Late in regulation of Thursday’s game between the Texans and the Lions, Houston defensive end J.J. Watt put his helmet into the chest of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. Watt’s helmet slid up and popped Stafford in the chin.
During Friday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Watt said he didn’t look around for a flag after the play.
But maybe he should have.
As the league office has explained it, if a defensive player contacts a defenseless quarterback in the head, even if the initial contact is lower and he catches his head on the way up, it’s a penalty.
Unfortunately for the Lions, it wasn’t. The yardage plus the automatic first down at the Houston 30 would have given Detroit a chance to win the game without going to overtime.
Moving forward, the league office will review the play this week, and Watt could be fined.