Sunday was a long night for the entire Cincinnati Bengals offensive line, but none may have had a rougher Super Bowl than former Buffalo Bills lineman Quinton Spain.
The Los Angeles Rams defensive line got to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow all night, including what turned out the game-deciding pressure when Aaron Donald blew past Spain and forced an incompletion on the final drive of the game. Spain drew some criticism — including Bills fans bitter about comments he made about his exit from the team — and lashed out at those critics after the game.
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Spain’s Rough Night
Even before the Super Bowl, it had been a rough playoff run for Burrow who was hounded every game but managed to overcome and continue to lead the Bengals on. That came to an end on Sunday, when the Rams registered a Super Bowl-record seven sacks, including two from Donald. The biggest play of the night came when Donald beat Spain on a 4th-and-1 with under a minute remaining and the Rams clinging to a 23-20 lead. Donald was able to get to Burrow quickly, nearly sacking him before the Bengals quarterback threw a desperation heave that fell incomplete.
Afterward, many Bills fans took to Twitter to point out that it was Spain who whiffed on the block, allowing Donald to come through and pressure Burrow before he had time to get set.
There had been some animosity building toward Spain for some Bills fans after the Bengals lineman opened up this week on his 2020 exit from Buffalo. Spain revealed that he asked for a release after being benched midseason, saying he believed that the coaching staff mismanaged him and never gave him a fair shot.
“At the end of the day, I’m feeling like, ‘Why would you pay me that offseason, and then bench me because we didn’t have a preseason and you wanted to figure something out?’ ” Spain said, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.
Spain Speaks Out
Spain seemed to be hit very hard to the Super Bowl loss and lashed out at some of his critics after the game. Taking to Twitter, Spain said that some seemed to be rooting for him to fail.
“Didn’t do s*** all game on me I know y’all was watching and waiting for me to mess up,” he tweeted.
“Hater Praying on my downfall,” he wrote in another tweet.
Some of the harshest trolling came from Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, who shared some of his criticism of Spain’s play on Twitter. Spain called out Simmons in return, noting that the Titans went home much earlier in the playoffs — and at the hands of the Bengals. Spain said that when the two teams faced off, Simmons was afraid to face him directly.
“Love how you talking now,” Spain wrote, “ … when I ask you to line up on my side when we played y’all (you) kept running to the right side (of the offensive line) … I know you a b**** on the field and off the field.”