Style points may not show up in the box score, but they do in our weekly NFL celebration grades. Showmanship is as much an art as football itself, so it's important to appreciate the celebratory displays that we'll see every weekend during the NFL season. It's also important to roast the players who clearly need to work on their celly game.
We had some incredible submissions in Week 9, so let's get to it.
49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh loves to do his spinning karate kick after big plays, and he had plenty of chances to do it on Thursday night last week. We've already graded that celebration, but just look at how much was going on after forcing a turnover against the Raiders. We've got Marsh's spinning kick, Dekoda Watson dancing in the back, then Marsh dancing in the front while Richard Sherman praises him, and then a respectful bow to cap it all off. That's a lot to take in. It's overwhelming.
Feed Ben Watson
Saints tight end Ben Watson has been eating in this league for a long time, but he's still clearly hungry. At first I thought this TD celebration was another pregnancy celly, which would have been a mistake considering JuJu Smith-Schuster already won that category this year. But I believe this is just Watson signaling that his belly is full of delicious production after getting in the end zone, and that's a move I respect greatly.
Raheem Mostert had to surf through some waves of defenders en route to the end zone on this 52-yard touchdown on Thursday, so it only seems fitting that he went with the surfing celebration when he got there. Plus, it came during a matchup of two California teams. Bonus points for that, even if they are the Bay Area teams.
Byard dances on The Star
Oh boy, oh boy. Kevin Byard wasn't out to make any friends in Dallas on Monday night when he went and danced on the Cowboys' star at midfield following an interception. As we saw when it was previously done by Terrell Owens 18 years ago, Dallas views the move as an act of disrespect and is not afraid to take action to prevent it. Byard managed to do the T.O. tribute and get a few dance moves in before a Cowboys player came and intervened. It was a bold move by Byard to pull, especially on "Monday Night Football," but I respect the disrespect. Plus, fortune favors the bold.
Michael Thomas goes full Joe Horn
Speaking of tributes to retired wide receivers, this one by Michael Thomas had the football world in an uproar on Sunday. After scoring what would prove to be a game-breaking touchdown late in the game, Thomas went under the goalpost to retrieve a cell phone and go full Joe Horn with his celly. Thomas clearly did his research and preparation (even stashing a phone in both end zones), so we have to give him points for attention to detail. He even made sure to use a flip phone, which are hard to come by these days. Some people took issue with the timing of Thomas' showmanship -- the Rams weren't yet out of the game and Thomas was penalized for using a prop -- but if we're grading on the celebration alone (we are), it's a pretty legendary one.
Seahawks in sync
The Seahawks have consistently delivered incredible celebrations all year long (even if they haven't consistently delivered wins), but this is undeniably their best to-date. Heck, it might even be one of best celebrations of any team all year, or quite possibly of all time. This dance routine isn't insanely over-the-top, but it's incredibly choreographed and incredibly well-executed. You'd be hard-pressed to find better group synchronization than what the 'Hawks displayed here. It must be cherished and appreciated.