New York Giants

The Giants & Chargers Teach Us Lessons In Taking Dives

Week 2 yielded another Sunday of gaudy passing numbers that surely induced night sweats from fantasy football owners and hives for NFL defensive coordinators.

The New York Giants and San Diego Chargers went to extraordinary lengths to display their concerns over fast-paced offensive play.

During New England’s 35-21 win over San Diego, linebacker Shaun Phillips fell to the ground in what some believe was nothing more than a ploy to slow down the Patriots offense, who carved up the Charger defense last Sunday.

A skeptical Tom Brady stood over Phillips as he was being examined by San Diego’s training staff.

Meanwhile, a more egregious offense occurred on Monday night when safety Deon Grant and linebacker Jacquian Williams of the Giants tumbled to the turf post-play, perhaps in an effort to slow down the suddenly up-tempo Rams.

St. Louis will reportedly file a complaint with the league over New York’s unethical practices but this is an issue that existed well before Week 2’s events.

During Monday night’s Westwood One national radio broadcast, analyst Boomer Esiason pointed out similar happenings against his Bengals during the 1988 season.

Cincinnati used the no-huddle offense throughout the ’88 season and into the postseason. During an AFC Divisional playoff game against Seattle, defensive tackle Joe Nash faked an injury on four occasions to stall the Bengals and the clock, according to Chuck Knox, then-Seahawks head coach. Cincinnati defeated Seattle 21-13.

While it is a classless move, it makes sense for opposing defenses to do. If you’re having trouble stopping an offense and can’t deal with the tempo, feigning injury takes advantage of a system that allows such chicanery.

Trying to regulate taking dives is such a difficult process that it might be tough for the NFL competition committee to enact measures against it.

Finally, it appears American football and European futbol have created some sort of bizarre kinship.

1 reply »

  1. Probably the most egregious example of taking dives I ever seen was the Oregon/Cal football game last season. On every Oregon offensive drive, Cal players were dropping left and right in an attempt to slow down the Ducks offense. It was classless and annoying, but nearly gave Cal the upset.

    I’m sure how the NFL could regulate taking a dive, but I’m sure that players on the field might find “creative” ways to resolve problems with repeat offenders.


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