Nov 17, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) clotheslines New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) behind the line of scrimmage during the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) was called for unnecessary roughness penalty. The New Orleans Saints defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Ahmad Brooks’ Faux Pas
This penalty changed everything.
"Clearly a foul in New Orleans – that was a blow to the neck. — Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 18, 2013"
That’s all I need to hear. For you sour fans, now you know how we felt about Pierre Thomas’ hit in the playoffs don’t you? Everyone defended it up and down, and the official explanation we got?
"The bottom line why it was considered legal is because Thomas did not fall into the category of a “defenseless player.” Once Thomas possessed the ball, he turned and made a “football move’’ before he was hit."
You hit the quarterback where he wasn’t supposed to get hit. You’re gonna have that call happen 99 out 100 times. Blood was evident as a result of the blow to the neck. You’ve seen less called for a defender ‘lightly contacting’ the facemask. So, don’t even start.
At any rate, the 49ers shot themselves in the foot, and on a play where Brees was sacked & fumbled with 3:18 left in the game. It would have given the 49ers the ball, and a chance to wrap up the game, but instead it would lead to a game-tying Garrett Hartley field goal from 42 yards out. The 49ers had plenty of time to win the game, but failed to convert.
"“All I remember is just getting clotheslined in the chin,” Brees said, whose chin was bleeding during the game. “As I’m on the ground, I’m saying, ‘That’s got to be a flag.’ Then somebody came up to me, I can’t remember, one of my teammates kind of picked me up and said, ‘You all right? Don’t worry, there’s a flag.’ I said, ‘Alright. Good.’ Took a moment and had to get ready to go.”"