New York Giants safety Landon Collins has been balling out this season. He’s racked up 76 tackles, three sacks and five interceptions in just 12 games. Despite this great play, Collins’ mind appeared to be elsewhere Wednesday, when he took a chance to give his thoughts on Ohio State’s 2015 Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama:
"They cheap shotted us. They hit all our best players...Oh they cheap shot me in the shoulder, (couldn't) tackle no more. Took out our best linebacker (Reggie Ragland). Blindsided him ... concussed him. Then we had a rookie in there, then they took out a defensive tackle."
Per UrbanDictionary, a cheap shot “is an action or actions that are considered 'dirty,' deliberate, unnecessary or excessive because they are perceived as unethical, unfair, dishonest or a 'last ditch desperation move'. Let’s take a look at a few instances in which Collins may have felt he was cheap shotted and see if there could be any truth behind his allegations.
No. 1 Potential Cheap Shotter: Ezekiel Elliott
This whole story started because Collins’ Giants will be taking on Elliott’s Cowboys on Sunday night football. They had several collisions during the Sugar Bowl, but none bigger than immediately after Collins had recovered an Elliott fumble during the first quarter:
Was Elliott trucking Collins “unnecessary”?
No. Collins was in his way, so Zeke ran him over.
Was Elliott trucking Collins “unfair”?
Yes. Collins got lower than Elliott and the low man is supposed to win in football. Isn’t that what Nick Saban says? Probably? Pretty sure that’s what Nick Saban says.
Was Elliott trucking Collins a “last ditch desperation move”?
RULING: Not a cheap shot.
No. 2 Potential Cheap Shotter: Cardale Jones
We know that Bama didn’t respect Cardale and we know that Cardale didn’t necessarily think too highly of the Crimson Tide. So is it possible that Cardale took a cheap shot on Bama’s stud safety when he saw the opportunity?
Was Cardale trucking Collins “excessive”?
This is a tricky question. Quarterbacks typically slide when they’re forced to confront an All-American in the middle of the field, but it’s not been confirmed whether or not Cardale has ever slid in a football game. We know he didn’t slide against Wisconsin and he definitely didn’t slide against Oregon, so we’ll give him a pass on this category due to a lack of concrete evidence.
Was Cardale trucking Collins “unethical”?
Kinda. Cardale is 6’5” and weighs 253 pounds. Collins is 6’0” and weighs 228 pounds. Considering Cardale’s running style has been described as a “haunted downhill shopping cart”, we’ll side with Collins here.
Was Cardale trucking Collins a “last ditch desperation move”?
No, because the Buckeyes didn’t really have to use a last ditch desperation move on Bama. They were ahead for most of the second half and dominated the line of scrimmage the entire game.
RULING: Not a cheap shot.
After further review, it’s been determined that Ohio State did not go out of their way to cheap shot Landon Collins and his injured shoulder. It turns out that the Buckeyes have some football players that are more than capable of creating big hits during the course of just about any play. If Collins didn’t like it, maybe he should’ve done something about it when he had a chance during the single biggest play of either team’s season:
Landon Collins is playing like one of the best defenders in the NFL right now. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t play like this against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, and it wasn’t because of the Buckeyes cheap shotting him. I for one cannot wait to see how Zeke responds to this allegation Sunday night.