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Posted at 5:16 PM ET, 11/28/2010

Cortland Finnegan, Andre Johnson fight in Titans-Texans game

By Cindy Boren

It was a fight more typical of a hockey game than an NFL game.

And, when it was over, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan were ejected from the game, which Houston won. Finnegan and Johnson had been pushing each other and exchanging pleasantries throughout the game and, in the fourth quarter, Finnegan hit Johnson in the mouth as they went to the line of scrimmage. Finnegan's helmet came off, Johnson threw him to the ground and managed to land a couple of blows to Finnegan's head.

Johnson apologized to his teammates afterward, according to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, saying, "I should have kept my cool."

"They're just very competitive, I mean, two Pro Bowl players that expect a lot out of each other," Texans Coach Gary Kubiak said, "and before the day is over they get kind of tired of each other. I just think it's a great battle. That's what our business is about. You know, you don't want things to get out of control like that, though. Two great players that need to be on the field, not off the field."

Like Kubiak, Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher downplayed the incident.

"I didn't think, based on what I saw and what I'm being told, that Cortland deserved to be kicked out of the game," he said. "I'm sure they'll handle that at the league level." Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison cited Tennessee's penchant for provoking opponents on "Football Night in America."

"He's one of the nicest guys in the league," Dungy said of Johnson, "but I'll tell you when I was at Indy, we played against Tennessee twice a year. I always warned my players, 'You have to keep your cool, especially against Cortland Finnegan. He's going to try to get on your nerves.' "

Harrison, who suffered a knee injury playing against Tennessee: "Well, coach, this is no surprise to me. This team ... this is their personality. They're dirty, they're cheap and whenever we played this team, the coaches would always say, 'Guys, beware. They're gonna take a cheap shot at you. They're gonna try to provoke you into doing something.' "

By Cindy Boren  | November 28, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Comments

Someone should take Troy 'PileOnYou's helmet off and pop him a couple times too. Yes, the Titans play dirty. But the Steelers' defensive secondary is the dirtiest bunch of cheap shot artists in the game. They prey on airbourne, defenseless receivers. Polamalu can't cover anyone one on one. He's like a bully's sidekick who waits until you've already been blinded by a sucker punch then steps in to knock you over and take your shoes. If the league is going to start cleaning up the shinanigans, they should start with the team who wrote the book on cheap shots and cheating! Just look at history ...Franco picked that pass off the carpet and that Seattle SuperBowl was a hoax!! Once a cheater, always a cheater. Somebody should send a tape of Troy Polamalu to "Bully Beatdown" and see what happens when someone is actually facing him when he tries to hit them.

Posted by: SteelersPlayDirty | November 28, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Why do idiots ALWAYS feel the need to bag on the Steelers? Get a clue and get a grip on reality. This story has NOTHING TO DO WITH the Steelers, SPD, you moron. Don't hate because you're jealous. How'd you like to volunteer to be the guy who tries to deliver a beatdown on Polamalu? I'll bet your skirt would get in the way.

Posted by: Tikcuf | November 28, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like someone's a little jealous Troy Polamalu is not on THEIR team. Probably a Cleveland Steamer or Buffalo Chip sore loser. HAHA!

Posted by: reAlity12 | November 28, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Several nfl players from different teams have mentioned or agreed with the statement that Tennessee is dirty. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Agree with others over the ridiculous comments from 'SteelersPlayDirty'. To post on a thread that doesn't involve the Steelers, to create an account name called 'SteelersPlayDirty' - these actions say more about the poster than any of his or her comments.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | November 29, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Lazy writing - comparing it to a hockey game. In hockey - nobody would have tried to break it up. They would have let them go at it.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: CF11555 | November 29, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Andre Johnson has no reputation as a problem on the field. He keeps his mouth shut and is arguably the best receiver in the game. On the other hand, Finnegan is known around the league as a trash talker, a cheap shot artist and a punk. Guess who initiated the fight?

Posted by: randysbailin | November 29, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I found it funny that Rodney Harrison was calling anybody a dirty player. Talk about about the pot calling the kettle black. Rodney Harrison is one of the most notoriously dirty players in recent history.

Posted by: meatkins | November 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Pat Fischer who made up for his lack of size by being slow, may have been the dirtiest cornerback in the history of the league. He'd do ANYTHING to a receiver at the line of scrimmage: punch him in the mouth, step on his feet, spit in his face. A cornerback w/o physical gifts has to be dirty to survive.

Posted by: randysbailin | November 29, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Andre Johnson got Finnegan with the two piece and a biscuit. Courtland aint want no parts of that, lol.

Posted by: walkdwalk | November 29, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Might as well talk about other dirty players as fans and general public seem to enjoy and forgive them. Jon Runyon, the ex-Eagles tackle was probably the dirtiest offensive lineman since the Cardinal's Conrad Dobler. Yet, he has been elected to Congress. What does this say about the electorate?

Posted by: jdrd58 | November 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

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