Sports Today: Re-examining those Bengals-Browns personal fouls


Whenever the Cincinnati Bengals play the Browns and Steelers in back-to-back weeks, you know there’s going to be lots of NFL talk around here. 

Looks like Marvin Lewis and I had the same view of the Jabrill Peppers hit on Josh Malone on Sunday. 

“My take on it is that there were still pictures of it that showed the helmet being hit — helmet-to-helmet (contact) — which is unfortunately the rule. It used to be a good football play, but it’s no longer a good football play. Jabrill has to come over and try to dislodge the ball from the receiver by keeping his hat out of it. That’s the way the rules are intended now. That’s part of playing defensive back in this era.”

I bolded “unfortunately” there because I agree. This was not an attempt at a Mike Mitchell-type kill shot. 

Yesterday I wrote Peppers probably couldn’t have aimed lower and still gotten there, but now I’m thinking that’s not true. 

Regardless, this looks more like a play in which the defender leads and makes initial contact with the shoulder. He’s not aiming for the head, but there is helmet-to-helmet contact that’s pretty incidental. Malone was stunned by the hit, but he also landed flat on his back, which has a tendency to shock the whole system. 

Maybe it’s impossible to split these hairs and the only way to get rid of the really dangerous and unnecessary head hits is to over-compensate, but I continue to think there’s got to be a better way. 

Lewis also pointed out the early personal foul on Vontaze Burfict was incorrect for multiple reasons: The player he hit was in the legal chuck zone, the quarterback still had the ball in the pocket and the contact wasn’t too high. 

“The guy is running at four (yards beyond the line of scrimmage), sees Vontaze running, alters to three, Vontaze hits him with the shoulder on the shoulder. That’s a legal football (play). The quarterback was in the pocket. Now, the quarterback then left the pocket — whether or not the referee deemed that (to be the reason), I don’t know. It’s unfortunate to have that penalty, because that led to the field (goal) position from there… 

If the ball was out and it’s on the other side of the field. That’s all judgement, the other part. (The intention of) the rule is that the receiver has the protection not to be hit in the head or by a head in the shoulder area, which he (Burfict) doesn’t do.” 

The TV broadcast dropped the ball here because it never showed the Burfict play in full context… 

A big theme of Monday interviews with University of Dayton basketball players and coach Anthony GrantThe intermingling of veterans and freshmen early. 

Grant is happy to have guys like Darrell Davis and Josh Cunningham to lead the way for Jalen Crutcher, Jordan Davis and the rest of the new guys. 

What we know for sure so far is these Flyers are better than the average MAC team. 

This week we get to see how they compare to average SEC teams. 

Since this UD team has a lot of size and length, I’ll be very curious to see how they match up athletically with Auburn and Mississippi State… 

Lastly, while people in Cincinnati debate wasting money on a soccer stadium they don’t need, we’ve got an update on the economic impact from one of Dayton’s true gems: Fifth Third Field.  

Last year, Palisades Arcadia Baseball hired the Applied Policy Research Institute to analyze the Dragons’ economic impact on the Dayton area.

“Production and employment on the Southwestern Ohio regional economy is estimated to generate a total of $27.6 million in sales, 297 permanent jobs, $10.5 million in labor income, and approximately $342,000 in state and local sales and income tax revenues,” the application said.

A study of the ball park found that it is in good shape but will need some typical wear-and-tear things fixed up. 


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