November 21, 2013

Is Drew Brees unhittable?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

While this may be the unpopular opinion – especially given the increase of calls to improve player safety in the NFL – but I think that the Niners were robbed on Sunday because of the personal foul penalty on Ahmad Brooks on his strip sack of Drew Brees.

I thought that it was an alright hit – a bit high, but not a penalty. Also, Brooks most certainly did not deserve the fine he was slapped with on Wednesday either.

But Bill Simmons brought up an interesting point on his podcast this week: Where can you hit Brees?

He’s one of the smallest QBs in the league, which creates an interesting  dilemma for both defenders and the refs. He has such a small ‘strike zone’ that almost any time a defender gets to him, unless it’s a wrap-up tackle, it could be a penalty.

For instance, when Brooks hit Brees, the Saints QB lower his body to brace for the hit – which is natural human reaction. But that caused Brooks’ arm to slide from his chest up onto Brees’ neck – and that’s where we have a problem.

Had this been an average-sized player getting hit, that arm wouldn’t have come up so high and then the Niners win the game.

Instead, a couple of plays later the Saints are booting the winning field and dooming San Fran to the wildcard round in the playoffs.

So, maybe it is an advantage to be a short QB and not the other way around. Let’s put it this way: I don’t see this call ever being made against 6’7” Mike Glennon.

Pick: New Orleans -9 over ATLANTA
Last week: 4-9-2
This season: 73-82-6

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