Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints pretends to make a call on a cell phone in celebration of scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 4, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(AP) No real reason for everyone to flip out at what New Orleans wideout Michael Thomas did with a flip phone. He was just having a bit of fun, paying homage to former Saints receiver Joe Horn's own cell-ebration 15 years ago.
Just as Horn did, way back when, Thomas pulled a phone out from the padding of the goal post after scoring a TD, this one an outcome-sealing 72-yarder that made Los Angeles cornerback Marcus Peters look pretty bad in the fourth quarter of the Saints' rollicking 45-35 victory over the previously unbeaten Rams.
''Giving people a show,'' Thomas said.
He was referring to his tribute to Horn, but he could have been talking about his entire performance Sunday - 12 catches for a franchise-record and NFL-season-high 211 yards - or the game as a whole.
What a game it was, marking the Saints (7-1) as serious contenders and exposing the Rams (8-1) as defensively flawed, all the while offering entertainment by the minute.
This season's elite teams have established themselves. These two in the NFC are joined by the AFC troika of the Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) and sudden superstar Patrick Mahomes, the New England Patriots (7-2) and the Los Angeles Chargers (6-2). Worth mentioning: KC's only loss came against the Patriots; the Chargers' two setbacks came against the conference-leading Chiefs and Rams.
Let's get back to the moment that got everyone talking.
Prescient as can be, Thomas said he'd prepared one old-fashioned phone of the sort Horn used in each end zone.
Kind of cocky? Sure. But also justifiable, considering that Thomas is now up to 70 catches for 880 yards and five scores, quickly establishing his pairing with Drew Brees among the most dangerous QB-WR tandems in the league.
Of course, Thomas drew a flag assessed on the ensuing kickoff.
''This is too big of a game to be risking those kinds of yards,'' intoned announcer Troy Aikman on the Fox broadcast.
Even Deion Sanders, of all people, said on the NFL Network he thought Thomas made a mistake. That's because while the rules allow - as they should - the sort of choreography the Seattle Seahawks come up with week after week, what Thomas did is penalized because he used a prop.
Now THAT'S a terrible call.
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