How can the NFL possibly regulate the Steelers-Browns rematch in 17 days?

The NFL is in it’s historic 100th season, and we saw some serious history at the conclusion of Thursday Night Football last night, but for all of the wrong reasons. Now, at this point everyone has dissected the play in question and doled out their blame a million different ways in the past 12 hours.

I don’t want to be another annoying voice today and give a whole spiel on the matter, we all know what happened at this point.  But I feel obligated to say this: those who think Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph deserves close to as much or even equal blame to Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. I can’t believe how many of those takes I’m seeing today.

Was Rudolph smart or in the right ripping Garrett helmet off him and then charging at him? Absolutely not. Does it justify using a helmet as a weapon and committing actual assault during a football game? Again, a football GAME? Never. I don’t care who you are, never.

Now that that’s out of the way, the development of this situation is about to be a huge gut-check time for the NFL and another potential infamous event that hurts they’re reputation. “Does the punishment fit the crime?” Has been justifiably asked far too much with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his tendency to impose stupid suspensions on players in terms of length.

This time around, as expected, they did the morally right thing and suspended Garrett indefinitely through this 2019 season and possibly more. If it were me, he’s not coming back until this time next year. Week 11 or 12 of the 2020 NFL season should be the next time this guy plays a snap in the NFL.

Although the brawl has passed, the repercussions and an ugly ripple effect will ensue. Believe that. And unfortunately for the league, they have a serious issue on their hands sooner than they’d like with the division rival Browns and Steelers set to meet again in Week 13, December 1st, just 17 days away.

Now obviously, the perpetrator of the matter Garrett will neither be suiting up nor traveling with the team to Pittsburgh for that one. And even if he was able, he’d be strongly advised against it for obvious health and safety purposes from angry, drunk, emotional Pittsburgh fans.

Neither will Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey, as he’s serving a 3 game suspension for his reasonable retaliation on Garrett by punching and kicking him repeatedly on the ground after the strike of the helmet.

Still, without those two big targets, the question must be asked if it’s safe for those players, coaches, and fans to attend and have them play that game? As crazy as it sounds I don’t believe it’s far fetched. The retaliation is far from over, this is far from resolved, and the NFL fraternity is totally divided and has created a social media war over the incident. Star wide receiver for the Browns Odell Beckham Jr put it best- “it’s just ugly”.

The NFL has to step in before this big, scary rematch scenario and regulate this game. How they go about it? I have no clue and I’m thrilled I don’t have to decide those things. You got to scare the hell out of these players somehow with far more severe punishment for minor penalties. Not only did the Garrett play happen, but the Browns had multiple dirty head to head hits on Pittsburgh players all night. You thought bounty gate was bad? If not handled properly, this game will have more head hunting and cheap play than any we’ve seen on the gridiron. Especially if senseless, dumbass players like Mack Wilson tweet stuff like this:

From a football standpoint, it’s a classic example of the good ole’ Brownies getting in their own god damn way yet again. The two game winning streak and improvement to 4-6 to keep slim playoff hopes alive is something only die hard Browns fans and their players care about at the moment.

Instead of receiving national appraisal for a big prime time win, it feels like a loss solely because of Garrett’s utter stupidity. Now the ball is in Roger Goodell and the NFL’s court. This dilemma is soon to unfold, and it is sure to be one of the most intriguing story lines in NFL history moving forward. Either way it’ll must see TV at CBS 4:25 p.m. EST on December 1st.

-Simon Brady



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