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Bills O-linemen accuse Tamba Hali of filthy play

By Tim Graham

As splendiferous as today's 35-17 victory was for the Buffalo Bills, members of the offensive line were salty over perceived cheap shots from Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali.

Bills center Eric Wood, left guard Andy Levitre and right tackle Erik Pears commented on Hali's misbehavior that nearly led to a donnybrook right before halftime.

"They get ticked off, and when you get a team down, they're going to take some shots at you," Wood said. "That's why we weren't taking our foot off their throats toward the end.

"That's stuff that rubs you pretty raw."

I asked Wood who the culprit was, and he replied, "Hali for the second year in a row." Wood wondered aloud if the NFL would fine the star pass-rusher.

Wood noted Hali, playing his first game after serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, went after Levitre's neck and deliberately tried to hurt rookie left tackle Cordy Glenn's arm.

"It was stuff after the play, where they're trying to get a guy's arm out of socket or trying to twist a guy's head under a pile," Wood said. "We're not going to stand for that."

Right after Ryan Fitzpatrick's 10-yard dart to Scott Chandler put the Bills up 21-0, a skirmish needed to be dispersed so the extra point could be kicked.

"Two plays in a row they were taking cheap shots at us," Wood said. "They did the same thing last year in Kansas City [a 41-7 Bills victory]. You start getting a team down, and you'll see their true colors, and they came out the past two years.

"We're not just going to sit back and take it. We've got a physical group up front, and if they want to take shots at us, we're going to take them back at them."

Toronto Sun reporter John Kryk got Levitre's perspective after the game.

"I think I tripped or something and fell, so he thought I was trying to cut him," Levitre said of Hali. "And he tried to twist my neck. He took both of his arms and pinched them around my helmet and [twisted]. So that got me going a little bit. So I reacted to that.

"We were talking back and forth, and on the following play he tried to come inside, and I threw him on the ground."

That play (Chandler's touchdown catch) was when Hali allegedly went after Glenn's arm.

Pears was one of the first responders.

"You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us," Pears said.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |