Here’s Your Early Leader For “Dumbest NFL Penalty Of The Year”

  • Glenn Davis

Rams cornerback/notorious dick Cortland Finnegan lives to get under opponents’ skin. And it’s no wonder why he loves doing it so much: he’s really, really good at it. Who could forget him provoking calm, cool Andre Johnson into an on-field brawl in 2010? He’s so good at baiting opponents into doing dumb stuff with his own antics, he’s perfectly fine with that being his calling card. It’s his craft – he takes pride in it.

And yesterday, Finnegan showed us again how good he is at what he does – very possibly winning the Rams a game in the process. His victim this time: Redskins receiver Josh Morgan. With the Rams leading 31-28 and the Redskins driving to try and tie or win late in the fourth quarter, Morgan caught a pass from Robert Griffin III and got inside the Rams’ 30-yard line – not a gimme field goal, but very makeable in a dome. The problem: Finnegan tackled him, and did Cortland Finnegan things. And Morgan… did not handle this very well:

The result: instead of a 46-or-so-yard field goal try, the Redskins were left with a 4th-and-16. Rather than a desperation shot at a first down, Mike Shanahan decided to try a 62-yard field goal. It missed. By a lot. Redskins lose. Morgan’s the goat. And he should be. Yes, Finnegan loves to bait people, so don’t make it easy for him – and especially not at that point in the game. It’s not like Morgan’s some rookie just getting his bearings in the league, either – he’s a fifth-year NFLer. He has to know the deal with players like Finnegan by now.

Speaking of rookies, Morgan’s blunder obscures a larger point for the Redskins going forward: Robert Griffin is as advertised and then some. He didn’t match his near-otherworldly brilliance from the previous week against the Saints (not that that should have been expected in the least), but he did put up this stat line: 20-of-29 passing, 206 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 11 rushes, 82 yards, two scores. 11 carries should give fans pause, considering Griffin’s not Cam Newton (or Andrew Luck)-sized, but the fact that he was as productive with them as he was should have them downright giddy. Maybe they lost yesterday, but the Redskins are going to win plenty with Griffin at the helm.

Oh and that one interception Griffin threw? He threw it to Finnegan.

[video via The Big Lead]