Something significant happened in week three that went unnoticed by most people. Obviously, the blown referee calls don’t qualify as they were noticed by everyone. Not only were the calls noticed, but they were digested, turned, flipped, and spewed out like a food-poisoned dish. Some say the hangover caused by the scorn will never get fully resolved. (Sounds like some people have forgotten about the strike-shortened seasons where replacement players played in NFL games. Yes, games were decided by players that weren’t even NFL caliber.) Anyway, forget about that for a moment and focus on an incident that happened this past Denver-Houston game, because this incident brought back the old testament “Eye for an Eye” manifesto.
Peyton Manning dropped back to pass with 7:29 to play in the second quarter with his team down 21 – 5. He found Demaryius Thomas for a nice gain of 23 yards to the Houston 16 yard line; however, that wasn’t the whole story as yardage was soon added due to a roughing the passer penalty. It wasn’t a borderline hit, either. For those people who wondered whether or not Peyton could take a shot around the neck area, well, he can and did. He clutched his helmet and was in obvious pain, but he got back up and finished the drive off with a couple of incomplete passes. The Broncos settled for a field goal on that drive and went to halftime down 21 – 11.
How would the Broncos respond?
How about back-to-back roughing the passer penalties that left little doubt as to what would happen should Peyton take more roughing the passer hits?
Matt Schaub was a victim of the old testament “Eye for an Eye” adage. Matt Schaub’s first roughing the passer penalty occurred at the 11:40 mark in the third quarter. Von Miller wasn’t satisfied with putting a “good” hit on Schaub. Oh no, Mr. Miller decided to drive Matt Schaub to the ground with Miller’s helmet forcing its way up underneath Schaub’s chin. It was the kind of hit the NFL has tried to discourage. That was a tough hit to take, but the Broncos weren’t done. On the next play, Joe Mays went high and took Matt Schaub’s helmet off. Saying Joe Mays’ hit was a little high is like saying the desert sun is a little too hot. Matt Schaub’s ear was bleeding, and frankly, he was fortunate that he was still able to continue playing. The message was clear, “You hit our star late, and you will pay the price.” Did coach Fox call baseball managers for advice on this type of scenario? Baseball managers have made these type of “Eye for an Eye” retaliation calls for years, “You plunk our guy with a baseball, and your guy gets plunked, too.”
The Broncos have left little doubt as to what will happen should opposing teams decide to “rough” Peyton. Get ready for some good ole fashioned retaliation.