The replacements' worst call Sunday occurred in the Dallas-at-Seattle contest. As noted by reader Tyler Kenealey of Dallas, early in the fourth quarter, Golden Tate of the Bluish Men Group made a vicious peel-back helmet-to-helmet hit on Boys linebacker Sean Lee. Edge defenders are considered "defenseless" if they cannot see a blocker approaching from their blind side. Zebras threw a flag -- which turned out to be unnecessary roughness on Dallas, for a defender lightly pushing a Seahawk out of bounds. Tate wasn't flagged. "That is completely ridiculous," Fox announcer Kenny Albert said. He was right.Even tastefully named ESPN columnists can get it wrong. The challenge flag has been thrown on Tuesday Morning Quarterback for claiming a 'helmet to helmet hit' by Golden Tate on Dallas Cowboy linebacker Sean Lee. As the above photo shows Tate's helmet is clearly in the opponents chest...and legal.
Further, Tate was able to make the hit because the linebacker was only looking to put his own hit on QB Russell Wilson. Woe betide the ball carriers when the defenders don't have to worry about looking for blockers. It would be the Peltzman Effect on the gridiron.
Not that all those pads and helmets aren't already an example of old Sam's dictum.