I wanted to give myself some time after the San Francisco 49ers‘ loss on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints to calm down and look back at the game without still influenced by the events that happened late in the fourth quarter. Now that nearly 24 hours has gone by, my thoughts then are the same as they are now: the 49ers lost the game because of a ridiculous rule and inept officials.
If you are not sure of the play I’m referring to, let me go over the Cliff Notes version of what happened: on a third-and-two late in the fourth quarter with the 49ers leading 20-17, Saints quarterback Drew Brees dropped back to pass and just as he is about to throw the football, 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks came in and hit Brees with his shoulder across his chest, jarring the football loose with Patrick Willis recovering the loose ball.
But, all of this was negated as head official Tony Corrente threw out a flag saying that because Brooks went to the neck area, it was a unsportsmanlike conduct, and an unnecessary roughness penalty was charged against the 49ers, giving the Saints a first down. New Orleans would go on to tie the game on a field goal and win it with another field goal.
As a 49ers fan, I am laying the blame of the loss on the officials and on the NFL for their overzealous need to try and take any hard hit by the defense out of the game.
The fact that the NFL has gone above and beyond using the crutch of player safety to implement all these rules about how and where you can hit an offensive player is flat out ridiculous. The NFL has to stop thinking that it can legislate any and every type of hit that can happen because the matter of the fact is that this is football, and hard hits are a part of the game.
Honestly, what is a defensive player like Brooks suppose to do when even a hard hit across the chest of the quarterback is going to be penalized just because it was hard? The worse part was that the referee decided to throw his flag after the 49ers recovered the football. Honestly, at what point does common sense come into play when making a call about these hits?
And this was not the only call that the referees blew that cost the 49ers as Corrente’s crew blew two clear-cut pass interference calls that would have been in the 49ers’ favor. The referees cost the 49ers a win in Week 11 — plain and simple.