Personal foul on Redskins’ DB is the worst call made all season
In case you missed it during Sunday’s slate of games, Redskins DB, Chris Culliver, made an amazing play defending the Panthers’ Greg Olsen.
To set up the gif: Olsen catches a a short pass, Culliver goes to make an open-field tackle, and he’s able to jar the ball loose, make the interception and run in for a touchdown.
One problem, though.
He was called for hitting a defenseless receiver, as it appeared he led with his helmet as Olsen was turning around.
GIF: Chris Culliver picks Greg Olson, but the refs called this an illegal hit. You tell me… #Redskins pic.twitter.com/OVCPUmjUYO
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) November 22, 2015
What the GIF doesn’t show is that Olsen, like all players do, lowers his head when he sees the defender charging towards him.
Now, no, this play didn’t cost them the game, like some bad calls might do, and it wasn’t the worst call this year because it cost the Redskins a touchdown. It was the worst call this year because it further adds to the ambiguity of what a DB can do when stopping a receiver.
Culliver did exactly what the NFL has been dying for since they started emphasizing protecting their players. He lowers his shoulder for the tackle before Olsen turns around, he notices Olsen lowers his head almost immediately before impact, and he has the amazing presence of mind to lead with his forearms.
He could not have made the play any better than that. And, Olsen hardly seemed shaken up as he was still left standing, and he even attempted to make a tackle as Culliver blew past him.
The NFL continues to make a defender’s job more difficult, and, to add insult to injury, it seems like the league backs the penalty call.
The penalty leaves us scratching our heads on how a 6’5″, 250-pound tight end needs that much protection from a 6-foot, 199-pound corner.