Yes, the Bengals wrecked their run at perfection this past Sunday. No longer staring down the prospect of 0-16. Or rather, embracing it. The Bengals beat a team that came into town on a half tank of gas and decimated by injuries. Which describes the Bengals on most Sundays too. Congratulations to the Bengals for avoiding the distinction of becoming the first team in the History of the NFL to go 0-16 in the regular season. It still doesn't change the team's ownership or the 98-180 record Mike Brown has built. Let's discuss the only important moment of yesterday's sad affair.
John Henderson vs Andrew Whitworth. It started with an uppercut from Henderson that ripped Whitworth's helmet off during a play. As the two continued to lock limbs and struggle. Henderson reached around Whitworth's unprotected head, in a half head lock motion, and raked at Whitworth's eyes four or five times. At this point, Whitworth began defending himself, throwing numerous punches into rookie's facemask.
Both squads on the field began to join the fray. Referees attempted to control the situation. Yellow flags flew. Whitworth gathered himself, then started yelling across to Henderson. Henderson never regained control. Teammates led Henderson off the field as he continued to display what could only be called, uncontrolled anger. Finally, regaining some cool once he reached the sideline. The stadium crowd awoke from their listless sleep of 2008. And then the referees tossed both players.
Looking at the incident in hindsight, Whitworth was within his rights to defend his eyesight. Frankly, he would have been within his rights to retrieve his helmet and crown Henderson to the ground with it. Henderson's actions are no less reprehensible than a Titan's player stomping on another player's head. Henderson should be suspended for 4 games if not the remaining games of the 2008 season.
Henderson should also make a public acknowledgement of his actions. The NFL should make it a condition of his reinstatement. And the Jaguars front-office should require it too.