Wednesday Morning QB (Week 9)

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Week 9 in the NFL saw a sharp reminder of the line that players walk every time they step on the field for a game.

During the St. Louis-Minnesota game Teddy Bridgewater took off outside of the pocket looking to run for a first down.

As he gained yardage Bridgewater did what most quarterbacks do when there is no more room to run sliding to end the play.

As he slid Lamarcus Joyner went in to make the tackle leading with his shoulder.

The combination of the attempted tackle and the slide led Joyner to hit Bridgewater in the head and knock him out.

It was a play that has the Minnesota sideline beside themselves and afterwards had the team claiming that it was a dirty hit targeting their young QB.

There is reasoning behind this though as those plays are the scariest in the NFL and those injuries are exactly what the league is trying to get rid of since concussions became a major headline.

Not only that but St. Louis defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams was suspended for an entire year as a part of the New Orleans Saints Bountygate scandal.

While the defensive coordinator in New Orleans, Williams was discovered to have enticed his players to hit and hurt the opposing team by offering bounties on the heads of opposing players.

It was one of the biggest punishments for a team ever in the NFL and Williams was one of the main figures in the scandal.

He has a history of putting other players in danger and so when the Bridgewater hit happened many were wondering if it was just another case of Williams influencing his players.

When looking at the hit though it is not as clear-cut as many make it out to be and Joyner is not necessarily head hunting.

For one the slide from Bridgewater was a little late as Joyner was already coming in for the hit when Bridgewater decided to slide.

Anyone that has played any sport realizes that when you are coming in with the momentum that Joyner was it is very hard to stop.

When Joyner left his feet to make the tackle it was impossible to stop and although it might have been a little late to go for the tackle it is not easy to change your mind at that point.

Even if he did leave late the thought that he might have led with his elbow is not right as he clearly went in with his shoulder first.

It wasn’t a good tackle and not proper form at all but it is something that has been in the league, for some stupid reason, for a long time as players try to make big hits.football-sidebar

Finally when the quarterback leaves the pocket to run he is no longer a protected player as he becomes a running back.

Going in to make a big hit against a quarterback inside the pocket is usually flagged but when he is outside the same rules apply as any other player in the league.

Yes this hit resulted in a dangerous situation for Bridgewater and knocked him out of the game.

It is right for the Vikings to be upset during the game as Bridgewater has been a big part to their surprising year.

The problem is that looking at the play in slow-motion over and over again makes it look worse than it actually was.

In real-time that is a bang-bang play where Joyner was not likely to be able to stop coming forward.

Not to mention when he did launch it looked as if he attempted to adjust and avoid Bridgewater as best he could, that move may have made the hit worse than it could have been.

Nonetheless this hit will likely get punishment for Joyner as it will look bad on the league if they don’t do something.

With so much concentration on the safety of the game it will not look great if the NFL doesn’t do something about a hit that knocked one of their young players out of the game, even if he seems to be set to start in Week 10.

The play itself showcased what makes it so difficult for the NFL and what makes this game so tough.

Players always put their careers on the line when they play a game with these plays happening all the time.

Sometimes it is far more obvious but the Joyner hit expresses the split second decisions that are made in every game with some potentially major implications attached to them.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Week 9 in the NFL)

Welker Back in NFL
Wes Welker was one of Peyton Manning’s favourite targets in Denver but concussions have limited his career although he gets another shot with the St. Louis Rams signing the slot receiver in a move that has many concerned over whether he should be playing at all

Suspended for Stupidity
It was a week full of controversy and the Denver Broncos were not out of the woods as Aqib Talib was suspended for one game after he deliberately poked the eye of Indianapolis tight end Dwayne Allen

More Outrage
This week sparked plenty of outrage when pictures surfaced of bruises on the girl who Greg Hardy had allegedly assaulted, he was convicted but charges were dropped on his appeal, bringing pressure on the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones

Luck Goes Down
Andrew Luck will miss 2-6 weeks according to the Indianapolis Colts as he suffered a lacerated kidney and an abdominal tear suffered on a late game scramble as they now have to try to climb back into the win column without their best player

standings-w9.fw

Key Scores:
Carolina Panthers 37 – 29 Green Bay Packers
– The Green Bay Packers were out to prove that they were the best team in the NFC after their first loss but they couldn’t get it done after a great first half by the Panthers who convinced a lot of people that they were for real as they remained undefeated

Minnesota Vikings 21 – 18 St. Louis Rams
– There was plenty of anger in this game after Teddy Bridgewater went out of the game after a controversial hit but the Vikings still took the win and are now tied with the Packers for first in the division

Indianapolis Colts 27 – 24 Denver Broncos
– Peyton Manning went back to the city that he spent most of his legendary NFL career looking to take a win against the Colts and his replacement in Andrew Luck but it wasn’t to be as they fell from the ranks of the unbeaten to his old team

Philadelphia Eagles 33 – 27 Dallas Cowboys (OT)
– The NFC East is essentially a wide open race between almost all four teams especially if the Cowboys got the win but after a tight battle by both teams the Cowboys fell to the Eagles and fell further out of the race for the division

Next Week:
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (Thursday November 12th; 8:25 pm ET)
– Rex Ryan returns to play the Jets for the first time since being fired and will look to get a win with his new team as the mind games have already begun when IK Enemkpali was named captain in his first game back after being cut for punching Geno Smith in the off-season

Carolina Panthers vs. Tennessee Titans (Sunday November 15th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Panthers are looking like they are for real right now after a convincing win over the Packers and now they look to take that momentum and not lose focus, like the Broncos did, against a team that they should beat but a team looking to make an impact

Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders (Sunday November 15th; 4:05 pm ET)
– The Vikings are now sitting at the top of the NFC North division alongside the Packers and they look to continue that run against another surprising team in the Oakland Raiders who themselves are looking to keep up with the Broncos in the West

New England Patriots vs. New York Giants (Sunday November 15th; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Patriots are once again on the path to an undefeated season but the last time they were on that path the Giants beat them in the super Bowl and have become their kryptonite as they look to do the same this time around

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