One of the biggest plays of Sunday night’s Chargers-Saints game came when Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw an interception that Chargers linebacker Demorrio Williams returned for a touchdown — only to have the touchdown called back on a roughing the passer penalty on Melvin Ingram.
That play was incredibly costly for the Chargers: If the touchdown had counted, San Diego would have led 31-14. Instead, the touchdown was wiped off the board, the Saints scored on that possession to narrow the deficit to 24-21, and the Saints ended up coming back to win the game 31-24. And now the play has become costly for Ingram, too.
The NFL has fined ingram $15,750 for the hit, saying that Ingram lowered the crown of his helmet into Brees’s chin.
Some Chargers fans have taken issue with the flag, saying that Ingram was just rushing straight ahead at Brees and trying to do his job, but Chargers coach Norv Turner noted that Ingram also had a costly roughing the passer penalty in Week One against the Raiders, and said Ingram needs to get it straightened out.
“We’re going to fix that issue,” Turner said. “It’s coaching and it’s technique. It’s him understanding the way the games are officiated. There’s no question that we addressed it after the Raider game, and it’s something that we’re going to have to deal with. . . . You look at the great pass-rushers in this league and they’ve all learned how to handle it. We’ve got to get Melvin to do the same thing.”
Losing 15 grand may help Melvin learn that he has to be able to generate pressure without drawing flags.