If you can't beat them or join them, then sometimes your only recourse is to try to beat them up. At least, this seemed to be Von Miller's attitude when he ignited a brawl late in the Denver Broncos' loss to the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady and Patriots had left Miller's Broncos in their rearview before leaving the field at Gillette Stadium for halftime. At that point, Brady had more touchdown passes (5) than Tim Tebow had completions (3). New England would build on that 35-7 halftime bulge in the third quarter and take a 42-10 edge into the final period. Perhaps hoping to send a message to future opponents watching the game from home, Pats coach Bill Belichick kept Brady on the field for the duration. Coming out of a timeout with just more than three minutes remaining in the contest, Brady took a snap on a third down play. The Ugg pitchman then booted the ball downfield to the surprise of the Broncos' defense.
This quick kick was the final straw for Miller.
The Broncos' standout rookie linebacker took out his frustrations on the nearest Patriots player, shoving offensive lineman Dan Connolly. Miller's shove didn't go unnoticed by Matt Light, who then pushed back Miller. Soon enough there was another Broncos player in the mix and seemingly the entire Patriots offensive line. As the entire shoving match moved toward the sideline, it got the attention of everyone else on the field. With the melee now at the Patriots' sideline, the numbers overwhelmingly favored New England -- sort of like the scoreboard -- and the few Broncos brawlers were overrun by blue jerseys, prominent among those was No. 25 safety Patrick Chung. When the dust settled, the Broncos were penalized, twice. Miller and defensive end Robert Ayers both got unnecessary roughness flags.
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE
With a punt by a quarterback and a sideline fracas, the game had officially become a farce. But it showed the Patriots had regained any swagger that they had lost over the past three postseasons. With losses to the Jets and Ravens in their last two trips to the postseason, the Patriots hadn't won a playoff game since before losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII in February 2008. Before that upset loss dashed the Patriots' hopes for a perfect season, Brady's bunch played weekly with just the sort of ruthlessness that leads a team to leave its first-string players on with a 45-10 lead late in the fourth quarter -- and to have the quarterback quick punt on a third down. Back then, ESPN columnist and noted fan of New England sports Bill Simmons coined the term "Eff You TD" to describe the way the Pats never took their foot off the gas and would gleefully run up the score on opponents. This may have been the first "Eff You QB Punt."