Even Brady Agrees Fletcher Hit Was Clean

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At the end of the second quarter, the Redskins were in a position to go into halftime with an amazing 20-17 lead.  Standing between them was Tom Brady in the 2-minute offense.

Thanks to a 50-yard catch and run by Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots were in long field goal range with about a minute to go.  Two plays later on a second-and-four play, Tom Brady scrambled up the middle for three yards before tucking into a slide.  Here’s the play as it happened:

After the play, Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was understandably irate, as the film shows that he didn’t go forearm to the head, as the referee described.  The commentators certainly agreed with Fletcher: it wasn’t really an issue of interpretation on whether the hit was late or not, it really didn’t happen.

After the game, Fletcher was still insistent that the hit was clean.

“You all watched the game,” he said definitively.  “You saw it. They make calls. We just kind of have to live with it, I guess.”

He had the support of his head coach, who also wasn’t a fan of the ruling.

“Well at least in my opinion I thought it was horrible. That’s what I saw on the replay,” said head coach Mike Shanahan.  “What I saw on the replay I thought it was a bad call. I’d have to see it again to know for sure but my first look at it … I talked to them and I asked who called it because I didn’t agree with him.”

The interesting part is that this morning, the man that took the hit was also in agreement with the Redskins’ angst (via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston):

“I thought it was a really clean play by him. I think we’re pretty fortunate we got the call,” Brady said.

With any number of possibilities in play, there’s no way of knowing that would have or could have happened if they penalty hadn’t been called.

But based strictly on the outcome of the play, the Patriots would be looking at a third-and-one at the 23-yard line with 1:07 left and the clock rolling.  Given where they were on the field, if they hadn’t gained another yard, they would be looking at about a 40-yard field goal (Gostkowski has 75 percent accuracy this season) instead of a 27-yarder (Gostkowski has 91 percent accuracy).

In an alternate universe, would they pick up the first down?  Would they miss the long field goal?  Would they turn the ball over?

We’ll never know, because the officials rules the play as unnecessary roughness and gave the Patriots a first down at the Redskins 10-yard line.  Fletcher would regain his composure and stuff Kevin Faulk for no gain on the next play.

The Redskins defense would rise up and force a field goal in the waning seconds of the half.  Frustrations aside, they did their job.

0 thoughts on “Even Brady Agrees Fletcher Hit Was Clean

  1. Pingback: Brady Agrees, Fletcher Hit Was Clean | The Burgundy Warpath

  2. Fines need to be given to some of the refs for degrading the game. Our D has an identity of pass rush. We have outside linebackers that press and we send in the blitz thats what we do. If the refs cant handle it because of favoring the marquis quarterback than Shanny needs to speak up in favor of his team. I don’t like Shannys response….” If it happens to much then they won’t be with us”…..meaning getting rid of players that get penaltys for playing hard….Back your players Shanny! If rubbing’s racing than pass rush and hits are football!!!!

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  3. I can not believe Shannahan had the audacity to say that !!! London Fletcher is the classiest act in football. He has played his heart out this season Sometimes he was the only one !! Over 112 tackles this season. He does not deserve to be disrespcted like that !!!! Maybe Shany should walk his ass out of Washington !!

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  4. The problem is ANY TIME your team goes up against any of the marquis quarterbacks, Brady, the Mannings, Vick (although no until he complained) Brees, and maybe one or two others, the refs are going to make BOGUS calls against the defense in an effort to give extra protection to the Prima Donna QB’s. Much of the time the calls are not warranted, a few of the times they are. But let’s face it, ref’s don’t respect the Skins in general, what with the constant holding on our LB’s, the roughing the kicker non-call on the punter (vs. the Jets), etc.

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  5. MY bad, I understand now Shanny is displeased with De Halls playing against the Patriots big TE, Griscowsky (I know I probably spelled his name wrong) anyhow I don’t disagree with Shanny now. De Hall has been selective in all he does during game time.

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