Tensions between the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders ran high throughout their Week 12 meeting until things finally boiled over during the fourth quarter.
Facing a 3rd and 6 from their own 20-yard line, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton took a shotgun snap. The play was immediately whistled dead due to a false start but Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston, apparently, didn't hear it. He dragged Dalton down anyway, much to the chagrin of Cincinnati's Andrew Whitworth. The offensive lineman went right up to Houston.
Teammates from both sides failed to separate the two as they continued to fight after dragging each other to the ground. Things escalated even more when Raiders defensive end Tommy Kelly ran over from the sideline and got involved. Kelly emerged from the pile with his helmet off and required two teammates and a referee to pull him away.
Houston, Whitworth and Kelly were each handed penalties for unnecessary roughness and ejected from the game.
According to Monte Pool of Mercury News, Bengals coach called Houston's play a "cheap shot," while the DE downplayed the fight.
"When you play defensive line, it's a fight every down. So I'm not surprised at all," said Houston.
UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told ProFootballTalk in an email that the fight will not lead to automatic suspensions.
More from the Associated Press:
CINCINNATI (AP) — Three players were ejected for an on-field brawl in the fourth quarter of the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, leaving them in line for major fines.
A scrum started when one of Cincinnati's plays was blown dead because of a false start. Defensive end Lamarr Houston tackled quarterback Andy Dalton, apparently unaware of the whistle. Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth ran up to Houston, their facemasks hit and the brawl was on.
Whitworth and Houston were ejected, along with Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly for coming off the bench to join in. Kelly and Houston ended up on top of Whitworth.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said his team —which has dropped four in a row — lost its poise.