NFL Power Rankings Week 7: The 5 Hardest Hits (With Video)
This past weekend in the NFL was full of upset specials and great games. That's not what caught the attention of the NFL and the fans, however. What did grab the attention of the public was the abnormally large amount of "devastating hits."
There were plenty of quality NFL players sent reeling by head shot and intense, high velocity collisions. Just ask DeSean Jackson, well maybe not DeSean himself because he doesn't even remember being hit.
The action was so out of control that the NFL didn't even wait until the end of Monday Night Football before announcing players would be suspended for "devastating hits and head shots."
While the language may be a little vague, one thing is for sure: If we see another Sunday like we did in Week 6, players will be suspended, perhaps for multiple games.
To showcase just what the NFL is talking about, I'm going to show you the five biggest hits from this past weekend and tell you if there was any aftermath...
5. James Harrison On Mohamed Massaquoi
This hit by Steelers' linebacker James Harrison is exactly what the NFL is trying to outlaw.
It is clear there was some malicious intent here as Harrison seemed to be charging in like a battering ram with his head down at full speed.
Massaquoi suffered a concussion on this hit and his status is uncertain for the Browns Week 7 game against the Saints.
More importantly, it's a shock that Massaquoi wasn't seriously injured and he should count himself lucky that he only has what appears to be a relatively mild concussion.
If Harrison does this again next week, we may not see him for a while, which brings me to No. 4...
4. James Harrison On Josh Cribbs
Well, well, well, here we are again with James Harrison. Harrison is beginning to develop a similar reputation to a former Chargers' and Patriots' safety with the same last name.
Speaking of Rodney, he had some thoughts on the new suspension policy by the NFL: "You didn't get my attention when you fined me $5000. You didn't get my attention when you fined me $10,000. You didn't get my attention when you fined me $15,000. You got my attention when I got suspended."
James Harrison needs to stop head hunting right now, or else he's going to be watching hits from the sideline rather than dishing them out. This hit was absolutely uncalled for. Cribbs was being pulled down when Harrison comes out of nowhere and charges right for his head. That's how you break someone's neck.
Cribbs suffered a concussion (big surprise) and will likely not play this weekend.
NFL fans are used to seeing Josh Cribbs sprint down the field on a big return, not laying down writhing in agony. Hits like this have no place in the game and I'm glad the NFL is doing something about this problem.
Which brings me to number three...
3. Brandon Meriweather On Todd Heap
This hit by Brandon Meriweather on Todd Heap may have not been the biggest or most "devastating" of the action on Sunday, but it was certainly the most malicious.
Meriweather comes from behind the play leading with his head, and he appears to be targeting the top of Heap's helmet well after the ball flies past. You know you're playing dirty when Bill Belichick is reprimanding you.
Luckily, Heap was okay and returned to the game just five plays later. But had Meriweather connected like he was looking to do, Heap's head could still be spinning, or worse.
You wanna know what really scares Roger Goodell? Hits like this, where there is no intent to make a play on the ball, but just to put the man on his back after a bone-crunching hit to the dome. Goodell wants to keep the players alive and functional, which is why hits such as Meriweather's need to be long gone.
2. Earl Bennett On Jon Ryan
I actually have nothing bad at all to say about this hit, except for the unfortunate outcome of Seahawks' punter Jon Ryan down and injured. This was clean. This is just pure tough, great football. Bennett makes a definitive effort to turn as to not lead with his head and went right into Ryan's chest on a block that sprung Devin Hester.
This was one of the biggest hits of the weekend and it proves that you can lay someone out within the rules. Bennett showed great technique and laid a clean hit.
Ryan appears to be fine and should play this weekend.
Hits like this should be embraced by the NFL. If James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather followed Earl Bennett's lead, maybe there would nothing to suspend players for in the first place.
Well done, Earl. Keep up the good special teams play.
1. Dunta Robinson On DeSean Jackson
Contrary to popular belief, I actually view this as a fairly clean hit. Robinson did duck his head, but the contact itself was shoulder to shoulder. That's not to say it didn't warrant a flag, because it did, but the hit alone was clean.
The defenseless receiver thing, yeah that wasn't clean, but Kevin Kolb deserves at least some blame for that part.
The only unfortunate part about the hit on its own was the outcome.
The hit, clean as it may have been, sent both players reeling.
DeSean suffered a pretty bad concussion and doesn't recollect being hit at all. He did walk off under his own power. Nobody quite knows when Jackson will see the field again, perhaps in Week 9 after the Eagles have their bye week, but that seems a bit overly optimistic.
Dunta came out due to a head injury related to the impact of the tackle. They are not calling it a concussion just yet, only a head injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday.
There you have it, the five biggest hits from this past weekend. Some were dirty, some were clean, but something tells me we're not going to be seeing quite as many hits like these in Week 7.