The Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals have engaged in a battle that had nothing to do with their play on the football field. A special teams penalty may have resulted in the fight of the year in the NFL, as three players were ejected in a brawl that led to Dolphins head coach Brian Flores wanting in on the action. 

Bengals safety Shawn Williams and Dolphins wide receivers DeVante Parker and Mack Hollins were ejected for their roles in the brawl, which started after Bengals wide receiver Mike Thomas conducted a late hit on Dolphins punt returner Jakeem Grant. A muffed punt by Grant was caused by a kick catch interference penalty on Thomas -- who was not ejected from the game.  

Grant, who was injured on the play, waived both his arms up in the air searching for the flag as he was lying on the ground. Once the play concluded, players on both sidelines engaged in some pushing and shoving and punches were thrown with Flores shouting at the officials as he was trying to enter the brawl. 

Hollins received an illegal blindside penalty that offset Thomas' penalty. In addition to the three disqualifications, William Jackson received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for Cincinnati. The brawl came after two other players (Miami cornerback Xavien Howard and Cincinnati receiver Tyler Boyd) were ejected for a previous altercation.

Flores realized he had to keep his composure in that moment, but he'll never turn down any opportunity to stick up for his players. There's a reason why the Dolphins go to war for him since he's arrived in Miami. 

"We've got to do a better job of keeping our poise. That starts with me. I've got to do a better job of keeping my poise. But, look, I'm going to stick up for my players," Flores said after the game. "They're going to stick up for each other without getting penalties, without hurting the team, but we've got to do a better job of keeping our poise as a team. 

"I'm just going to be honest, these are like my kids. The first time, yeah. The second time I got a little upset about it, but still I've got to do a better job. I have to. I can't do anything to hurt the team. My emotions got the best of me there. But again, you see somebody you care about get hit like that twice ... But I have to do a better job. I've got to keep my poise better. We have to do a better job of that as a team."

Tua Tagovailoa admired Flores retaliating on behalf of his players, which goes a long way toward the chemistry in the locker room. Several Dolphins players defended their head coach after the game, including Shaq Lawson and Christian Wilkins.

"I think it speaks a lot to Flo's character – how much it means to him that, you know, his player got hit, and it wasn't the first time. It was the second time. It just means a lot," Tagovailoa said. "He's not just a coach out there. If his guy gets hurt, he's not going to let it go. He stands up for us as a team. 

"You got to see, not just him, but other guys going in there trying to defend Jakeem (Grant) and whatnot. But I think it's a testament – although it happened the way it did, it's also a testament to how close we are as a team."