The New York Jets pummeled the Detroit Lions Monday night 48-17, propelled by a defense that surprised many. Veteran Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford contributed four interceptions to the Lions six turnovers in the game. While it is a victory to boast about, the Jets players may have shown too many of their cards in post game interviews, and may receive a visit from a league investigator because of it.
Jets players rambled on to reporters in the locker room about how they knew exactly what plays the Lions would be running, including linebacker Darron Lee, who went as far to say they called out the play right after Stafford would on the opposite side. Lee went on to tell ESPN, “We knew his signals. We knew everything.”
Whether these comments were simply post-game talk or actually true, the remarks made by Jets players struck viewers the wrong way, and led to more than a few allegations of cheating and stealing plays.
Jets coach Todd Bowles attempted damage control on Tuesday, trying to emphasize that his players were just excited about their gameplay. Bowles also commended his coaching staff for the defensive effort by saying, via a transcript of his media session, “the coaches did a good job preparing them, that was about it. We didn’t know their plays, per se.”
Lions head coach Matt Patricia also downplayed the accusations against the Jets, admitting that early season offensive game plans are fairly basic and recognizable by experienced defenses. Patricia even said that his team knew just as much about the Jets game plan as they knew about his teams, with the final result decided by execution on the field.
Tipping off plays is not a new aspect of cheating in the NFL. The New England Patriots were famously caught recording the other teams signals back in 2006, leading to a personal vendetta between commissioner Roger Goodell and the Patriots organization, because it was believed they were caught doing what every other team already does.
After the comments made in reference to cheating by Jets players, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the commissioner took another look into how the Jets were able to so easily identify the playbook of the Lions.
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