Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali merely made a tackle of C.J. Spiller on
this play in Buffalo on Sept. 16. (Reuters)
The Oakland Raiders are a dirty team – according to a Kansas City Chiefs player who, six weeks ago, allegedly attempted to wrench one Buffalo Bill’s head off, and twist another’s arm off.
So he’d know dirty. Evidently.
“It’s a tradition,” Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali told the Kansas City Star’s Adam Teicher on Wednesday. “The Raiders, they come in, they cheap-shot, they hit you.”
The 2-4 Raiders visit the 1-5 Chiefs on Sunday afternoon in the 103rd matchup of those AFC West rivals.
“I’m not saying (any) names. It is what it is,” Hali continued. “We’ve got to be ready and keep our composure, stayed poised and be able to get this win.
“(The Raiders) play dirty. We’ve got to come out swinging. We’ve got to be ready for that. (If) you let them do it, they’re going to enjoy themselves doing it and they’ll run over you.”
You don’t say?
Hali threw that rock whilst standing amid the shards of his shattered glass house.
You might recall the story we wrote after the Bills slammed the Chiefs 35-17 on Sept. 16 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Late in the first half, a Chiefs defender took a couple of attempt-to-injure “cheap shots” at a pair of Bills, according to two Buffalo offensive linemen.
The Chiefs player? One Tamba Hali.
The Bills were on the Chiefs’ 2-yard line with 4:21 left in the first half, after another long gain by Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller.
K.C. stuffed Buffalo running back Dorin Dickerson for an eight-yard loss. That’s when Hali apparently lost his cool.
“I think I tripped or something and fell, so he thought I was trying to cut him,” Bills left guard Andy Levitre said after the game. “And he tried to twist my neck. He took both of his arms and pinched them around my helmet and (twisted), so that got me going a little bit. So I reacted to that.
“We were talking back and forth, and on the following play he tried to come inside, and I threw him on the ground.”
That play was a touchdown, a 10-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Scott Chandler that put the Bills up 21-0. Hali, presumably miffed, instantly targeted rookie Buffalo left tackle Cordy Glenn, “trying to (twist his) arm out of the socket,” according to Bills centre Eric Wood.
“We’re not going to stand for that,” Wood said.
Within seconds, as we observed from the press box, three Bills linemen jump on Hali, as the rest of their teammates were celebrating the score. It was quite the scrum but, incredibly, no flags were thrown by the replacement officials.
Both Levitre and Wood said afterward that several disgruntled Chiefs later “started jawing off” like they did last year during the Bills’ 41-7 victory.
Wood said Hali went after “Andy and Cordy — guys that are performing. (The Chiefs) get ticked off. You get a team down, and like I said, they’re going to take some shots at you. That’s why we weren’t taking our foot off their throats at the end.
“It’s something I’m sure the league will review.”
An NFL spokesman on Thursday said Hali was not fined following the KC-Buffalo game.
Regardless, however dirty the Raiders might have been under previous head-coaching regimes in the Al Davis era, that has come to the end under new GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen.
Allen is a no-nonsense disciplinarian who has said he won’t stand for any of that cross-the-line stuff. Mere false-start transgressions drive him crazy.
If anyone, then, is apt to lose his cool on Sunday and cross said line in Kansas City, he probably won’t be wearing white, silver and black.