NFL should tread lightly with Arthur Moats

December, 23, 2010
12/23/10
12:03
AM ET
The NFL has not announced it's ceasing operations, but an announcement might be forthcoming.

On Wednesday, the league made the kind of decision it could regret.

It crossed Arthur Moats.

NFL statisticians took away a half sack from the surging Buffalo Bills' rookie linebacker and awarded it to nose tackle Kyle Williams.

Bills fans familiar with the Moats fable expect repercussions. Moats, most known for delivering the wicked hit that ended Brett Favre's hallowed streak, has been the inspiration for a Tim Tebow/Chuck Norris-style Twitter campaign started by Jeremy White, co-host of the morning show on Buffalo sports-radio station WGR.

For fun, White has been warning #DontCrossTheMoats since training camp.

Favre discovered what the admonition was all about. Moats' teammates started calling him the "Legend Killer." When veteran Bills receiver Lee Evans' streak of 109 straight games ended two weeks later, folks remarked the all-powerful Moats must've had something to do with it.

Upon hearing the NFL had taken away a half sack, Shawn Stepner of Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW tweeted: "I bet Moats doesn't let the NFL have a season in 2011!"

White reasoned Moats must have given the league permission to make the stat change.

Moats, a sixth-round draft choice from James Madison, has gotten onto the field lately because of injuries and is taking advantage of the opportunity.

He sidelined Favre in Week 13, recorded a fourth-quarter strip-sack of Jake Delhomme in a Week 14 victory over the Cleveland Browns and notched another sack (even after the correction) of Chad Henne to help the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins.

Moats was nominated for AFC defensive player of the week and NFL rookie of the week for Sunday's performance.

"In the last four or five weeks he might have made as much progress as anybody on our football team," Bills head coach Chan Gailey said. "He's learning how to play outside 'backer. He started as an inside 'backer in training camp and in the offseason, and we ended up moving him to outside 'backer. He is learning to play the position, and he's got a chance to be a good outside 'backer before it's over with."

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