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Ed Reed gets away with elbow to head of Matt Ryan

Late in the first half of Thursday night’s game between the Ravens and Falcons, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan dropped back to pass on third down and five.  Finding no open receiver, he took off for the line to gain.

Close to the marker, he went into a slide.  At the same time, Ravens safety Ed Reed closed in for a tackle.

Once Ryan slid, Reed dove over the quarterback.  And Reed managed to jam an elbow into Ryan’s helmet.

Bob Papa of NFL Network astutely pointed out the maneuver.  Joe Theismann argued that, in the pocket, the move would have drawn a flag.  Papa reasoned that, once the quarterback is in the slide, it’s no different than being in the pocket.

At that point, Theismann and Matt Millen broke out the skirts-and-flag-football attitude.  How, then, can anyone expect the NFL to be successful when it comes to promoting player safety when the guys who are hired by the league to broadcast games televised on the league-owned network cop the tough-guy attitude when clear violations of rules regarding safety occur?

Consider Rule 7, Section 4, Article 1(c)(1):  “A defender must pull up when a runner begins a feet-first slide.  That does not mean that all contact by a defender is illegal.  If a defender has already committed himself, and the contact is unavoidable, it is not a foul unless the defender makes some other act, such as helmet-to-helmet contact or by driving his forearm into the head or neck area of the runner.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether the league office implicitly disagrees with Theismann and Millen by imposing a fine on Reed.


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41 Responses to “Ed Reed gets away with elbow to head of Matt Ryan”
  1. Deb says: Nov 11, 2010 10:28 PM

    I like hard-hitting football, and despite my dislike of the Ravens, I like Ed Reed. But Ryan was in a slide–a really obvious slide. That shouldn’t even be up for debate. But I don’t think Harbaugh or Modell have said anything to annoy Goodell this week … so I’m the oh-so-fair-and-equitable commissioner will let it, um, slide.

  2. buckeye044 says: Nov 11, 2010 10:29 PM

    Might have been aiming for his head, but I think he got more shoulder pad and might not have touched the helmet.

  3. igottz5onit says: Nov 11, 2010 10:31 PM

    He won’t get fined, he doesn’t play for Pittsburgh.

  4. mrf47 says: Nov 11, 2010 10:33 PM

    Perhaps the NFLN would do well to not hire color commentators that have been fired by other networks and/or the teams that own the NFLN.

  5. cappa662 says: Nov 11, 2010 10:44 PM

    Looked to me like he was bracing for his fall.

  6. ramsfanjoe says: Nov 11, 2010 10:45 PM

    Florio, are you trying to turn the NFL into the National Flag Football League? Man this is a CONTACT SPORT! These players are being paid very well to PLAY a GAME! No one is forcing any player on the field! You can’t stop a 200 lb plus player going all out on a dime. Jeez put an electronic buzzer like on the game Operation in a players helmet, anytime it goes off, the player who set it off is throwed out of the game! Why not just have women in tank tops and hot pants go out and play flag football and let the men sit in the stands and oogle them! You Bleeding hearts make me sick!

  7. macpac86 says: Nov 11, 2010 10:52 PM

    Wonder what would have happened were the QB one Mr.P.Manning.

  8. grendelg says: Nov 11, 2010 10:53 PM

    Yeah, I couldn’t believe Millen and Theismann were acting like it was no big deal when it was clear that Ed Reed took a cheap shot by throwing the elbow at Ryan’s head. If he’s not fined for an intentional hit to the head it makes no sense how the guys who accidentally hit to the head have been fined.

  9. bohemyth586 says: Nov 11, 2010 10:56 PM

    Matt Millen is a buffoon. He has no business talking about pro football.

  10. frankvzappa says: Nov 11, 2010 10:56 PM

    you cant really expect anything else from a guy with a skull as thick as Millen’s, can you?

  11. andyprough says: Nov 11, 2010 11:07 PM

    I didn’t see the play Florio, but I don’t really have to in order to know that you are almost certainly overreacting again. I’m sure Reed’s “elbow to the head” was more like an inadvertent scrape. Clearly it didn’t cause Ryan to miss any playing time.

    Of course, if Reed really did scramble Ryan’s brains with a vicious elbow, that wouldn’t surprise me either. Everyone knows the Ravens are a bunch of “head-hunters”, unlike my beloved Steelers

  12. gcsuk says: Nov 11, 2010 11:14 PM

    And Atlanta got a nice free 1st Down (at the Baltimore 5) when they grabbed the facemask of Terrel Suggs. Couldn’t tell if Suggs grabbed a facemask as well (he may have), but at best it should have been off-setting penalties. Instead, they call Personal Foul on Suggs, give Atlanta 15 yards and a 1st Down, and 2 plays later Atlanta gets a TD.

    What a shock…a really bad call by the officials.

  13. grandpoopah says: Nov 11, 2010 11:18 PM

    Not only that, but the spot on that play was worse than the Millen-Theisman commentary.

  14. paintman34 says: Nov 11, 2010 11:20 PM

    ur just noticing this the ravens did it at least 2 times to chad henne last week

  15. Deb says: Nov 11, 2010 11:32 PM

    Forget Millen … Theisman is just so loud … and constant. Much more of him and I’ll be beating my head on the floor.

  16. Deb says: Nov 11, 2010 11:33 PM


  17. xtb3 says: Nov 11, 2010 11:50 PM

    and white gets away with a pushoff on game stealing td. and refs throw 3 flags on 3 ravens stops none even near the play including one for grabbing the facemask at the exact same time the opposing player was holding his.

    so nfl keeps its last 2 hours of rating up by writing a new exciting script each week. which soothess the advertisers who before knew people turned off their tv early in the 3rd quarter of the blowout.

    nfl sure writes exciting finishes except week after week and it becomes “is that all there is”?

  18. dbama says: Nov 11, 2010 11:53 PM

    Ravens played horrible and were lucky to battle back with two turnovers, but the push off by Roddy at the end was too much to bear. Come on, it was so obvious. About as obvious as how much this website sucks and how horrible the officiating was all game long. Theisman’s quote at the end of the game was the best though… “I just thought Matt Ryan played a fantastic football game”. Well… thanks for that fantastic commentary Joey Sunshine you deusch bag. For god’s sake you think my extra five bucks a month to pay for the NFL network would pay off, guess not.

  19. joestrummerlives says: Nov 11, 2010 11:57 PM


    This ain’t gonna be the Ravens year.

    Clearly, the broadcast team wants to have Matt Ryan’s baby. Or at least Joe Theismann does.

  20. connie75 says: Nov 11, 2010 11:58 PM

    Granted he’s not a dirty player like James Harrison, but I think a small fine will probably come from this.

  21. marcelb89 says: Nov 12, 2010 12:05 AM

    Next Post should read

    “Roddy White gets away with push-off to win game”

  22. gcsuk says: Nov 12, 2010 12:06 AM

    And some more terrible officiating to end the game. Looked from the TV that Roddy White got away with some offensive pass interference. Only saw one angle, but the TV crew seemed to think it was another blown call as well.

    Will it be on Friday or Saturday that the NFL admits that they blew the calls?

  23. rarson says: Nov 12, 2010 12:09 AM

    Pretty bad officiating in this game. Doesn’t excuse the fact that the defense let Atlanta walk all over them for most of the game though.

  24. racerp194 says: Nov 12, 2010 12:14 AM

    How about the push off of wilson by white on the last touchdown, how about the ball not being controlled on an earlier pass as jenkins was going out of bounds….the bad calls keep coming.

  25. grendelg says: Nov 12, 2010 12:18 AM

    Oh stop with the pushoff crap… The CB is only allowed to chuck him within 5 yards, so that was just as illegal. If he’s gonna hit Roddy 10 yards down the field, don’t cry when you’re not man enough to stay on your feet.

  26. famucancer says: Nov 12, 2010 12:27 AM

    The Ravens couldn’t overcome the refs. Probably cuz Goodell was quoted today telling ATL bigwigs that the Falcons need a new stadium…gotta keep that facade going of a great Falcons team that deserves a billion dollar stadium. The Ravens have to understand they were the sacrificial lambs for a greater means!

  27. laxer37 says: Nov 12, 2010 12:41 AM

    Can we finally put to rest the notion that the Ravens still have a top defense?

    They still like to tell you how good they are, but they are getting abused week in-week out. The stats don’t lie.

    Most alarming is getting gashed by Cleveland on the ground and gashed by Atlanta through the air.

    If not for last minute win over the winless Bills and a win over the Steelers 4th string QB, this team would be just a game above .500.

  28. domehead says: Nov 12, 2010 12:45 AM

    The forearm was thrown on purpose…But besides that, am I the only one who’s had a season full of Theismann and Millen after the first 10 minutes. Good grief…just call the friggin game and add a little color. They never SHUT UP. Good grief, Theismann’s top five player list must be 10 pages long…single spaced.

  29. Roby says: Nov 12, 2010 12:59 AM

    Seriously guys? This hit was clearly late. But, just because a guy commits a late hit doesn’t make him dirty. Baltimore got away with an egregious one tonight, but Ed Reed isn’t dirty.

  30. bobulated says: Nov 12, 2010 1:03 AM

    Yup, if you’re a CB don’t throw a hip at a physical WR downfield and then cry to the zebras after flopping like a soccer player. White ran his route and he didn’t use his hands to to reach out on any push. The Ravens did the Falcons a HUGE favor by jail break blitzing on those last two plays. They handed Atlanta the game.

  31. Roby says: Nov 12, 2010 1:27 AM

    That push-off was soft. As a DB, you have to know that the rules are in YOUR favor. You have to win.


    A. You can push and bump, and they won’t call the contact unless you clearly cheated the WR out of a catch. (60%)


    B. You push and bump him and you get called for a penalty, but they are still at the 10, or 15 yard line. No Biggie. (39%)


    C. Be a little b—- and let Roddy push you around. (1%)

    Baltimore screwed up. Live and learn.

    Maybe finally you as–oles will learn that Roddy White is among the top 5 wideouts in this league.

    A. Johnson
    C. Johnson

  32. freedomispopular says: Nov 12, 2010 2:04 AM

    It looked to me like Reed got there right as Ryan started his slide. You really expect a guy running full speed to just stop. It looked like he did his best to not put his full weight into the hit once he knew the play was over.

    And, no, that wasn’t a push-off. Wilson lost his footing. Which wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been out of position.

  33. romosrevenge says: Nov 12, 2010 3:02 AM

    Worse refereed game of the year. And half way through, the worst reffed season yet. Maybe a little paycheck-stoppage, er, work-stoppage will sober up the zebras.

  34. pigpenrapeswomen says: Nov 12, 2010 3:11 AM

    Ed Reed barely touched the guy.

    Why don’t you have a headline that reads “RODDY WHITE GETS AWAY WITH PASS INTERFERENCE” since that was way more relevant to the outcome.

    Just another instance of the refs screwing over the Ravens. Sigh.

  35. buzzbissinger says: Nov 12, 2010 3:55 AM

    I’ll agree with all of the previous commenters that you’ve obviously turned a blind eye to; lighten up, even Papa agreed with Joe and Matt, you are splitting hairs here.

  36. kisstherings says: Nov 12, 2010 7:17 AM

    @ “How, then, can anyone expect the NFL to be successful when it comes to promoting player safety when the guys who are hired by the league to broadcast games televised on the league-owned network cop the tough-guy attitude when clear violations of rules regarding safety occur?”


    Because it’s their opinion Florio. And they happen to share the same opinion as most fans. Nobody has a gun to these players heads to go out and get paid millions to play a dangerous sport. The NFL is ruinging the game by overreacting to this stuff and I’m glad their are players and broadcasters voicing their opinion about it.

  37. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 12, 2010 7:52 AM

    I agree with Florio. In Slo-Mo it was obvious that Reed moved to intentionally hit with the elbow at the very end of the hit and when Ryan was clearly down in his slide. It may have been instinct but Theisman was clearly wrong. Whoever the other commentator was mentioned the elbow (and kudos to him for seeing it before the slo-mo replay) and Theisman and Millen promptly shut him up. He should have had a little backbone to argue his point though.

  38. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Nov 12, 2010 8:00 AM

    I don’t know if I’d go around telling on Ed Reed.

  39. ckeltner says: Nov 12, 2010 8:39 AM

    The ravens did a similar thing to the dolphins last week. On two different plays, Henne gave himself up and went sliding to the ground. The ravens defender still went at him full bore even though they are suppose to let up when the QB slides and gives himself up.

    No flag either time.

  40. jlawless87 says: Nov 12, 2010 9:08 AM

    Roby says:
    “Maybe finally you as–oles will learn that Roddy White is among the top 5 wideouts in this league.

    A. Johnson
    C. Johnson
    This looks like a fun game, Mine are not based on stats this year, Just an fyi:

    C. Johnson
    A. Johnson
    R. White
    C. Ochocinco

  41. Deb says: Nov 12, 2010 12:12 PM

    Roby says:
    Seriously guys? This hit was clearly late. But, just because a guy commits a late hit doesn’t make him dirty. Baltimore got away with an egregious one tonight, but Ed Reed isn’t dirty.
    Now this is an intelligent comment. Are you a Ravens fan?

    @joestrummerlives …

    Theisman seemed so loud tonight. Are you sure he wasn’t already in labor?

    Aw, pigpenrapeswomen …

    Did the wefs pick on you? Join the club, doofus. Suck it up.

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