The "No Fun League" reared its head in the Washington Redskins' 36-30 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
A week after Redskins running back Clinton Portis was flagged 15 yards for a debatable taunting call, the officiating crew called two penalties -- one on each team -- for choreographed celebrations. The rule, new this season, aims to prevent several players from performing on-field shenanigans.
The Redskins drew a penalty following Santana Moss' first touchdown, when Brandon Lloyd came up from behind and picked up Moss for a few seconds. The 15-yard penalty forced the Redskins' to kick off from their own 15 yard, and the Jaguars returned the kick 40 yards to start their drive at the Washington 45, eventually scoring a touchdown.
Following Lloyd's fumble in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville safety Deon Grant and a teammate did a quick dance in the end zone. The Jaguars were pushed back 15 yards from the Washington 18 and eventually settled for a field goal.
Yesterday, the Redskins questioned their penalty.
'That was [ridiculous]," Moss said of his penalty. "I stood there and there are plenty of guys that jump on the pile and don't get the flag. All Brandon did was pick me up. We didn't dance."
Said coach Joe Gibbs: "That goes on all the time but we're going to research it because it's an example of a penalty that set them up for a touchdown."
Portis is upset with most of the league-mandated rules that he said are "taking the fun out of the game."
"Week in and week out, it's something," Portis said. "The league might as well go and get robots to play the game. Everybody has to look the same, guys can't do this, can't do that."
Portis said he was fined $5,000 last month when he sprinted down the sideline in Dallas to celebrate with Rock Cartwright after the Cartwright's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Portis wasn't in uniform but it didn't matter.
'For me to get fined for that -- how innocent is running and jumping up to congratulate a teammate after he makes a play?" he said.
Portis also has been hit the last two years by the uniform police for several violations.
"They come up to me during a game and say, 'Tuck in your jersey and pull up your socks,'" he said. "I'm like, 'What?' They want me to tuck in my jersey when somebody is trying to wrap me in the head."
Brunell, Portis fine
Portis and quarterback Mark Brunell said they made it through Sunday's game without aggravating their shoulder (Portis) or left elbow (Brunell) injuries.
Portis had 27 carries and two receptions against the Jaguars.
"The shoulder's not the issue," said Portis, noting one of his fingers was swollen. "I have no pain, no soreness in the shoulder. It's the rest of my body."
Brunell threw for 329 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
'I actually felt pretty good," he said. "I didn't like wearing the pad, but after a few throws, I didn't think about it and it felt fine."
Brunell likely will wear the protective pad on the elbow this week and have the stitches removed next week.
Reliving the winner
When the Redskins review video of the 68-yard, game-winning touchdown, Brunell expects to be told throwing to Moss wasn't the ideal decision.
"It's interesting listening to the headsets," Gibbs said. "Somebody said, 'Don't go there!' And then it was, 'OK, go there.' In that case, Mark picked one that you normally don't try. But it was terrific. And I was loving it, but then of course I had a heart attack when they said they were reviewing it."
The Redskins' pass defense continues to be susceptible to the big play. Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich had six completions of 20 or more yards on Sunday. Through four games, opponents are averaging 231.5 yards a game and have allowed 16 completions of 20 or more yards.
"We know we have good players on this defense and the game showed we could slug it out with the best and win any type of game," cornerback Kenny Wright said. "We know what we have to do to improve. If it was something we couldn't improve or change, that would be a different story."
Gibbs said he hopes defensive tackle Joe Salave'a (calf) will play against the Giants but cornerback Shawn Springs' (groin) status remains unknown. Springs has hinted he won't be ready this week. Right guard Randy Thomas was slowed by a hamstring injury but it's not believed to be serious.