Week 6 in review; helmet-to-helmet hits

Ouch.

As punishment, and in reference to my picks last week, I will quote Mike Tomlin: “No excuses. No explanations.”

Picks against the spread: 4-9-1 (38-48-4 overall)

Over/under picks: 5-9 (48-41-1 overall)

Specials: 1-2* (11-7 overall)

*if it wasn’t for that Ravens/Patriots line dropping by 1/2 of a point, I would’ve been 1-0-2. ahhh, oh well.

Offensive player of the week

  • Kevin Kolb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 23/29 (79%), 326 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Defensive player of the week

  • E.J. Henderson, LB, Minnesota Vikings
  • 9 tackles (4 solo), 2 passes defensed, 2 INT (10 yards)

Highlight of the week

Now that that’s over, let’s get on to the hot topic of the weekend: helmet-to-helmet hits, flagrant hits, etc.

NFL Executive VP of Player Operations Ray Anderson was on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN radio this morning. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic asked Anderson about the course of action to be taken regarding “devastating hits”/”head shots”.

Anderson was asked specifically about the hit Brandon Merriweather made on Todd Heap in the Ravens/Patriots game this past weekend.

Anderson said the league would take “aggressive” and “immediate” action on any hit deemed flagrant, devastating, etc., beginning in week 7.

Specifically regarding Merriweather’s hit, Anderson suggested that kind of hit would certainly garner a suspension in the future.

Later in the day after Anderson made those remarks, Merriweather was fined $50,000 for that hit. Players also fined for similar hits on Sunday were PIT LB James Harrison ($75,000) and ATL CB Dunta Robinson ($50,000).

When asked about the possibility of players hitting low instead of hitting high to avoid suspension, Anderson said the league is trying to avoid “life-altering impacts”, and that “head shots” are more likely to be life-altering than are hits to a players’ knee.

The NFL is constantly evolving. They are protecting their main investments
(the players). If you were Roger Goodell, and you saw the vicious hits that happened on Sunday (and knowing how dangerous professional football is already), what would you do?

With what happened Sunday, and taking into account an 18-game schedule in the near future, something had to be done.

If it were me, I’d do the same thing.

Remember those assemblies in school about drugs and alcohol: it may seem fine, but it only takes one instance for someone’s life to be paralyzed or to die.

Of course, the new stance on “devastating hits” isn’t full-proof, but it definitely is a step in the right direction.

As ESPN’s Colin Cowherd said, “You’re not changing the rules, you’re enforcing them.”

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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Filed under 2010 Week 7

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