The final minute of the Jaguars-Seahawks game devolved into an embarrassing shoving match that culminated with a player trying to climb into the stands to confront fans that were throwing objects at him.
With the Jaguars in victory formation to cap off their eventual 30-24 win, the Seahawks defenders attacked the line of scrimmage in a manner reminiscent of the end of Super Bowl XLIX.
Michael Bennett dangerously rolls into the centers leg. Sheldon Richardson ejected for throwing a punch. pic.twitter.com/Qsyr7FJWNH— Jesse Foster (@Jesse__Foster) December 11, 2017
Defensive end Michael Bennett, who was nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award this week, dove at the legs of Jaguars center Brandon Linder. Then, well after the play was over, he rolled onto the back of Linder’s legs. As Linder tried to get up, Seahawks linebacker Terence Garvin shoved him to the ground.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, seeing what happened to Linder, exchanged words with Bennett, and the two began shoving each other. Simultaneously, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson got into a shoving match with multiple Jaguars linemen, and pushed one in the face. Players from both squads had to be restrained. Bennett and Fournette drew offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties on the play, and Richardson was ejected.
On the following kneel-down, Seahawks defensive end Quinton Jefferson was also ejected and penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. As he headed to the tunnel, a fan threw what appeared to be a bottle toward Jefferson, which nearly hit him, and Jefferson walked around toward the section of fans.
Things are getting UGLY in Jacksonville pic.twitter.com/rsPnztEZAs— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 11, 2017
Multiple security guards got between Jefferson and the fans, who exchanged words, and one security guard climbed into the stands. Another object, which also may have been a bottle, was thrown toward Jefferson. He rushed toward the seats and tried to climb into the stands before a security guard pulled him back to field level and multiple other guards surrounded him. At that point, a third bottle was thrown in his direction.
The broadcast cut back to the field, where the Jaguars kneeled down to mercifully end the spectacle.
“We have to be more poised than that,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said in his postgame press conference, adding that Seattle had a chance to get the ball back before the penalties at the end of the game. He said that he heard that somebody poured a beer on Jefferson’s head, saying of the fans, “They pay to get in, they can do whatever they want I guess.”
Fines for the incident are a virtual certainty, and suspensions would not be surprising.