Talib ripped Crabtree's chain from his neck. Again.
That's up for discussion.
The two tussled in the first quarter of the AFC West rivalry. Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch took the ball for a four-yard run at the 12:31 mark. He lined up for another carry at the 12:05 mark. But mayhem ensued on Lynch's second tote, when Crabtree put a block on Talib.
Talib and Crabtree locked arms and grabbed onto each other's jerseys, before Talib used his right hand to snatch off Crabtree's chain. Crabtree then pushed the All Pro defender into the sideline, before being surrounded by Talib's teammates.
Then the wide receiver broke an unwritten rule of football fighting: Don't lose your helmet before throwing punches.
The fight continued to erupt on the sideline, with yellow flags flying everywhere. A helmet-less Crabtree confronted Talib again and threw a punch, but found only air. The players were eventually separated.
Fight breaks out between Talib and Crabtree. pic.twitter.com/63rzEQhfAJ— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 26, 2017
Crabtree, Talib and Gabe Jackson were kicked out of the game. The Raiders walked away with a 21-14 victory.
Lynch happily escorted Talib through the Raiders' sideline and into the locker room.
"I'm going to go ahead and talk right away about the ugly incident early in the game where Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree got into it," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said in his postgame comments. "It escalated. I think that they have a little bit of a history with the chain snatching from years back. I think there was an additional chain snatched from what I understand.
"Bottom line is we can't afford to lose one of our top receivers and then our starting guard because he went over there to help his buddy. We can't get two guys tossed like that. I have not had a chance to talk to him yet. I will address it the best I can, but I like to count on my guys to do the right thing there and keep their poise, keep their composure. Not get tossed. It's just too much. We were fortunate we were able to lose two guys like that and overcome and come out with a win."
The prior incident happened in 2016 when Talib ripped off Crabtree's chain. That sequence occurred in the Broncos' 24-6 win against the Raiders on in Denver. Crabtree went deep for a route while being defended by Talib last season. When the two got to their feet, they exchanged words and a few shoves. Talib snatched off Crabtree's chain for the first time. The Broncos star was not fined for that incident.
Marshawn Lynch escorted Aqib Talib out of the game. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/D2Cci6Ks3c— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 26, 2017
"He's just been wearing that chain all year and it just been growing on me," Talib told reporters last season. "I said if he wears that chain in front of me I'm going to snatch it off. So he wore it in front of me, so I had to snatch it off."
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said Sunday's incident came after he was punched by Crabtree.
Round 1 of this Crabtree-Talib fight was this chain snatching last seasonpic.twitter.com/vVyEjw6r0t— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 26, 2017
"Yeah he just sucker-punched me," Harris told reporters. "I have never seen that in the NFL. Today, he just came out wanting to fight. He didn't want to play football. It was the second play of the game. It was a run play, I was playing man, and I wasn't even doing anything. He just came in there, was like BAM, hit me right in the middle of the stomach and I just lost my breath."
Crabtree spent the rest of Sunday's game in a luxury box.
"I mean I guess his initiative was to come out there and fight today, I guess it wasn't to play football," Harris told reporters about Crabtree. "He came out there ready, just punched me in the stomach, I just lost my breath."
Broncos coach Vance Joseph said "we'll see" when asked if he would discipline Talib for the altercation.
"I don't like it and it's unacceptable," Joseph said after the game. "We can't lose our best players because of personal battles. That's a personal battle. This is about the Broncos, so it's unacceptable. We can't have it. It's nonnegotiable. Obviously losing one of our best players and playing a young guy, it hurt us tonight so we can't have it. We talk about those things all the time and we can't have it. Unacceptable."
Broncos and Raiders fight inspired by Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree pic.twitter.com/I0rcqi5pIm— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) November 26, 2017
Neither Crabtree, nor Talib managed to record any statistics during Sunday's game before being tossed. The players await further discipline from the NFL, which could levy a fine or suspension. Rarely are players suspended after being ejected from a game.
The Broncos and Raiders do not play each other again this season.