â‡¥"It's the type of hit that we don't want," NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said, "... because clearly we're trying to protect the knees and we need to focus on this to make sure we don't miss [them]."â‡¥It's the sort of hit that shredded the knees of Carson Palmer and Tom Brady in recent years, and a call that has been made time and again this year to cries of coddling the quarterback. It's also in keeping with the Saints' "kill the head and the body will die" philosophy under Gregg Williams. And it probably changed the outcome of the game.
â‡¥Appearing on the NFL Network and NFL.com this week, Pereira said the right call had not been made during the New Orleans Saints' 31-28 overtime victory Sunday.â‡¥â‡¥
â‡¥With the score tied 21-21, Favre took a hit from Saints defensive end Bobby McCray. The quarterback's left ankle was injured during the play, and he got it treated on the sideline and remained in the game.â‡¥â‡¥
â‡¥"Pretty much a direct shot into the back of [Favre's] legs," Pereira said of the hit.â‡¥
The Saints did not score on the drive immediately following the turnover, but the Vikings would have had a first down at the New Orleans 19 if the proper roughing the passer penalty was assessed. And the field position gained from that pick helped create the Saints' easy touchdown following a Percy Harvin fumble on the second snap of the fourth quarter. Should the Vikings have gotten at least a field goal on that drive, or should the Saints have been pushed a little further back towards their end zone, the game would obviously have been different.
That's the case with every call retroactively ruled a mistake, of course, and why "What if?" is the cruelest question in sports. The Vikings and their fans just get to ask it more often than most.
After the jump, video of the hit.
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