After re-watching video of the play, the Raiders coach admitted to reporters Monday that Stewart’s hit wasn’t as malicious as he first thought.
“In looking at it, and being honest, I think Amari did duck his head as the guy was approaching,” he said (via the East Bay Times). “That makes it a little harder on the defender and that was probably the one piece that I didn’t have access to prior to that comment.
With the Vikings losing to the Carolina Panthers, oddsmakers were planning to make the Eagles the solo favorites in the NFC. Instead, the Westgate installed Minnesota as the favorite in the NFC at +275. The Eagles are next at 7-2 (+350, followed by the New Orleans Saints at 9-2 (+450), the Rams at 11-2 (+550) and Falcons at 6-1. The Eagles moved down to 12-1 to win the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots remain the consensus Super Bowl favorites and are 2-1 at the Westgate, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7-2.
Smith-Schuster came under fire for his brutal hit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter that was deemed a “dangerous and unsportsmanlike” act followed by an inappropriate celebration. Smith-Schuster wasn’t ejected for the block that sent Burfict off the field on a cart but was penalized for unnecessary roughness and taunting as he stood over the injured Burfict.
Later in the fourth quarter, Iloka seemingly retaliated when he “violently struck a defenseless receiver” and slammed Steelers wideout Antonio Brown with a brutal helmet shot in the end zone.
“We have to be more consistent and make the right plays every time,” Simmons said. “When we make mistakes and do not have guys like Joel and Cov to make up for it, it gets tough. We have to just come together as a team and get through it.”