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Ahmad Brooks called for critical penalty for hitting Drew Brees in neck (GIF)

Ahmad Brooks was called for a critical personal foul penalty for hitting Drew Brees in the neck on 3rd and 2 play in the final four minutes of Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Brooks beat the Saints’ right tackle around the edge and just crushed Brees, causing a fumble that was recovered by Patrick Willis. But the refs flagged Brooks for a personal foul for hitting Brees in the neck. The penalty resulted in a first down for the Saints and allowed them to keep the drive going. They eventually kicked a field goal to tie the game.

Here’s a slow motion replay of the hit:

Just look at Brees’ neck when he was hit. It stretches like a cartoon character’s:

Ahmad Brooks Drew Brees

No surprise Brees was bloodied on the play:

Drew Brees

The Saints forced a 3-and-out for the Niners on the next possession, and then they drove for the winning field goal after getting the ball back. You can very easily argue that the call on Brooks cost the 49ers the game. They lost 23-20.

Also see: Ahmad Brooks says penalty call was bulls—

GIFs via @cjzero



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  • Donnie Jones

    I have had time to think about it and I do not wish him to get fined. However, I still stand that it was correctly called. As for the Saints winning on one “bad call” as you put it, you couldnt be further from the truth. You, my friend, are delusional.

  • Brandy Lee

    I’d rather lose a game and walk off the field knowing we played right than winning a game without respect and playing dirty. It’s plain as day it was a bs call. Really erks me. I had more respect for Brees. He knows himself it was bs. Quarterback needs to suck it up and stop whining. Play the damn game. Get off the field if your too much of a pansy and scared to get hit. Sorry. My rant is over. ;)

  • Daniel Smith

    You persist with looking at this from the wrong angle. I am not disputing and do not at all care to argue whether or not the referee should have thrown the flag and what angle he had. That doesn’t at all address if the call was the correct one, and as last night should have proven to you — throwing the flag is one thing, but going through and assessing the penalty is another.

    In this case, the refs could have had a conference just like the refs did last night for the Pats/Panthers, and they could have corrected their call. Just because this wasn’t the last play of the game like Pats/Panthers doesn’t at all mean the play wasn’t critical enough to the outcome to review — and, given the gravity of the play, they should have done so.

    You can see all parts of the initial hit were not to that area, and as Brees falls, Brooks’ natural motion takes him past Brees…which means his arms have to come with him. As Brees falls, Brooks’ HAND is still on Brees’ shoulderpad, and his forearm, as part of a the natural momentum in moving past Brees, has contact with Brees’ helmet.

    Is this what you honestly think warrants the penalty? Was this some forearm shiver or something? Not at all — a child’s forearm could have hit Brees’ helmet in that spot and had the same effect…it’s going to shift the helmet a bit, but doesn’t at all indicate some type of force being applied, as with a blow to the helmet or head/neck area. Again, Brooks’ natural momentum was taking him past Brees, and with his hand grasping the shoulderpad, the forearm naturally brushed against the helmet.

    This is football, I’ll remind you. As much or worse is done on virtually every single play without a flag being involved. To your point, yes, the ref did not have the best angle and threw the flag based on what he saw from his angle…but that doesn’t at all make the call the correct one, and in fact, other angles show it to be a poor one.

  • Daniel Smith

    And, by the way, when you’re assessing something, it might behoove you to look at more than just “the first gif,” and perhaps look at them all. I understand, since the first gif is the only one that supports your argument even a little, but as I explained…Brooks’ hand is on Brees’ shoulderpad, not his neck or head.

  • Gilbert Sanchez

    Ray Lewis, Steve Young (Both, Hall of Fame or soon to be), Trent Dilfer (Super Bowl Champ) all says it was a terrible call. I see no one in these comments that have these types of credentials. To disagree means one or more of four things: 1. You’re a NFL company man. 2. You’re a Saints Fan. 3. You’re a 49′er Hater. Or 4. You are not long-time fan and like watered down football. What is next? Quarterbacks that wear flags?

  • scarshapedstar

    The other clips end earlier. The play doesn’t stop when you want it to, sorry. I’m talking about Brees going to the ground, which the clips you’re referencing don’t show because they’re stopped early for whatever reason (maybe the intertubes were clogged during the upload, or maybe it’s more convenient that way…) and aren’t from the proper angle anyway.

    By your logic, if I show a picture of Brooks before he touched Brees, then he never even touched him at all.

  • Daniel Smith

    But my point(s) extend beyond that — I’ve probably made them elsewhere since this thing has been a running battle. In any case, even beyond while Brees is going to the ground, Brooks’ arm hits the bottom of Brees’ helmet, and it’s totally incidental. There is no blow, no intent…he has a hold of Brees’ shoulderpad, bringing him down to complete the tackle. While he’s doing so, his momentum is still carrying him beyond Brees, which in turn brings his forearm that way, too.

    This is incidental contact, and was brought on specifically because that’s the way Brees fell. If we start calling things like this, then QBs may as well start drawing penalties like they draw fouls in the NBA…just put their head into the path of an arm and boom, instant penalty.

  • Guest

    I’m still not convinced we’re talking about the same view or moment.

    This is what I’m referring to.

  • Guest

    Not sure why my login disappeared or whether that comment is visible, so:

    I’m still not convinced we’re talking about the same view or moment.

    This is what I’m referring to.

    http://tinyurl.com/mjz3acg

  • scarshapedstar

    Explain to me what you see here, please.

    I see Brooks’s left hand on the back of Brees’s helmet,his right hand on Brees’s chin, Brooks’s arms rapidly extending at the elbows, Brees’s body twisting 90 degrees, and his head rotating as soon as Brooks’s hands come off – all these lead me to believe that this was not incidental but deliberately and forcefully dragging Brees to the ground by the head.

  • Monte Porche

    You know why there’s no flag? Look at the ball. See how he has it tucked away? That’s because when the hit happened, he was no longer attempting to throw the ball. He was a runner, and there is not a penalty called “Roughing the Runner.”

    When Brees was hit, he was in what the rulebook defines as a “defenseless posture.” Players in a defenseless posture are afforded certain protections. Kapernick is not entitled to that protection because he was not in a defenseless posture.

  • Monte Porche

    Yeah…no.
    The rulebook CLEARLY states (and this was confirmed by the NFL’s head of officials and Mike Periera) that contact with the head of a passer is prohibited EVEN IF THE INITIAL CONTACT WAS BELOW THE NECK (and that portion is highlighted in red in the rulebook)

  • Monte Porche

    I’m gonna guess you didn’t watch the game. If you did, you’d know that Brees didn’t start “crying like a little bitch.” He got up and got ready for the next play.
    Kapernick and Harbaugh on the other hand were throwing a temper tantrum on the sidelines.

  • Monte Porche

    Really? Do a google search on “nfl admits wrong call” you’ll find tons of articles where they did. One of the articles actually starts with a sentence that says that the NFL admitted that officials got a call wrong THREE TIMES in Week One of this season.

  • Rob Mccloskey

    No, I saw the game Monty. And Jim and Kap had every rightto be pissed. As far as Brees’ demeanor, if you don’t agree with me read some of the comments from Saints fans on this site, and from fans across the NFL. But life goes on. Saints have another game tonight and it ain’t the 9ers year, so…

  • Monte Porche

    That’s exactly my point. I’m not basing my comments on what other people are saying. I’m basing it on what I saw. Brees got hit, got up, and got ready for the next play.
    What exactly did you see Brees do that you define as “crying like a little bitch”?

  • Rob Mccloskey

    Monte,
    I apologize to Sainst fans for that comment. I let my temper get the best of me. No excuse. Saints win and that’s that.