New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton took quite the shot on a crucial play on his team’s game-winning drive. Some called it a cheap shot, others disagreed. Watch for yourself.
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Isaiah Simmons Lights Cam Newton Up on Sideline, Draws Crucial Penalty
Cardinals uber-athletic rookie Isaiah Simmons is making a play for Defensive Rookie of the Year and based on his skill level and unique size, he might have a Defensive Player of the Year award in his future. Unfortunately for him, he committed a crucial penalty Sunday that cost his team big time.
It came on a sideline hit as Newton dashed for a first down and was headed out of bounds to stop the clock.
Cardinals’ Side Reaction
As you might expect, several with a strong Cardinals interest (fans, players, etc.) thought the personal foul penalty was unjust.
Even Dean Blandino, the Fox officiating expert, said the call was incorrect.
The sarcasm is real with this one.
Patriots’ Side Reaction
Patriots players called the hit cheap, and they responded on the field by trying to go after the Cardinals rookie. Simmons seemed unfazed by those actions but was more distraught because he understood his penalty put the Patriots in field goal range.
New England came through for their quarterback and made it clear what they thought about the hit that effectively led to their big victory in a must-win situation.
The Bottom Line
Newton was inbounds when the hit occurred. However, you can make the argument that the tackle was a helmet-to-helmet hit. Simmons put the crown of his helmet right into Newton’s jaw, and that seemed pretty obvious, though many people failed to point that out.
The other thing that isn’t exactly being stressed enough is Simmons’ failure to recognize the moment. Newton was clearly running out of bounds and giving himself up. The risk-reward in that situation just didn’t favor Simmons delivering that hit.
You have to ask yourself, what’s the best thing that can happen if Simmons executes that tackle and isn’t flagged? What, he sends a message to Newton about running? In the fourth quarter? That seems pretty silly and shortsighted.
It’s more likely you get flagged for a late hit or a personal foul of some sort, which is what happened. In that situation, with the Patriots trying to get into field goal range, and struggling to move the ball all game, the last thing you want to do as a defender is make a risky decision that boosts a struggling unit on the other sideline.
Simmons did the “robotic football guy” thing, delivered a big hit that appeared to knock Newton cold momentarily, got flagged and his team ultimately lost after Nick Folk drained another game-winner. Simmons will be a great player, but he’ll live and he’ll learn.
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