At the beginning of the 2017 NFL season, the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders were projected to be top AFC contenders. However, both teams have since been top contenders for last place in their division just before Sunday’s game.
Denver Broncos Going Toe-to-Toe with the Oakland Raiders
The Broncos, (now 3-8) have lost seven straight games, their longest losing streak since 1967, and with head coach Vance Joseph firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, things are only heating up in Denver. Since McCoy’s departure, Joseph has embraced a trait that no matter what you do, you give your very best. In this case, though, for Joseph, it continues to show fans and other team officials how incompetent his team actually is going into week 13. In other words, the leader of this team has led the Broncos to one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Aside from their seven-game streak, fans are left wondering “what’s next?” Hypothetically speaking, if the season were to end today and with their current record, the Broncos would have the fourth pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and it could get even higher if the New York Giants continue to lose games. Denver is also tied with the Indianapolis Colts at 3-8, and the two will meet in week 15. But the problems circulating the Mile High Arena, nonetheless, runs much deeper than McCoy, starting with quarterbacks Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian.
The Raiders, on the other hand, have also been inconsistent for the past four weeks as fans are forced to watch their team win one game and then lose the following week. Although both teams struggled with trying to overcome their personal obstacles, no one anticipated how heated things would get early on between Denver’s defense and Oakland’s offense.
During the game on Sunday, three players were ejected following a brawl that took place between the two teams. Things got heated when Oakland receiver Michael Crabtree punched Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. in the stomach during a play, which took him out for a couple plays. The fight between Crabtree and Aqib Talib, however, started when Crabtree pushed Talib to the ground after a play on the Broncos sideline. That’s when the fight ensued. Players from both sides ran over to the Denver sideline, and one of the Raiders offensive lineman Gabe Jackson threw punches in the process. Jackson also pushed down an NFL official during the scuffle which later got him disqualified from the game.
Since the incident, the media, along with a few Hall of Fame players like Cris Carter, are waiting to see how the NFL handles the situation. Some are pushing for legal action to be taken, while others think it was just a harmless incident between rival teams that should result in fines. If legal action is taken, however, then Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib will join one-third of the American population with a criminal record according to Portland State University.
This could be why the NFL has only released news regarding the two-game suspension as they try to figure out whether or not the altercation is considered a crime, or Crabtree’s revenge on Talib. Some sports announcers have even suggested that Talib get counseling due to his long rap-sheet.
Regardless of how the NFL handles the situation, both teams and coaches agreed that the act was embarrassing and could have been prevented. In the end, due to all the pushing and shoving caused by the fight, both star players were ejected from the game.