Cincinnati left tackle Andrew Whitworth saw his quarterback get tackled after the whistle and went after the guy who brought him down, touching off a scrum that ended with three ejections.
Whitworth and two Oakland linemen face significant fines for their ejection during the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 34-10 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
“They were probably looking for a fight because they weren’t doing much on the field,” Whitworth said.
The Raiders were frustrated after an inadvertent whistle wiped out a fumble by Mohamed Sanu deep in Bengals territory with Cincinnati leading 27-10 midway through the fourth quarter. Tyvon Branch picked up the loose ball ran into the end zone, thinking he’d scored a touchdown.
The officials didn’t make a call initially. After a long huddle, they announced that the play had been blown dead because of an inadvertent whistle, making it Cincinnati’s ball.
“Unfortunately, referees make mistakes too,” Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. “It’s unfortunate that happened to us there. Obviously that would have really changed the game.”
On the next play, right tackle Andre Smith was flagged for a false start. The play continued after the whistle, and defensive end Lamarr Houston tackled quarterback Andy Dalton.
Whitworth saw the tackle and ran over to Houston, their facemasks slamming together. Several other players then joined in the scrum.
The fight ended with Houston and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly on top of Whitworth on the ground. Whitworth and Houston were ejected for the fight, and Kelly for coming off the bench to join in.
Ill will seemed to be in the air from the game’s outset when Palmer, who hadn’t been back to Cincinnati since the Bengals traded him in the middle of last season, was booed by the 56,503 fans when he went out for the coin toss.