Giants coach Tom Coughlin brushed off suggestions that his players faked injuries Monday night to slow down the Rams’ no-huddle attack. Regardless if the Giants are guilty or innocent, it wouldn’t be a revolution. This has been happening (at least it has been accused of happening) for years.
A few of the more memorable examples:
1988 AFC Divisional Playoff: Seahawks at Bengals
This one caused a firestorm. Seahawks coach Chuck Knox admitted that his nose tackle, Joe Nash, had faked injuries four times (hugely subtle) in order to stop the clock against the Bengals’ no-huddle offense. Cincinnati won 21-13 on its way to losing Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers.
1995: Bills at Browns
After the Bills beat the Browns 22-19 in a Monday night game in Week 5, coach Marv Levy accused Cleveland of faking injuries to slow down Buffalo’s no-huddle offense. Browns coach Bill Belichick wasn’t shy in taking exception to that hypothesis.
“I think that’s a bunch of garbage,” Belichick said. “It’s hard for me to have respect for Levy for saying that. It’s demeaning. We had guys out there playing as hard as they could play, with as much courage as they could show. For this guy to come back and make a ridiculous comment like that, I see where he had some players hurt in the game. If Levy thinks he’s the only coach that’s ever had a guy hurt, then I think he ought to take a look around the league.”
Belichick — just a sliver crankier back then — went on: “Here’s a guy offensively who came in and tried to run the wing-T offense in Kansas City. That was brilliant. And the best thing he did was turn the offense over to Jim Kelly in the second half of the Carolina game and against us. There’s a guy, Jim Kelly, who can run an offense and move an offense. Unfortunately, he (Levy) didn’t call more plays against us, like he did against Carolina. I would much rather go against him than Jim Kelly. I think it’s a disgrace for him to make comments like that.”
Fourteen seasons later, the Browns found themselves in another mess:
2009: Browns at Lions
Belichick disciple/nemesis Eric Mangini, at the helm of the Browns, accused the Lions of faking injuries to slow down Cleveland’s no-huddle offense during a 38-37 loss at Ford Field. Like you, we’re trying to imagine a scenario in which the 2009 Browns — ranking 32nd in total yards — could have moved slower. We’ll keep working on that.
– Marc Sessler