Video: 25 Crushing NFL Hits, but Are They 'Devastating'?

Drake Oz@drakeozbrSenior Writer IIOctober 19, 2010

Video: 25 Crushing NFL Hits, but Are They 'Devastating'?

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    The NFL announced Tuesday that it will issue bigger fines and possible suspensions for "devastating hits" to the shoulder, chin and head.

    The new rule is part of a league-wide initiative to limit the number of concussions and head injuries, after recent research has shown that a number of former NFL players have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

    The swift action to start the new procedure was also a result of several violent hits during Sunday's slate of games that saw a few players knocked out of their respective contests.

    Though the new rule is designed to protect the players, there is clearly a certain gray area that comes along with the term "devasting."

    What separates a "devastating" hit from a solid, fundamental football tackle?

    Let's take a look at 25 NFL hits and debate whether or not they're "devastating" and would warrant a suspension under the new rule.

    Feel free to comment on which ones you think deserve a suspension and why that's the case.

25. Ryan Clark Nails Willis McGahee

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    Under the new proposed NFL rule, Ryan Clark's hit on Willis McGahee would clearly fall under the "head shot" category.

    Clark makes no effort to wrap up with his arms and leads with a helmet-to-helmet hit on McGahee. It's like the guy never learned how to tackle.

    You can't just dive straight in like you're shooting a bow and arrow 

24. Ray Lewis Shuts Up Kellen Winslow

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    On this play, Ray Lewis puts a good lick on Browns tight end Kellen Winslow.

    Hard hit? Yes. Devastating? No.

    Lewis hits Winslow with his shoulder pads right in the numbers. That's just a solid football tackle.

23. James Harrison Hates The Browns

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    Someone has to teach the Steelers how to wrap up.

    Like the Clark hit, Steelers linebacker James Harrison didn't tackle properly in either hit—on Josh Cribbs or Mohamed Massaquoi—this Sunday. He led with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cribbs and a forearm-to-helmet on Mossaquoi.

    If the NFL decides to retroactively issue suspensions, Harrison will be the first one to hear from the league office.

22. Eric Smith Demolishes Anquan Boldin

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    Here's where we experience that gray area I was talking about.

    Jets safety Eric Smith clearly put a helmet-to-helmet hit on Boldin, but it was likely only because Boldin was hit from behind causing his head to jerk forward and hit Smith's helmet straight on.

    Had Smith been the only defender in the vicinity on that play, there wouldn't have been any helmet-to-helmet contact. 

    The NFL shouldn't suspend a player for something that was largely out of his control.

21. T.J. Houshmandzedeh Gets Destroyed

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    On this play, Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh gets nailed by the Jets David Barrett.

    At first, it might look a little diry, but check out the replay. Barrett hits Houshmandzadeh square with a good football hit.

    There's nothing "devastating" about that.

20. Hines Ward Turns The Tables on Ed Reed

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    The Steelers were beating the Ravens by 28 points, but that didn't stop Hines Ward from laying a huge hit on Ed Reed.

    I swear I'm not trying to pick on the Steelers, but they seem to lead with their heads on a lot of hits.

    Notice how the top of Ward's helmet goes underneath the chin of Reed. That right there would warrant a suspension under the league's new rules.

19. Steve Jackson Gets Crushed By Sheldon Brown

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    I've never personally thought that Adrian Wilson's hit on Trent Edwards was bad, which is exactly the point.

    Edwards is down on the ground for a while after the hit. Does that mean it's "devastating?"

    Hell no. Wilson put a good solid hit on the quarterback, so he won't be so comfortable in the pocket next time he drops back.

18. Adrian Wilson Levels Trent Edwards

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    I've never personally thought that Adrian Wilson's hit on Trent Edwards was bad, which is exactly the point.

    Edwards is down on the ground for a while after the hit. Does that mean it's "devastating?"

    Hell no. Wilson put a good solid hit on the quarterback, so he won't be so comfortable in the pocket next time he drops back.

17. Dunta Robinson Knocks Out Desean Jackson and Himself

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    When did football switch to two-hand touch? OK, it didn't? Nevermind.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the hit that Dunta Robinson put on DeSean Jackson. Sure, they both got knocked out of the game, but there was no intentional malice behind it.

    Robinson didn't lead with his head. That's just what happens when you have two absurdly fast professional athletes collide at full speed.

16. The Streets Aren't Safe

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    Let this be a warning for you kids. You shouldn't play in the streets. It's too dangerous.

    Tai Streets learned that the hard way after he was dismantled by Cowboys safety Roy Williams.

    I don't think there should be any debate about this one. Williams made a nice open-field tackle, plain and simply.

15. Mike Bell's a Big Truck Driver

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    Is this Mike Bell hit on a Lions defender devastating? 

    Yes, it is. But it's only devastating for that guy's ego.He got absolutely trucked by Bell.

    So will egos be covered under the NFL's new policy?

14. Hines Ward Blindsides Keith Rivers

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    Clearly, Keith Rivers never saw Hines Ward coming. There's no doubt about that.

    And even though Rivers broke his jaw in the process, Ward's hit was as clean as Scrubbing Bubbles. 

    The announcer's even got my back. He says it was a "nice block by Ward." I agree.

13. Brad Smith Is Annihilated By P-Willy

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    In the game of tackling, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis never loses. Brad Smith knows that pretty well.

    Willis absolutely wrecks Smith on this play, but the only one who should be facing criticism after that play is Brett Favre. He left his wide receiver hung out to dry.

    Willis was just doing what he does best: making a tackle.

12. Ray Lewis wIth a Ridiculous Block

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    Fast forward to 1:14, and watch Ray Lewis lay one of the best blocks you'll ever see.

    Lewis helped set up a record 108-yard kick return for Chris McAlister, but the new NFL rules would probably want to hit the linebacker with a hefty fine for that play.

    It's not much different than the Ward's block on Rivers though. What is Lewis supposed to do, not block?

11. Dallas Clark Meets Tanard Jackson

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    The announcer says it best, Peyton Manning "served up Dallas Clark on that one."

    Indeed he did. And Tanard Jackson certainly made him pay for it with a "clean, physical hit" on the play.

    The announcer did all the work for me. Manning's at fault here, not Jackson.

10. Mo Lewis Ushers in the Tom Brady Era

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    I know that the Patriots hate the Jets, but they should probably be thanking Jets linebacker Mo Lewis for laying this huge hit on Drew Bledsoe and ushering in the Tom Brady Era.

    The hit that changed the course of history was also the hit that was executed cleanly and to perfection.

    Lewis shouldn't be fined. He should be praised for what he did. He ignited a great run for New England.

9. Bart Scott Crushes Ben Roethlisberger

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    Hey Willie Parker, how about throwing a block on Bart Scott to help your boy Ben Roethlisberger out?

    Well, Parker didn't, which is why Roethlisberger couldn't avoid the hit by Scott. I loved Big Ben's reaction on the play. You would think he just took the most "devastating" hit in NFL history.

    I've seen worse collisions in flag football. There's no way you can suspend a guy for that.

8. George Wilson Kills Two Birds With One Stone

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    Watch this video from 1940—they had video cameras back then?—and check out the Chicago Bears' George Wilson knock out two Redskins defender with one hit.

    These guys played without facemasks and with helmets that barely offered any sort of protection, yet you didn't see these guys getting fined or suspended.

    And that's exactly how it should be in situations like this. Wilson clearly did nothing wrong. He just executed the "greatest block in NFL history."

7. Chad Ochocinco Gets Jacked Up

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    Carson Palmer does it again! Come on, dude. Stop hanging your receivers out to dry.

    First T.J., now Ochocinco. 

    Anyway, was this an incredibly hard hit? Yes. But it certainly wasn't "devastating."

    There was no helmet-to-helmet contact or any direct shot aimed at Ochocinco's head.

6. Jack Tatum Devastates Sammy White

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    In Super Bowl VII, Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum leveled Vikings wide receiver Sammy White with a tremendous hit to the head.

    Key phrase: hit to the head. There was absolutely no effort on Tatum's part to hit White with any body part other than his head.

    Under the new policy, you could bet that Tatum would have paid a huge chunk of money for that hit. You have at least make it look like you're not trying to make a helmet-to-helmet hit.

5. Cedric Griffin Blasts Billy Miller

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    Devery Henderson completely forgets about the need to block for tight end Billy Miller, and Miller gets blasted by the Vikings Cedric Griffin.

    Griffin's hit left both men laid out on the field for a good few seconds, but the hit itself was just a phenomenal hit.

    Again, I don't think there was any intentional blow to the head or any attempt to knock Miller out of the game. If anything, Henderson should have given Miller a few game checks for even putting him in that situation.

4. Chris Henry Regrets Returning Kick

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    You ever done something, then immediately regretted it? 

    So has Chris Henry. The Titans running got absolutely maimed by Colts lineman Darrel Reid on this kickoff return in 2007.

    But again, I didn't find anything wrong with this hit. It was nothing more than smash-mouth, open-field tackle with an excellent sound byte for the cameras.

3. Brandon Meriweather Shatters Todd Heap

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    Everybody remembers what Brandon Meriweather did at Miami, so his hit this weekend didn't really come as a surprise to many.

    Meriweather made pretty much one of the most pointless hits in recent memory on Ravens tight end Todd Heap.

    Heap didn't catch the ball, and it's not like Meriweather couldn't see that.

    This is one of the rare occasions when I say that you have to fine the guy simply for being dumb.

2. Sean Taylor Nearly Kills Brian Moorman

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    Clearly, Keith Rivers never saw Hines Ward coming. There's no doubt about that.

    And even though Rivers broke his jaw in the process, Ward's hit was as clean as Scrubbing Bubbles. 

    The announcer's even got my back. He says it was a "nice block by Ward." I agree.

1. Reggie Bush Gets Owned

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    Carson Palmer does it again! Come on, dude. Stop hanging your receivers out to dry.

    First T.J., now Ochocinco. 

    Anyway, was this an incredibly hard hit? Yes. But it certainly wasn't "devastating."

    There was no helmet-to-helmet contact or any direct shot aimed at Ochocinco's head.