Inconsistent quarterback play led to one of the wilder starts to an NFL week. Four defensive touchdowns occurred in early games, giving us a glimpse into how different players celebrate defensive success.
There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought on how a defensive touchdown should be handled. It's a battle between the simplistic "arm in the air" celebration, and the more flashy (but Mike Tomlin detested) end zone flip.
Putting your arm in the air appeals to grizzled veterans who believe "acting like you've been there before" is the key to a good celebration. It tells the league that your great play was no big deal, and that you could bust one of these whenever you want. It's hard to know how this applies to Thomas DeCoud, who danced after his -- maybe that addition pulls it out of the humble category.
Everybody loves a good flip. It's why humans try to flip whenever an opportunity presents itself, whether this is at the community swimming pool, backyard trampoline or while jumping on a bed (not recommended). An NFL player flipping into the end zone shares this same childlike glee we all had when attempting an athletic maneuver after exclaiming, "Hey mom, watch this." Nickell Robey rules the day for his flip. He gets great extension and covers a huge amount of ground. Robey is also helped by his competition, as Antonio Allen tumbled like Winnie the Pooh falling out of a tree following his flip.
Finally there's Logan Ryan. Sweet, seemingly innocent Logan Ryan. The Patriots' rookie cornerback eschewed either celebration for the often-unused crotch grab. It's a situational celebration that requires timing and fearlessness to fall backwards and grab your genitals in the hope the quarterback has turned around to admire your handiwork.
There's a fine line between celebratory and mocking, which is why the flip is the ideal defensive touchdown celebration. The hand in the air has become ho-hum, while the crotch grab is, well, a crotch grab. Being playful wins and kudos to Robey and Allen for doing it right.