In back to back plays, referees found themselves in the middle of the action as they tried to sort out a unique fumble situation and then later to break up a brawl.
Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu fumbled a pass from Dalton. The ball was bouncing out of bounds when a Raiders defender batted it back into play before landing out of bounds himself. Raiders defender Joselio Hanson recovered the ball in bounds and returned it for a touchdown.
However, when the ball was batted back into play, there was an inadvertent whistle by the side judge. By rule, the ball is dead and because neither team had possession at the time of the whistle, the Bengals retained possession.
Therefore, the Raiders caused a fumble, recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Not only did the Bengals cash in on one of their nine lives and not give up any points on the play, they got to replay the down.
Understandably, Raider Nation wasn't happy with this, and the next play they took action.
Dalton lined up in the shotgun and just before hiking the ball, his right tackle Andre Smith jumped offsides. It was loud in the jungle and apparently the Raiders' Lamarr Houston didn't hear the whistles, because he tackled Dalton to the ground well after the play had been blown dead.
Cincinnati's Andrew Whitworth then had a few words for Houston, and within seconds, the two teams were in an all-out scrum on the field.
Tommy Kelly, Raider's defensive lineman, was on the sidelines at the time but left the bench to join the fight on the field. Once the referees, coaches and training staff broke up the fight, Lamarr Houston, Andrew Whitworth and Tommy Kelly were all ejected from the game.
The next play, Dalton went deep to AJ Green for a 48-yard play and the drive ended with a Jermaine Gresham touchdown reception.
Considering both teams' reputations for getting in trouble off the field, it's not surprising that emotions got the best of them on the field as well. Everyone who was ejected was at fault in some way and each of them will be hearing from the NFL front office very soon.
These two plays signified a stretch where only two plays were run in about 12 minutes of real time.
The Bengals offense stalled in the third quarter but started off the fourth with a Benjarvis Green-Ellis touchdown. It was the perfect opportunity for one of these teams to come together and finish out the game. In this case, the Bengals did that and the Raiders folded.
We Bengals fans especially understand what folding looks like.
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