Akiem Hicks avoids penalty for late tackle on Aaron Rodgers
Is this the new and improved NFL? One play from the second half of Thursday night’s Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game may suggest so.
Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks took down Aaron Rodgers just after the Packers quarterback threw away a ball in the third quarter. Hicks wrapped his arms around Rodgers near the quarterback’s neck and took him down roughly.
WTF is this pic.twitter.com/J27oMY1oAa
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) September 6, 2019
That is the same kind of play that probably would have drawn a flag last year for roughing the passer. We saw bogus penalty calls on much less.
Football Zebras, a Twitter account pertaining to NFL referees, shared why they believe no infraction was called.
QB does not have protection from the 1-step rule when on the run, although it looks like the defender even initiated contact within that limit. Additionally, the defender pulled him down in a manner to avoid roughing by landing on him with full body weight. https://t.co/lEoM9q4X4P
— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) September 6, 2019
Back when Clay Matthews was getting called for all sorts of penalties last season, Rodgers stood up for defenders and spoke out against the penalty calls. Keep that in mind before you complain about the lack of a call, Packers fans.
A league that uses common sense and doesn’t penalize defenders for continuing their momentum with a tackle but not doing so excessively is one we like to see.