Early in the first quarter, as Weatherspoon drilled Manuel to the point where where he had to temporarily miss a snap, the referees blew their whistles and threw out their flags on the play, giving Weatherspoon the penalty of roughing the passer. With that play, the Falcons were penalized 15 yards.
While Weatherspoon is making a good chunk of money, being fined a little less than $20,000 had his pockets feel a little lighter after. The usual amount of money charged to player for this type of hit is $15,750. As the NFL continues its mission to further protect the position that is the most valuable to every single team, they are making it very tough for defensive players to even tap the quarterback after the ball is released out of the signal-caller’s hands.
Along with Weatherspoon, teammate William Moore was also flagged for unnecessary roughness, but did not receive a fine from the NFL. For Moore, he was called out for tackling Bills receiver Robert Hoods a little too high. For the time being, it seems as if Weatherspoon was the only one to pay a fine. Despite the flags, the Falcons played one of their most complete games and will try to continue their momentum in the four games remaining on their 2013 campaign.