I watched the Sunday night Chargers-Broncos game with Hoystory the Elder and a group of current and retired teachers and administrators. It was an exciting game. With last week's come-from-behind victory over the Bengals combined with last nights, I feel like the old Air Coryell days have returned.
One thing remains the same, and I'm not sure whether or not the punishment will fit the crime. On the last series last night with the Broncos down by eight and driving, Jake Plummer completed a long pass play, brought his team up to the line and spiked the ball.
After the whistles blew, Charger DE Igor Olshansky punched Broncos OL Tom Nalen. The Chargers were penalized 15-yards and Olshansky was tossed.
The problem is, Nalen should've been tossed too. The Rocky Mountain News describes it this way:
LOW BLOW: San Diego defensive tackle Igor Olshansky was thrown out of the game on Denver's final drive when he hit a Denver offensive lineman Tom Nalen with his fists after a play was blown dead for offsides. San Diego was penalized 15 yards, and Olshansky received a severe scolding by San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer along the sideline.
"He is a terrific young man, but there is no appropriate action that could create the kind of act that he did," Schottenheimer said. "He recognizes it. He's a young player. The guy apparently cut him low. I don't know. But you can't ever react that way in that situation. You're going to lose, every time."
When Schottenheimer reviews the film, he'll know. Olshansky was wrong to punch Nalen, but after the whistles blew, Nalen dived at Olshansky's knees. The Broncos are infamous for doing this, it happens every year, and while it's usually not illegal, the frequency with which they do it smells a little.
Olshansky will probably be fined -- but Nalen should too. The whistles had blown. Everyone knew that the ball had been spiked and the play was over, Nalen decided that he'd try to injure someone.