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Pettigrew fined for chop block, Houston not fined for horse collar

San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

Lions fans were upset about a couple of personal foul calls that went against their team in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. Now the league office has weighed in, fining one Lion but clearing the other.

The NFL fined Detroit tight end Brandon Pettigrew $7,500 for a chop block. The penalty on that play was extremely costly for the Lions, wiping out a long pass that set them up with first-and-goal, and it was a close call that the Lions (and the FOX announcers working the game) thought the officials should have let go. But the league office apparently disagreed.

However, the league office has essentially confirmed that another call that went against the Lions, a horse collar tackle on defensive back Chris Houston, should not have been a penalty. Houston was not fined for his alleged horse collar tackle on Frank Gore, which gave the 49ers 15 yards and helped to set up a field goal.

No word on whether the officials have been fined for spotting the ball in the wrong place on the 49ers’ game-winning drive.

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42 Responses to “Pettigrew fined for chop block, Houston not fined for horse collar”
  1. Justified By God says: Oct 21, 2011 4:10 PM

    Are there more fines this year than normal? Have there always been this many fines and I’m just paying attention for the first time?

  2. lioninnj says: Oct 21, 2011 4:12 PM

    are you kdding me? Did anyone see the replay on that? I do not think that was a chop block.

  3. razsan says: Oct 21, 2011 4:13 PM

    Also, watch the Ginn punt retuen. Mo Stovall has his shirt pulled off his shoulder pad, then gets blocked in the back…followed by another Lion getting shoved violently to the turf from the back. No calls. All while right in front of Ginn. Nice job refs but yeah, that horse collar…called 10 seconds after the play ended was legit…NOT.

  4. judsonjr says: Oct 21, 2011 4:14 PM

    If that was a chop block they may as well get rid of all blocks below the waist.

  5. spartyfi says: Oct 21, 2011 4:24 PM

    Listen, I’m all for erring on the side of safety in terms of penalties…plays happen fast, it’s hard for the official to see EVERYTHING. For instance, Pettigrew was knocked on his can and someone got blocked into where he was knocked down. As a LIONS fan, I have a problem with that at the time but I do understand. What I don’t get is how this is a fine. It is not like he went to the ground to block, he got knocked down. Ridiculous what results in a fine these days. Basically, all infractions are fined now which the players truly need to start fighting at some point. They need new elected officials in their Union because current leadership is doing NOTHING to protect them and their income.

  6. nineroutsider says: Oct 21, 2011 4:25 PM

    The officials need to be fined as well for their performance in this game. Both teams had bad calls go against them, not to mention the free 5 yards. Detroit’s coaching staff might need to get docked by their owner for not noticing it (or not contesting it if they did). Schwartz should be taking heat for that as well as the officials…

  7. trollhammer20 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:34 PM

    “No word on whether the officials have been fined for spotting the ball in the wrong place on the 49ers’ game-winning drive.”

    I bet Bill Leavy is really mad he didn’t think to use that little trick in Super Bowl 40.

  8. joeyballgame4 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:44 PM

    officials are clowning this year. I bet no 49er fans are on this thread…they still think their win in Detroit was legit! ughhh living is ignorance is such a terrible thing.

  9. klunge says: Oct 21, 2011 4:59 PM

    Ironic that with the NFL, the only thing you can count on consistently is their inconsistency.

  10. sonoco says: Oct 21, 2011 5:06 PM

    joeyballgame4 says: Oct 21, 2011 4:44 PM

    officials are clowning this year. I bet no 49er fans are on this thread…they still think their win in Detroit was legit! ughhh living is ignorance is such a terrible thing.

    ****************************************

    This Niner fan will take an official aided 5-1 over a fair & square 4-2 any day of the week. I really don’t care. I’ve seen it go the other way enough times to know that we don’t need to feel guilty about anything. The 49ers got hosed a couple of time against the Cowboys. Over 16 games it all evens out.

  11. citynative says: Oct 21, 2011 5:13 PM

    joeyballgame4 says:
    Oct 21, 2011 4:44 PM
    officials are clowning this year. I bet no 49er fans are on this thread…they still think their win in Detroit was legit! ughhh living is ignorance is such a terrible thing.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Niner fan here….. the win was legit.

  12. frk49rs says: Oct 21, 2011 5:13 PM

    joeyballgame4 says:
    Oct 21, 2011 4:44 PM
    officials are clowning this year. I bet no 49er fans are on this thread…they still think their win in Detroit was legit! ughhh living is ignorance is such a terrible thing.

    You want a 9er fan ok here i am… The HC was BS the chop i dont remeber that call WELL, and the spot, yea lucky… but if you think for one sec, we did not earn that win, you have huffed to much paint and well the brain cells have been lost. or even better yet, you just read something about the game and thing you are knowlageable…lol. So did you even SEE the game??? Tell me, how did CJ really do, cause he did not do as well as even his final stats looked like… and for him they were sad.

  13. smcgaels1997 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:16 PM

    Sacking Stafford 5 times, holding Megatron in check, and knocking Best silly while running for over 200 yds on their D is as legit as it comes. There were just as many horrible calls that benefited the Lions. Let it go and focus on Atlanta

  14. citynative says: Oct 21, 2011 5:27 PM

    We have to excuse Lions fans. See the Niners have won some big games, and lost some big games through history….but not the Lions. We must excuse their whining and excuse-making when losing one of their first “big games” in franchise history.

  15. blitzburgh43 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:30 PM

    $7500 for a chop block and $10,000 for a cell phone call.
    #moregoodelllogic

  16. goldrush36 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:30 PM

    Lions fans are quickly ascending up there with Seahawks fans. We will here them crying about the refs for the next 10 years over 1 game. You act like you didn’t get a bunch of bad calls in your favor. What about the bogus PI call on rogers that set up the Burleson TD instead of a punt? Or the fact you still had 2 more chances to score and couldn’t move the chains? Frickin crybabies

  17. goldrush36 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:34 PM

    Or Smith already laying on the ground already grabs Stafford’s legs…….. roughing the passer yeah that was on the other Lions TD drive. Seriously get over it…. you whiners and your coach make people want to root against you. Quit tarnishing what your team has accomplished

  18. lks311 says: Oct 21, 2011 5:40 PM

    For the record, only a few fans are complaining and not one player or coach said the game was not won legitimately by the Niners. In fact, Schwartz says that the issue was the Lions inability to execute on the last Ginn punt return and, then, stop SF on 4th and Six. That being said, the game was razor close. And in those games, a single play—one way or the other—has a significant impact on the outcome. I think the Lions would love to play them again, my guess is SF feels the same way.

  19. spartyfi says: Oct 21, 2011 5:56 PM

    People, it was just one fan of many. We all have that guy that roots for our team and posts garbage. That penalty for tackling stafford low was BS. I thought “what’s he supposed to do, stand back up them tackle him?” all around poor officiating in a really good game that even the losing team shouldn’t feel horrible about.

  20. jikkle49 says: Oct 21, 2011 6:01 PM

    The calls were terrible for both sides so I don’t buy the whole not “legit” win argument.

    It wasn’t bad officiating that allowed Gore gash the Lions defense for two big runs. Bad officiating didn’t cause the Lions defense to not stop Walker on 4th down that would’ve won the game. Bad officiating wasn’t the reason Stafford was throwing for 56% accuracy. And bad officiating didn’t stop you from scoring the game tying field goal or go ahead touchdown with 1:51 left and 3 timeouts.

    SF just made a few more impactful plays and won the game and that’s what it comes down to when two competitive quality teams play each other.

  21. staffordsyear says: Oct 21, 2011 7:04 PM

    What a terrible call on the horse collar,oh well can’t wait to see what kind of mickey mouse flag the zebras throw this week,go lions!

  22. 3ghostninja says: Oct 21, 2011 8:48 PM

    I think bad officiating made Gore’s second big run possible. That’s readily available by looking at the film. There was a block in the back, a hold and a hands to the face. All three missed by the officials.

    As for the “horse collar” at the end — bogus.

    The “chop block” was also bogus. The 49er player ran towards Cherilus after pushing Pettigrew back, but was not engaged by another blocker by any stretch of the imagination. That negated a big play for the Lions. The fine makes it that much worse.

  23. 3ghostninja says: Oct 21, 2011 9:21 PM

    http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2011/10/a_second_look_sf_third_quarter.html

    (copy-paste)

    From the article linked above:

    “After Frank Gore’s 46-yard run in the first quarter, the back was held in check until this play. Like on his previous big run, the 49ers used Delanie Walker in the H-back role and had him set a wham block on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but unlike the previous run, Cliff Avril collapsed inside instead of rushing the edge, closing the lane Gore used to break free in the first quarter. Instead Gore had to hesitate, while tight end Vernon Davis sealed Avril to the inside. As he came forward into the second level, nickelback Eric Wright lined up to make the tackle, but Ted Ginn threw a block in the back to knock him out of the way.

    Meanwhile, linebacker DeAndre Levy tried to come over to help on the play, but his arm was hooked by offensive tackle Joe Staley.
    Finally, tackle Anthony Davis clearly blocks safety Amari Spivey with a hard shove to the facemask, causing him to stumble backward several steps. By my count, that’s three missed penalties that helped Gore spring for the big gain.
    To add insult to injury, cornerback Chris Houston was flagged for a horse-collar tackle on Gore, a 15-yard infraction. After chasing down the running back, Houston did grab Gore’s jersey in between the shoulder pads, but didn’t yank him to the turf by it. The official should have used judgement on intent on this play. “

  24. korikill says: Oct 21, 2011 9:38 PM

    Yes, the officials suck. Yes, their bad calls DID impact the outcome of the game. Yes, the win counts and is legit. Yes, it’s time to move on.
    GO LIONS! BEAT ATLANTA!!

  25. marcsasharc says: Oct 21, 2011 10:49 PM

    haha, Lions fans are still upset over this? there were big missed calls all over the field and for both teams. lets also consider the 49ers had 11 penalties called against them in the 1st hald alone. 15 total. so get outta here with that BS.

    how about Stafford getting rattled and the Lions converting on 2 3rd down attempts. refs fault?

    hahaha take your beating like men instead of like little girls.

    p.s. your boy Suh looked like a little girl getting blocked back constantly and then punked by Anthony Davis.

  26. bcgreg says: Oct 21, 2011 11:12 PM

    Fined for a chop block now? Really?

  27. TIM says: Oct 21, 2011 11:41 PM

    I am a Niners fan and the horse collar penalty was bogus and should not have caused a fine to be levied(but we will take it,since 80% of the bogus calls went against us in that game).
    The chop block was however a classic chop block and deserved the penalty and the fine. Watch it again if you disagree and you will see the very definition of a chop block (one player engaged with another player and then a 3rd player comes in low ).

  28. TIM says: Oct 21, 2011 11:51 PM

    …And some of you Lions fans have as little class as your looney Head Coach,who should be in a mental institution. The Niners won fair and square and our HC even beat up your HC after the game ,lol. Did you notice that a couple of the Niners players were blocking your HC from making the mistake of getting too close to Jim Harbaugh (who would have clobbered your runt HC ) ? Lucky one of them didn’t give him a forearm shivver ,but they were too busy laughing at the fool. How embarrassing for the Lions Org that he represents what used to be a great organization,before they let a mental patient in as their HC .

  29. wingz101 says: Oct 22, 2011 12:23 AM

    So hilarious. .. 7.5K for a chop block and 10K for a phone call?

    Translation “yeah that chop block was a joke but we gotta cover our azzes as OUR stooges tilted the game towards the 49ers” meanwhile Troy, well he embarrased the NFL cause uh, yeah, wha, he uh, hmmm … that was a buttberry and Azzwipe is the official phone of Goddelland. Kaddifee the bumm!

  30. ceadderman says: Oct 22, 2011 12:37 AM

    Well there you are Lions fans, if it wasn’t a chop block do you REALLY think the league would have fined your boy?

    Considering that your other guy got a “Horse collar” penalty but didn’t get fined for it(correct decision there btw) are you seriously going to sit there and whine about a conspiracy against the Lions?

    Please tell me that none of you guys are like Jim Schwartz. Poor sports all round?

    We know there were bad calls. The 9ers were victimized by at least 3 in the first half that I could see. I’d bet I could find more if I took the time to go over the game film. But y’know what? I’d rather concentrate on the upcoming game and appreciate that my team played a hard fought game overcoming the crowd, your Defense, Megatron and the Zebras.

    It wasn’t like you guys didn’t have the ball in the final 2 minutes. Be happy your team is 5-1 and let it go.

  31. alphabeta49er says: Oct 22, 2011 2:13 AM

    You lost.

  32. discosucs2005 says: Oct 22, 2011 3:46 AM

    Is this the first fine for a chop block? I don’t think that has ever happened before. And I also don’t remember ever hearing of someone fined for a horse collar.

    If the refs had not called that chop block, I think that would have been the correct call, but anyone who has seen the replay, and understands what a chop block is, should realize why it was called on the field at game speed. It had all the makings of a chop block, it just wasn’t.

    I don’t understand why they would fine him though? I don’t think they should fine anyone for something that was clearly an accident.

  33. staffordsyear says: Oct 22, 2011 5:11 AM

    Oh im not upset,i have total respect for the niners defense,that was a hell of a game and i would also like to add that the lions need to do a better job in the red zone.. there just isnt much to post about right now.

    p.s. I’ll still take suh anyday over anthony davis.

  34. marcsasharc says: Oct 22, 2011 6:05 AM

    another opposing rb, another injury.

  35. juanhughjazz says: Oct 22, 2011 7:55 AM

    citynative says:
    Oct 21, 2011 5:27 PM
    “We have to excuse Lions fans. See the Niners have won some big games, and lost some big games through history….but not the Lions. We must excuse their whining and excuse-making when losing one of their first “big games” in franchise history.”

    ————————————————–

    History doesn’t go very far back for you, eh? The 49ers only have one more title than the Lions. In fact, the year the Lions last won the NFL Championship, they beat the 49ers in the conference championship. FYI: NFL history doesn’t begin in 1967.

  36. 3ghostninja says: Oct 22, 2011 8:54 AM

    For the record, I was over this until I heard about the fine.

  37. discosucs2005 says: Oct 22, 2011 5:35 PM

    Saying championships and Super Bowls are the same is like saying that the AFC/NFC championship games are the same as Super Bowls. They’re not.

  38. billb49 says: Oct 22, 2011 9:16 PM

    The modern era begins in 1967. There are a lot more teams now and it’s a lot harder to win a championship in the modern era. Please don’t pretend that winning a championship in the 50’s is equivalent to winning a modern era Superbowl.

  39. juanhughjazz says: Oct 23, 2011 12:27 AM

    billb49 says:
    Oct 22, 2011 9:16 PM
    The modern era begins in 1967. There are a lot more teams now and it’s a lot harder to win a championship in the modern era. Please don’t pretend that winning a championship in the 50′s is equivalent to winning a modern era Superbowl.

    ————————————————

    I hear that a lot from 49er and Steeler fans, but they never say why. It was actually tougher to win in the “olden days”. There were only 12 teams in the league then and only 4 got in to the playoffs. No wildcard to sneak you into the playoffs. The 49ers wouldn’t have even gotten into the playoffs in 1988. The Steelers wouldn’t have gotten in 1974 or 2005. Plus, the talent wasn’t watered down like it is now. There were only 432 NFL players in 1957. In 2011 there are 1696. Don’t discount championships from the olden days just because you didn’t win any.

  40. 49erlifer says: Oct 23, 2011 1:20 AM

    We came into Detroit and had our way with that ass and to all you lions fans bitching and moaning just know if we meet again in the playoffs its gonna be at the stick the better team won so quit crying bitches!

  41. gsw77 says: Oct 23, 2011 2:10 PM

    The Lions fans need to stop their whining and move on. Obviously the league reviewed the chop block call and they confirmed it to be illegal. As for the horse collar call, what is to say that would have changed anything. The drive resulted in a 31 yard FG. If there was no flag it would have been a 45 yard attempt in an enclosed dome by a great kicker. He hit a 55 yarder in the game so I like his chances from 45. Get over it. The Niners were victimized by quite a few bad call as well and were hit with 15 penalties to the Lions 6.

  42. gsw77 says: Oct 23, 2011 2:16 PM

    I hear that a lot from 49er and Steeler fans, but they never say why. It was actually tougher to win in the “olden days”. There were only 12 teams in the league then and only 4 got in to the playoffs. No wildcard to sneak you into the playoffs. The 49ers wouldn’t have even gotten into the playoffs in 1988. The Steelers wouldn’t have gotten in 1974 or 2005. Plus, the talent wasn’t watered down like it is now. There were only 432 NFL players in 1957. In 2011 there are 1696. Don’t discount championships from the olden days just because you didn’t win any.
    ————————-

    The talent level wasn’t watered down like it is now? Are you serious? The league wasn’t even fully integrated back then. The vast majority of players were white. The NFL is more popular than it has ever been and attracts best of the best. Not to mention the advances in training and nutrition. The talent in the league is 10 times better than it was back in the pre-Super Bowl era. I still have respect for the championships won back then, but it is much harder to win a championship now than it was back then.

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