Many thought the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks would just play nice in their season finale last Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
After all, both teams had been eliminated from playoff contention and were playing mostly for pride...and second place in the NFC West, for whatever that's worth.
But credit goes to both teams, they played hard for well over 60 minutes, with the Cardinals winning 23-20 in overtime. Things got chippy along the way, and Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll came out and accused the Cardinals of doing some "extra stuff" to Seattle runnning back Marshawn Lynch at the bottom of piles.
Brady Henderson, editor of MyNorthwest.com for Arizona Sports 620's sister station in Seattle, 710 ESPN, points out a few instances of "extra stuff" in a blog post.
One came in the first quarter after Lynch dragged a pile of defenders for several seconds. Darnell Dockett, one of two Cardinals to finally bring Lynch down, put his knee into his facemask while getting up. During the end of a tackle in the second quarter, Adrian Wilson pulled Lynch's helmet off and pushed it away from the pile. Lynch was visibly miffed while talking with Carroll on the sideline following that play.
The old saying is "you don't want to know what goes on at the bottom of piles in the NFL", so these "charges" don't exactly surprise anyone.
And Dockett and Wilson haven't exactly been on-field choir boys during their tenures with the Cardinals. Add that to the fact that Lynch is arguably the toughest runner in the league to bring down, and maybe, just maybe, some frustration set in.
This sounds like the beginning of another heated rivalry between the Cardinals and an NFC West foe -- which is exactly what the Cards, and the division, need.