This season the New York Giants got into a bit of trouble with the NFL when several players feigned injury in order to slow down the opposing offense and get different personnel on the field. The Giants didn't originate that ploy. As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare to take on the Seattle Seahawks this week, Bengals 101 takes a look back at one of the more interesting points of history between the two teams.
The year was 1988. The Cincinnati Bengals were in the midst of a season that would take them to Super Bowl XXIII in Miami. Their first opponent on that road would be the AFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks coached by the legendary Chuck Knox.
The Bengals had become famous throughout the league for head coach Sam Wyche's "Attack Offense" in which the offense operated in a "two-minute" mode throughout the contest, especially on third down. Although commonplace today, Wyche's offensive wrinkle was frustrating to teams accustomed to substituting personnel based on down and distance. Wyche was the first to realize that by not huddling, the offense could cause the defense to keep their base personnel on the field every down and thus dictate the matchups.
Enter Joe Nash. Chuck Knox employed his nose tackles, Nash and Ken Clarke to fall down and grab their knees when the Seahawks needed to change personnel. The Seahawks worked it well, replete with trainers coming onto the field and an actual examination. Bengals head coach Sam Wyche was not fooled. In the clip linked below, he informs the side judge who has just pleaded innocent to Seattle's shenanigans by saying, "I'm not a doctor." Sam's reply: "I'll give you a clue. He only does that on third down, you'll have your MD by the end of the night."
NFL Films documented Seattle's infamous strategy. Bengals and Seahawks fans alike will appreciate a look back at this game as will sports fans in general who might enjoy remembering a younger Bob Costas and Don Shula discussing the controversy early on with the "no-huddle" offense and the legendary NBC announcing tandem of Dick Enberg and the late Merlin Olsen.
Ultimately, the ploy didn't work and the Bengals went on to win the game 21-13. Wyche's no-huddle attack is now a part of many NFL teams' offensive packages, and as the Giants showed earlier this year, so is Joe Nash's "trick knee."
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