection and a $25,000 fine?
Well, okay, it probably was.
9. Richard Seymour vs. Ben Roethlisberger (November 2010)
This past Sunday wasn't the first time Washington started a brawl by giving a cheap shot to their opponents' franchise quarterback. They did pretty much the exact same thing back in 2009, delivering an unnecessary hit to a young Matt Ryan as he was headed out of bounds, sparking a huge melee.
This one resulted in a bunch of fines. They included $15,000 for Falcons coach Mike Smith for yelling at Washington players; $7,500 for Laron Landry for the hit that instigated the brawl; $5,000 for Albert Haynesworth, who was the third man in; and $2,500 for Falcons trainer Jeff Fish, who apparently got some licks in.
8. Redskins vs. Falcons (November 2009)
This brawl all started with a late hit on Bengals QB Andy Daulton in the fourth quarter by the Raiders' Lamarr Houston. The Bengals' Andrew Whitworth took exception, and from there things exploded.
In the end, Houston and Whitworth were both ejected, as was Oakland's Tommy Kelly. However, the NFL handed out $26,500 fines to four Raiders (Desmond Bryant, Matt, Shaughnessy, Houston, and Kelly) and one Bengal (Whitworth).
NFL fights are expensive, y'all.
7. Bengals vs. Raiders (November 2012)
Just one month after finding himself in the middle of Washington-Atlanta brawl, Washington CB Deangelo Hall was at the center of another fight. This time he got tangled up with the New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs. However, Hall managed to escape a fine from the NFL, while Jacobs got $7,500 for unnecessary roughness and Albert Haynesworth got another $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
6. Deangelo Hall vs. Brandon Jacobs (December 2009)
Hey, not all fights are occur between players on opposing teams. Back in June, Richard Sherman and Phil Bates—both members of the world champion Seahawks—got into a pretty heated fight at minicamp.
Then they kissed and made up.
5. Seahawks vs. Seahawks (June 2014)
In 2009, at a joint practice between the Saints and Texans, then-Saint Jeremy Shockey got into a nasty fight with several Texans players, forcing his teammates to step in and help.
The funny thing is, two years later, Shockey still hated the Texans. He made news in 2011 for criticizing how the Houston players stood during the playing of the national anthem.
4. Shockey vs. Texans (August 2009)
Remember how it was a big deal when the Dallas Cowboys signed Terrell Owens in 2006? Well, this was why. Cowboys fans already hated Owens just because he was a member of the hated 49ers, but then he went and "disrespected" the team by celebrating touchdowns on the Star in the middle of their field, basically begging the Cowboys to fight him. Which they did.
In the end, Cowboys safety George Teague got ejected, and Owens got suspended for one week...by his own coach.
3. Terrell Owners vs. The Cowboys (September 2000)
This fight is oftenregarded as the nastiest in NFL history. And it certainly was bad. Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Texans receiver Andre Johnson had been exchanging verbal jabs all day, and moments before their fourth quarter showdown, Finnegan apparently shouted "Watch this!" at the Texans sideline.
Of course, while Finnegan came away as the "bad guy," both were received $25,000 fines.
2. Andre Johnson vs. Courtland Finnegan (November 2010)
The Andre Johnson-Cortland Finnegan fight was nastier, but this Buddy Ryan-Kevin Gilbrade incident from 1994 was more bizarre and unprecedented. After all, they weren't players. They were coaches. For the same team.
This one had been simmering, too. Ryan, the Houston Oilers defensive coordinator, had been criticizing Gilbrade, the Oilers offensive coordinator, for several weeks. He believed poor play calling and clock management on Gilbrade's part had put his players in jeopardy by having to play extra "last stand" snaps. And at the end of the first half of the Oilers' final regular season game agains the Jets, things came to a head and Ryan took a swipe at Gilbrade.
Sure, the punch mostly missed. But still, the OC and DC getting fighting on the sidelines? That's ridiculous. So it takes the top spot on our list of NFL fights.