It may not have caught the attention of the referee at the time, but a Kansas City Chiefs defender is now in a bit of hot water with the league for taunting Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs last week.
As the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton faced a fine for his actions toward Diggs during last week’s Sunday Night Football game. The decision appears to be part of the league’s crackdown on taunting, which has led to an uptick in calls during games.
The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Fenton Faces Fine
As USA Today’s Chiefs Wire noted, Fenton’s fine came from a play near the goal line minutes before halftime where he broke up a pass intended for Diggs. After the play, Fenton crossed his arms and briefly got in Digg’s face before walking past him to continue celebrating. Referees didn’t flag Fenton at the time, but it didn’t have much bearing on the game. The Bills would kick a field goal on the drive, putting them up 17-10. Buffalo would go on to win the game 38-20.
The league has put a new emphasis on taunting calls this season, including one that stung the Bills earlier this year. As the Buffalo News noted, cornerback Levi Wallace was flagged for a taunting penalty and later fined $9,526 after breaking up a pass against the Miami Dolphins and making the incomplete pass signal afterward.
While the crackdown on taunting has earned the ire of many fans, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent defended the league’s approach.
“We’re right where we need to be and we’re now seeing the correction we were looking for,” Vincent said, via ESPN. “We saw the spike the first three weeks and now we’re seeing the decline. The coaches and the NFL Competition Committee are pleased. Coaches have told us their players are adjusting, they’re thinking about what they’re going to do, knowing it may cost the team. These are game-changing penalties for a selfish act.”
Bills Revel in Big Win
Though Fenton’s play was significant at the time, it was the Bills that turned in the most memorable plays from what could be a season-defining win. The Chiefs had dismantled the Bills in two big wins last year, including a resounding victory in the AFC Championship game, but it was Buffalo that dominated on Sunday.
One of the most memorable plays came in the fourth quarter, with the Bills leading 31-20 and driving. Bills quarterback Josh Allen dropped back but tucked the ball and took off running as Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed closed in quickly. As Sneed moved down to attempt a tackle, Allen went airborne, jumping over Sneed and falling forward for the first down.
The play impressed Bills coach Sean McDermott, who said he was fine with Allen’s aerobatic display in getting the key first down.
“I’ll take it, yeah I’ll take that first down, he can jump over me if he wants for that first down,” the Bills coach joked afterward, via WIVB.
READ NEXT: Analyst Predicts Monstrous Year for Bills’ Josh Allen, Makes New Prediction