The second half of Monday Night Football got started with a hard hit that will be the subject of a lot of Tuesday morning discussions in NFL circles.
As the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks reached out to catch a pass over the middle from Eli Manning, Saints rookie defensive back Isa Abdul-Quddus delivered a hard hit that sent Nicks crumpling to the ground and sent flags flying, as Abdul-Quddus was called for a personal foul for a hit on a defenseless receiver.
After the hit Abdul-Quddus celebrated and was congratulated by teammates, and the Saints clearly thought it was a good hit. The crowd in New Orleans loudly booed the referee when the call was announced, and booed even louder when replays of the hit were shown in the stadium. ESPN’s Jon Gruden said he thought the penalty was the wrong call.
But while it’s true that Abdul-Quddus appeared to be trying to lead with his shoulder, their helmets did make contact, and Nicks was a defenseless receiver. The Saints and the crowd in New Orleans may not have liked it, but that’s a call NFL officials are going to make.
Nicks returned to the field on the Giants’ next offensive possession.