On Thursday night, the underdog Cleveland Browns met the Pittsburgh Steelers. And the Browns showed up, beating the Steelers 21-7 in a pretty decisive victory.
That wouldn’t be big news, normally. But at the end of the game, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett got into an altercation unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my decades of watching football. With his team in a comfortable lead, and the Steelers on a drive that would have needed 90 yards to even put up “trash points” that would get the Steelers to within a touchdown with no time left to play in the game, Myles Garrett got into a physical altercation with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph back on the Steelers’ own 10-yard line.
The play: Rudolph dishes a screen pass to his running back, and Myles Garrett meets Rudolph in the backfield, wrapping him up, spinning and wrenching his body to the ground with authority.
To understand why the initial fight took place, you have to know football. In the replay, announcer Troy Aikman said “Rudolph didn’t like the way that he was tackled,” so the quarterback began to angrily try to wrestle Garrett off of him. Aikman’s characterization isn’t an altogether accurate way to put it, though. The object of football is to “tackle” players who possess the ball. Rudolph didn’t like being aggressively hit and wrangled to the ground while not possessing the ball.