Luckily for both sides, no suspensions will be handed out for the incident — though discipline will still be handed out. That’s not the case for the four fans who were identified by the Jaguars as the ones who threw things at Quinton Jefferson. Those four fans will be banned.
It started with a big scuffle
A fight broke out between the two teams when Sheldon Richardson bulldozed through the Jaguars offensive line on a kneel down and Michael Bennett rolled into the legs of offensive linemen.
Richardson was ejected from the game and the Seahawks picked up two personal fouls, while the Jaguars got one on Leonard Fournette, who jumped into the fray.
Why did Bennett do that?
It’s hard to say. It could have just been frustration, but there’s also some precedent. A closer look reveals that Bennett may have been trying to swat the snap away in order to get the ball back to the Seahawks with a little time left on the clock. It’s a move that almost never works, and causes more trouble than it’s probably worth, as evidenced here.
Pete Carroll said that was the case a day later.
Carroll says again Bennett was trying to swipe the ball at snap. But he said Bennett has been told to not do it any longer to prevent incidents such as Sunday's.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) December 11, 2017
Bennett wasn’t saying much about it when asked after the game.
Michael Bennett, asked what happened at end, said "I don't have to explain myself."— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) December 11, 2017
The NFL evidently agreed and opted not to fine Bennett:
Then the Seahawks did it again and Jaguars fans got involved
On the next play, chaos broke out again with two more personal fouls on the Seahawks and an ejection for defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, who then began arguing and yelling at fans who threw drinks at him.
As he turned to walk away, he’s hit by something, what looks like a drink, thrown from the stands. That’s when he charged over to confront the fans again, and started to climb into the stands.
And here’s video of it:
An exciting showdown between the Seahawks and Jaguars ended in ugliness pic.twitter.com/UR0ZioXG0k— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 11, 2017
Jefferson was eventually escorted to the locker room, but the game was over by the time he was removed from the field.
Reporters surrounded Jefferson at his locker after the game, but he didn’t have much to say. He just sat there stunned. Bennett chased the press away.
A review by the team’s security staff identified four fans who threw five things, including beverages, popcorn and a plastic bottle. Those fans will be banned from attending all future Jaguars games.
Besides throwing things at Jefferson, those fans were screaming insults at him, according to two others in the stands next to them.
That didn’t stop Jefferson or several other players from receiving fines, though.
Players fined for #Seahawks-#Jaguars: #Seahawks Quinton Jefferson: $9,115 (unnecessary roughness)#Seahawks Sheldon Richardson: $9,115 (unnecessary roughness)#Seahawks Germain Ifedi: $24,309 (verbal abuse of a ref)#Jaguars Leonard Fournette: $12,154 (unsportsmanlike conduct)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 15, 2017
Here’s what was said after the game
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had an interesting explanation for the bad blood at the end of the game, telling reporters that teams just don’t know how to handle losing to a team that was a perennial doormat.
Blake Bortles on recent games being chippy.— Brian Chojnacki (@BroadcastingBri) December 11, 2017
“Teams aren’t used to getting beat by the Jags. We beat the crap out of them for 60 minutes.” #Jaguars
That might be a logical explanation too.
In March, Bennett told reporters that “most of the NFL games are decided by one point unless you're playing the Jaguars or something. Then it's decided by 50.”
That comment didn’t go unnoticed by the Jaguars, according to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue:
louder for the folks in the back pic.twitter.com/i9YZOjj2HQ— MadeByTim (@MadeByTim) December 11, 2017
Even after Bortles finished with 268 passing yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, the Seahawks still didn’t really want to give him his due.
FS Earl Thomas sitting slumping in folding chair in front of his locker in pants, pads lamenting long after #Seahawks loss at Blake Bortles, JAX: "That is a subpar quarterback."— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 11, 2017
The penalties came after the Jaguars got a game-sealing first down, but Pete Carroll wasn’t happy with the discipline of his team down the stretch:
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “It’s really unfortunate how it ended. We had a chance to get the ball back. We have to be more poised than that.”— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 11, 2017
Carroll picked up a penalty himself when he ran on to the field to break up a second fight. After the game, he explained his actions and talked about Jefferson’s interactions with fans:
#Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on coming into the middle of the field at the ugly end of loss at JAX, Quinton Jefferson trying to charge into stands after fan threw beer on him. pic.twitter.com/UgCT7b0C5P— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 11, 2017
Carroll received a $10,000 fine for running on the field:
Sheldon Richardson also explained his actions:
Sheldon Richardson, on punch that got him ejected: "A guy grabbed me after the whistle blew. I was protecting myself. Things got a little hot, a little heated."— Matt Calkins (@Matt_Calkins) December 11, 2017
The Jaguars saw things differently, though.
Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey: "We played like some dogs tonight. We really should have blew them out if I'm being real about it."— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 11, 2017
As far as stadium security goes, the NFL will be looking into that:
The NFL has confirmed that the home team is required to provide adequate security at games and that the Jaguars' lack of security, with multiple Seahawks hit by objects thrown by fans, is being investigated.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 11, 2017
The Jaguars later released a statement:
The loss dropped the Seahawks to 8-5, but the team is fortunate not to receive suspensions too.