Lions Claim Late-Game Brouhaha Was Retaliation For Dirty Play By Steelers

In the closing seconds of what seemed to be a fairly clean game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions on the surface, emotions boiled over and it resulted in one player being ejected. That player was Lions defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson as he was tossed from the end of Detroit’s 20-15 loss to the Steelers after he threw two punches at Pittsburgh guard Ramon Foster following a late scrum during a kneel-down play.

That incident, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, was the culmination of what Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence called “a mean football game.”

After the game, Spence reportedly accused the Steelers of dirty play throughout the contest and claimed that is what ignited the end-of-game skirmish when he and Robinson fired off the ball on the snap when the Steelers offense taking a knee to run out the final seconds on the clock.

“Just tempers flaring, man,” Spence reportedly said. “Guys had been taking shots at us all game. I don’t know what happened on the other side. I can’t really speak on it, but I know I’m going to take care of my guys and my guys are going to take care of me and let the chips fall where they may.”

Spence later added that play “was chippy the whole game” Sunday night and he accused the Steelers of taking “head shots” and delivering hits to the face masks of Lions defensive linemen.

“I think I got high-lowed a couple times,” Spence said, according to Birkett. “Guys came back around, chopped me in the legs. it was just a mean football game, man.”

During that late-game brouhaha, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey looked like he threw a few punches at a Lions player. He, however, wasn’t flagged and tossed from the game like Robinson was.

Just because Pouncey wasn’t flagged for his punches doesn’t mean that he won’t ultimately be fined by the league for them. In fact, it will be surprising if he and Robinson aren’t both fined for their actions late in the game. Even so, Pouncey denied the dirty play accusation on Monday.

“You have to show sportsmanship,” Pouncey told ESPN. “You just lost the game. We’re taking a knee. What are you trying to prove right now? If anybody’s playing (dirty), that’s dirty s— right there. They literally tried to attack me, come off 100 miles per hour. I ain’t going for that … Do it during the game. You want to do it while we’re taking a knee? It’s a general rule of sportsmanship. You don’t do that type of s—.”

As for Spence’s claim that the Steelers offensive linemen played dirty throughout the game, we’ll have to see if the all-22 tape backs that up when it’s released in the next several hours.

  • BlackAndGold97

    This feels like the usual “I screwed up and need to make an excuse to justify it” situation. There are about 20 cameras there, let’s hope he’s not lying about the Steelers dirty play.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Let those PAB’s play Bengals or Ravens to see what a “chippy” game is.

  • Ross McCorkle

    Oh, so what are they calling that dirty hit on Jesse james?

  • treeher

    I think you mean “Let’s hope he’s lying about the Steelers dirty play.”


    Growing tired of this narrative

  • Steelerbob

    “accused the Steelers of taking “head shots” and delivering hits to the face masks of Lions defensive linemen”

    you mean like the one on Jesse James? That one was brutal.

  • Gloria Burke

    Let’s not forget the late hit on Ben that wasn’t flagged…And Davis getting flagged for unnecessary roughness….Not sure about that one either.

  • Ben Clark


  • pcantidote

    If the dirty play means the curb stomping you took at the goal line, then yes, we played dirty.

  • ThatGuy

    What he meant to say was “we couldn’t break through their line to get to Ben at all except on a late hit and we’re going to cry about it now”

  • JT

    As much as Ben gave that an NBA-level flop…you don’t get more textbook that than. Wasn’t an issue of Ben hanging around to make a play, either. Just a late shot. Shocked that wasn’t called.

  • pcantidote

    The call on Davis was ridiculous. A shoulder tackle on a guy that clearly saw the hit coming. It was clearly a call the refs were making to “even the score” on those kind of calls.

  • Smitty 6788

    That hit pissed me off because he took 3 or 4 steps before lowering the boom on Ben. The ref was right there and allowed it no way that was clean.

  • Asmitty56

    Lol right. It’s not like Jesse James didn’t take a shot to the face and wasn’t the most obvious case of defenseless receiver

  • NCSteel

    Not buying it. The only head shot I saw was directed at, if I remember correctly, Jesse James ( maybe not, it was getting late) but one of our own just the same.

    Bottom line, you’re frustrated. I get it. Just say it.
    Every NFL game is “chippy” to some degree.

    I will say this…those ref’s were not much for pulling a flag out.
    It had to be egregious fir them to even acknowledge it happened.

    If there was any “chippiness” it was probably after coach T told them to give them the same mugging our receivers were getting.

  • Axel

    I could have sworn there was an “illegal contact” penalty some where in the rule book. I do believe that it was a penalty for a defender to make contact with a receiver that is beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Not just in Steelers games but league wide, how many receivers are being hit, grabbed, held, shoved out of bounds etc…….yet not a single penalty.

  • Richard Edlin

    Pouncey had an open hand (slap not punch) but yes … can’t see any big difference.

  • Steve Johnson

    Pouncey should and probably will be fined, he threw two punches. This other stuff about being dirty? I didn’t see it, of course, I wasn’t on the field.

  • Orlysteel

    And the hit to Ben’s head that wasn’t called.

  • BlackAndGold97

    I meant it as ‘let’s hope he’s not lying’ so for his sake he doesn’t fall into that category I mentioned above. More from his point of view. Either way you get the point

  • nitrous12

    Davis dropped his target to meet him below the shoulders and the receiver lowered down to head level. There was nothing Davis could do.

  • ryan72384

    Look at Rosie go firing in there. I love having a badass fullback.

  • Deveraux

    blah blah blah
    The Steelers won. Quit your bellyaching.

  • melblount

    Make it stop! Make it stop! (The Exorcist)

    If it isn’t the refs were for us, it’s we played dirty.

    Two words for these guys: Sore. Losers.

  • Deveraux


  • francesco

    Nothing there. We move on.

  • Jim Foles

    Where is the replay of the helmut to chest hit given to ben well after the throw, that would have ended the game earlier, to bad the refs do not protect Ben like they do Brady.

  • Jacob

    Like hitting a guy in the helmet is going to do much damage.

  • Jim Foles

    Good way to break your hand.

  • Crashcrash777

    What’s the point of punching someone’s helmet? It just hurts your hand, it doesn’t hurt the guy you punched.

  • 太阳三联

    Yea well buddy your oline held all fxcking game. I don’t want to hear it. We + refs kept you in the game and you still couldn’t win. Stfu

  • Doug Andrews

    They’d probably forfeit the game.

  • GravityWon

    Spence….it’s called blocking you cheap- shot moron.


    BB has pretty much NEVER got the TB12 treatment.
    Partially cuz he isn’t a crybaby woosie like Brady, partly cuz of his former style of extending the play, IMO.


    Exactly. And THAT is why that rule is so irritating. The guys who are not trying to kill someone (but who have the WR move into the hit in a way that results in helmet to helmet) are painted with the same brush as the true, unapologetic head hunters!

  • falconsaftey43

    I’m normally one to put it on the defender to do what is necessary to avoid the hit, but this one I felt bad for Davis. WR was a runner at that point IMO, and he clearly lowered his own head into Davis’ shoulder as he approached Davis.

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah, they are letting that go all the time this season. It is supposed to be a penalty even if the ball isn’t thrown to the guy. I wish they would just be consistent.

  • falconsaftey43

    That is the great part about winning. Lions fans and players will spend 4 days complaining about this and we just get to enjoy the win and look forward to the next game.

  • Dan

    I always spelled it “brewhaha”. Hmmm.. Learning something new from this site every day.

  • Lil Smitty

    I thought I was the only one noticing a lack of flags. I have noticed over the years that certain DBs can get away with holding and contact beyond five yards.
    It was so bad that even Collingsworth was mentioning that he hopes Coach Butler tells his players to start grabbing, because the refs aren’t flagging illegal contact. When he notices anything it must be flagrant.

  • Lil Smitty

    Every year refs seem to emphasize one call and overlook other infractions. This year must be the year for overlooking illegal contact penalties.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Never heard of the Steelers offensive line being dirty before nor have I seen anything. New to me.

  • Jim Foles

    Replay should show that the defender coming in at the correct tackling level was setup by the receiver to create a foul. who dropped into the hit. those should be no fouls after replay.

  • Rick McClelland

    Rosie brings Hell fire and damnation. Madden type football player who knows how to get it done.

  • Jim McCarley

    I agree with Pouncey…..Game over, taking a knee and now you want to play…really? whining little bitches, imo.

  • Jim Foles

    Brady would not be 40 and still playing in the nfl if he was in the afcn

  • Zarbor

    To be honest, I love when a defense calls our o-line mean and nasty. As for dirty play? Not buying it. Why wait until the game is over to start the fight especially if they were dirty to you all game. Got his butt kicked and he was mad.

  • BlackAndGold97

    Yep, smells like a made up excuse and being a sore loser

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    Exactly. Had more than enough opportunity after alleged dirty plays were made to them in order to retaliate. Why wait till the most obvious & visible inopportune time to allegedly retaliate? Just puts you in a bad light looking cowardly and unsportsmanlike