Ngata fined $15,000 for hit on Sanchez

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In the second quarter of Sunday night’s game between the Ravens and the Jets, Baltimore defensive tackle Haloti Ngata applied a blindside hit to New York quarterback Mark Sanchez, knocking the ball loose.  Linebacker Jarret Johnson scooped it up, ran into the end zone, and with the extra point the Ravens led, 27-7.

Referee Mike Carey, who presumably was focused on whether Sanchez’s arm was going forward when the ball came out, missed the fact that Ngata put his helmet into Sanchez’s back.

The league office didn’t.

The NFL has fined Ngata $15,000 for roughing the passer.  “Specifically, on a pass play, he lowered his head and struck the opposing quarterback,” AFC information manager Corry Rush told PFT.

In other words, the league has conceded that a flag should have been thrown.

80 responses to “Ngata fined $15,000 for hit on Sanchez

  1. NFL may be confirming it but it’s too late to retract the TD that resulted from it. Not to mention I hardly feel that hit is a roughing the passer. He didn’t hit his head or go for his legs.

  2. can we stop with the frickin fines? for cryin out loud roger! not a fan of either guy but come the heck on! let men be men!

  3. Just play touch already! Stop the charade. It is not tackle football anymore. It is becoming almost unwatchable. I used to like defensive games. Those are a thing of the past. Lawyer GODell trying to keep all those future lawsuits against the league to a minimum.

  4. Ravens fan here – agree with the fine. The rule is you cant lead with your helmet,,,Ngata did,,,& it was awesome

  5. Wow this is big news. That play potentially put the game out of reach for the jets and turned a reachable 13-point lead into essentially a game ending 20-point lead

  6. Unfortunately for Jet fans, Sanchez wasn’t injured and will continue to play QB this season.

  7. For the past 2 years I have been a supporter of the NFL’s efforts to rain in the uneccessary or violent hits (particularly to the head).

    Of all the fines that have been given out to this point I have understood.

    The hit Ngata was fine for is a good football play. For those that have been crying about the new safety policy and how it it is changing the game in a bad way and over protecting the QB’s now have (In my opinion) some thing to complain about.

    This is the first example that I have seen that gives credance to there concerns. Roger this shows me that you are going to far.

  8. OKAY…. so he lowered his head to make sure there was NO contact with Sanchez’s helmet…

    How is that a problem?

    My friends come to me when they have a question about sports and the NFL in particular… and I’m confused as to what to tell them, so I know many millions of other NFL fans are going to be confused.

    Or is this just that annual bias the officials seem to have against the Ravens?

  9. Huh? He was lowering his head to avoid helmet to helmet because of a midget QB. If he goes for the ball the pass is incomplete instead of fumble. Gee whiz league.

  10. College football is now a better game than the NFL. That is not a flag in Pee Wee, High School or College. Thanks Goodell for turning the NFL in a combination of flag, Canadian and Arena football. Worst commissioner in all of sports….ever.

    That’s what happens when you promote the guy from the mail room…

  11. Sad what the game has become when a D lineman can’t even lay on a blindside hit anymore. Wasn’t even helmet to helmet. But offensive players can still use their helmets to spear defenders whenever they want. I’ve watched maybe 5 minutes of NFL football this year, and I really don’t feel like I’m missing anything. It was all over the day the league changed the rules because the Colts were whining about defensive coverage.

  12. This is absolute GARBAGE.. as an avid SUH fan i fully support this hit, is this football or powder puff? This league is slowly being sissified by roger goodell. keep the hits comming!

  13. So wave your victory flag around since you think its was you who convinced the league to throw this fine! What a bunch of BS! I am really getting to hate you and your veiled attempts to turn this into a pansy league! How about the jets finding some OL to protect the QB, instead of depending on the zebra’s or the NFL fine monster! Pitiful!

  14. I do not get this fine at all. Where is his head supposed to go when you have the QB in a Bear Hug? Is he supposed to bend it back and look straight up at the sky?

    If the new rule is a face mask cannot touch a QB in anyway defenders are limited to one arm tackles from now on.

  15. Maybe he should advertise in the paper that he has a free hit on the QB. If he hits him high, its in the head and it is too high. If he goes after his knees, it is too low and he gets penalized. He hit the dude in the freaking back. What the hell else was he supposed to do.

    As for the jets fans whining, you got your ass whipped up and down the field defensively. You could have played into next year and not scored again.

    Bottom line – since Rex took over we have played twice and the Ravens have won twice. Game, set, match.

  16. Not a fan of either team, BUT wish he would have broke “dirty Sanchez” in half…money well spent. Now, with that said, please, please don’t do that to our rookie QB (Gabbert) in 2 weeks.

  17. Lawyers suck at writing and interpreting rules. He didn’t use his helmet as a weapon, didn’t hit him with the crown of the helmet, didn’t spear, didn’t appear to have an intent to injure, didn’t make contact with the QB’s helmet and was not late. The angle of the picture is misleading. There are other angles that clearly show his facemask making contact first. This is the kind of stuff that drives people crazy. That looked like a clean hit. The ref staring at the play made no call (ok, that doesn’t mean much) and yet the league finds justification for a fine.

    The fines are getting out of control. It used to be that only the most egregious penalties were also fined. (Haynesworth’s head stomp; blatantly obvious headhunting hits; cheap shots well after the whistle; etc,) Accidents happen and they should be penalized but the fines are unnecessary and counterproductive in those instances.

  18. So, if you want to get a sack in the NFL, you have to pay $7,500-$15,000 to charity. No wonder these guys make so much many.

  19. What is Ngata supposed to do? Turn sideways and throw a hip check?

    That play was protective equipment striking protective equipment. If that’s not kosher, I don’t know what is.

  20. Real fans want to see defense played like it should. Enough with the penalties and fines Goodell!!!!!!

  21. why doesnt the league just have the ball launcher out there since you cant touch the quarterback anymore just have the receivers run routes and point the thing at them before when someone got rocked the crowd would go OOOOO!!! that was a hit now its OOOOO!!! thats a fine

  22. Where are the Roger Goodell polls??

    a) He is doing a great job
    b) He is doing ok
    c) He is doing a horrible job
    d) He is ruining football and should be fired

    It is a d in my opinion by a long shot


    A real fan losing interest

  23. Welcome to what we have to listen to in Detroit about Suh. Every hit now a days is being deemed illegal. Defenders are pulling up and not making hits anymore which directly relates to the increased scoring this year. Years of defensive juggernauts are gone. Pretty soon QBs will be wearing flags. Footballs days as the “top” sport in america will crumble if that point comes. We watch this game for entertainment and when that aspect of the game is gone we will get bored and replace the time slot with something that does it for us.

  24. Pretty soon, defenders won’t even be able to touch the quarterbacks without drawing a fine. Wonder when tackling will be eliminated?

  25. sportsmediacritic says:
    Oct 7, 2011 4:53 PM
    College football is now a better game than the NFL. That is not a flag in Pee Wee, High School or College. Thanks Goodell for turning the NFL in a combination of flag, Canadian and Arena football. Worst commissioner in all of sports….ever.

    That’s what happens when you promote the guy from the mail room…

    23 0

    FYI that would not have been a flag in any other league. The NFL is being murdered by Goodell.

  26. They should fine the official also. These fines when not being flaged is wrong. If the officials on the play don’t feel it warrants a flag than why should the league office sit and watch a play over and over before a fine or not. The men doing this watching of film, are doing nothing but trying to save their job and if they don’t fine than why pay the position.

  27. not so funny now that it’s happening to your team is it raven fan? so does that make him dirty like you guys like to call our guys? i believe that makes 3 fines in the last 2 years for illegal hits….sanchez, ben, and henne…….just sayin’

  28. Anyone that thinks this is a fair and just fine is totally incorrect. When I first saw it, I thought he led with the crown. Upon second viewing, he did not. His facemask is up and hitting first which IS totally legal. This is a farce………he didnt spear him……..WRONG!!!!!

  29. As a Jets fan..the rule says you can’t lead with your helmet and the Jets got screwed and I am pissed


    As a football fan…. great play great hit…just wish it wasn’t against my team.


    I still think he was throwing the ball.. should not have been rules a fumble

  30. Its a conspiracy! For 43 years now, the ref have been deliberately working in concert to deprive the Jets of a super bowl appearance.

    This is especially surprising considering Roger Goodell was a former employee of the Jets. I know he tried to help the Jets with that ridiculous fine and punishment on the Pats for filming defensive signals in front of 80,000 people, but I’m sure he could do more.

    The ref obviously are against the Jets, and their fans are justified in their anger. Maybe a protest ala Wall Street?

    Good Luck.

  31. steelerdynasty2010 says:
    Oct 7, 2011 6:06 PM
    not so funny now that it’s happening to your team is it raven fan? so does that make him dirty like you guys like to call our guys?

    Who are you directing that comment at? Me? My screen name is close to what you were babbling about.
    I don’t recall saying anything of the sort; but if you say I did – it must be true! After all – the Steelers have six Super Bowl rings, right? That makes us Ravens fans 100% wrong!

  32. Man you guys here at this site were really pushin’ for this one too. I remember back in 2000 when Goose demolished Gannon. Simms was going on and on announcing how that should be a flag and a fine and then Goose got fined.

    Goose still to this day hold Simms accountable for the fine. He even went as far as to let Simms know that he knew where he lived and was going to take the fine out of property damage to his front yard. Goose was pissed.

    I wouldn’t want the man beast Ngata feeling that way about me.

    Just sayin’

  33. Like I said before, this fining issue is THE most important topic in football today. It’s untenable, it’s ridiculous. Something needs to be done by the owners and players standing together on the issue against Goodell.

    The other sorry state of the NFL are the softening rules, turning the game into flag football. Eg, the UFL plays with traditional rules. The NCAA largely plays with traditional rules.

  34. In terms of the rules as presented today, was this hit worthy of a fine, yes.

    Was it a solid football hit, without malicious intent, I believe so.

    With that being said, Goodell has given no leeway in terms of “playing the game” and this my friends, is unacceptable. Ever since he become commish, the game of football has changed. All around, the changes he has made for better or worse, has been the latter. He has taken the element of ‘game time’ speed out of the equation with all these replays and it’s truly disgusting, in my opinion.

    The only way for Ngata to make a ‘rule-abiding’ tackle would be to drive his shoulder into Sanchez (hoping he doesn’t sidestep away) while lowering his head and thus, taking his eye off the QB. Ngata made an awesome swim move around the OL and took advantage of a happy-footed Sanchez.

    Go fly a kite Goodell

  35. It was a clean hit, he didn’t dip his head, or use the helmet as a weapon. The face mask should be center of the QBs back in that situation. That is how it is taught on every level.

  36. Somebody needs to show me how a man can tackle someone else while at the same time wrapping their arms to secure the tackle without leading with your head? Timing is key in the instance, a split second later and the pass is off and this is the difference between a sack or a completed pass. How many times do you see Ben Roth”bugermeister-meisterburger” get away from a would-be sack cause the guy didn’t wrap his arms around him. If a player “only” hits with the crown of his helmet, and/or launches at the player with helmet first, then I agree – penalty. This was in the act of a tackle, plus the initial blow was with his facemask. Plus it wasn’t helmet to helmet. I am disgusted with the way NFL is trending. I am all for safety, but pretty soon thie NFL would turn into NASCAR with bumper cars.

  37. I just think it is funny how the same people who said the hit of helmet to back that Harrison did on Brees for 50 G are the very same that seem to think that this hit was not. Either we have the rules or we dont. I personally think that both hits should not be fined. But I find it funny how many of the posters are so bias and can not even see it.

  38. That type of hit in that situation is unavoidable.
    Good clean hit.
    Goodell is ruining the sport. Goodell should be fined for taking a sport that has played a certain way for 100 years and turning it a non contact sport. Does he think he would have the same fan support if they dangled little flags down their sides. ??? The NFL is turning into a joke. If this keeps on, he could have 32 blackouts across the country. Is that what he is trying to do hear ? Just don’t get it.

  39. I am supportive of not bashing players in the skull until they get Alzheimer’s at 50. That’s a good thing and the fines for HELMET TO HELMET contact could be justified under that practice.

    But it’s gotten to the point now where the NFL is micromanaging hits, and any time a defender makes a serious play the league is making a new declaration. Ngata should appeal, he should win, and the league should limit its fines and penalties for hits that are clearly illegal and actually pose a serious risk like the helmet to helmet contact.

  40. Lifelong and diehard NY Jets fan here, and this fine is total and complete b.s. I don’t understand this “leading with the head” crap. Should Ngata have come in ducking and risked breaking his own neck upon contact with Sanchez’s back?? I mean EVERY HARD HIT is being fined now. Sheriff Goddell is beyond drunk with power, he’s downright wasted with power and needs to be removed ASAP

  41. Goodell needs the money so he can hire another Vice President to kiss his ass. The league should be re-titled, Roger Goodell and the NFL.


  42. The NFL should just put skirts on the QBs since they want the defenses to treat QBs like they were ladies.

    Thanks a lot for crying and whining so much, Tom Brady…

  43. There aren’t many QB’s about whom I’d say this, but can we take up a collection for every upcoming Jets opponent to go towards hits on Mark Sanchez?

  44. As for the jets fans whining, you got your ass whipped up and down the field defensively. You could have played into next year and not scored again.


    the jets got beat soundly. read a lot of people’s comments today tho and didn’t see any whining at all. did see lots of haters doing thumbs up on sanchez getting injured. (usually the illiterates doing the commenting on those). and a few who suggest how the jets get favoritism on the field. i wish there was a way to have you see how hard jet fans are laughing at that one.

  45. @ravensman:
    speaking of babbling, what are YOU talking about my friend? if i were talking to you specifically, i would have directed my comment at your screen name (as i’ve done here). little vain maybe? are you the national spokesman for every raven fan?
    my comment was directed at every ravens fan who jumps on these boards to call our guys dirty when we’re fined. and before you go ranting about how the hit shouldnt be fined, look at harrison’s hit on fitzpatrick last year that everyone was in such uproar about. the bigger question is why do Ngata’s fines not appear to be escalating? he’s a repeat offender of the same rule and has been fined 3 times in 2 years for it, yet he’s never been fined more than 15,000 for any of them. sounds fair to me (bring on the “steelers deserve it because of ________ junk/hypocrital argument).
    i’d also like to point out that between the two of us only one has referenced our 6 rings, YOU my friend. i’m not real sure where you were going with that comment.

  46. Lifelong and diehard NY Jets fan here, and this fine is total and complete b.s. I don’t understand this “leading with the head” crap. Should Ngata have come in ducking and risked breaking his own neck upon contact with Sanchez’s back?? I mean EVERY HARD HIT is being fined now. Sheriff Goddell is beyond drunk with power, he’s downright wasted with power and needs to be removed ASAP


    could he change his angle slightly so he’s leading with the shoulder?

  47. Echo most of the comments on this post, Goodell is a massive tool and the nfl is becoming the Wnfl, cry me a river about injuries…. your killing the sanctity of the game

  48. The rule is to protect both players……but designed primarily and implemented with the intention of protecting the man leading with the head even more so. Regardless of whether or not he put Sanchez in jeopardy he put himself in a worse spot. The fine is warranted according to the rules of the NFL and will hopefully bring the number of head and spine injuries down over time. They are looking out for the players. Sometimes change is good even when met with disapproval at 1st.

  49. Now just to clarify here is part of the rule that pertains. Some of you seem to think the facemask is not part of the helmet.
    Also for those of you who think it’s hard to tackle without doing so has not played football. It’s not a problem to lead with your shoulder and wrap him up at the same time. Some of the best hits I have seen where led with the shoulder. It’s even easier to do when the player does not see you coming as he wont adjust his position. He did have a few steps leading to the hit to adjust his hit. I have seen hits where as the player had less time or the one taking the hit was in motion making it harder to adjust said hit.

    Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (Unnecessary roughness) in the NFL rulebook

    (f) If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily. Although such violent or unnecessary use of the helmet and facemask is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protecting those players who are in virtually defenseless postures, including but not limited to:

  50. @steelerdynasty;

    I owe you an apology. Not making excuses, but so many times I’ve read where someone calls fans of an opposing team names, and questions their intelligence. I’ve been told to stay off of opposing teams’ boards simply because my screenname shows that I support the team that I do.
    As to the “six rings” comment……I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a few that repeat that constantly, and have little else to add to the conversation. Personally, I have lots of respect for the Steeler organization; but can’t bring myself to cheering for them, just like you probably won’t be cheering for the Ravens.
    I hope that you accept my apology, and that any further conversations between us are respectful and pleasant.

  51. @ravensman:
    no harm no foul. yes, there are a myriad of immature posters on the site, no doubt. i dont get into name calling, but some posts do in fact call into question the intelligence of their authors (none of yours, but i bet you could find an example in less than 5 seconds).
    as far as i’m concerned, you and all your fellow fans are welcome on our boards, that’s what they’re here for. i just ask that whoever posts, does so with some modicum of intelligence and adds something meaningful to the conversation. have a ton of respect for the ravens organization and always look forward to our twice a year guaranteed meetings and also our occasional bonus meeting in the playoffs. i do cheer for the ravens….to lose…lol…except when you play the Pats, then and only then do i grab onto the bandwagon and ride for the duration of the game….i’m just plain conflicted when you guys play the jets. cant decide which of you i love to see lose more.

  52. @steelerdynasty2010;

    Thank you sir! The day I posted my original post, I had just got done with a little argument with the fan of another team that is slightly to the north of both of our teams that begins with a “J.” I had a little disagreement a while back with someone who’s screenname is somewhat similar to yours, but looking back on those posts it was a mistake on my part.
    As to the hit that is the subject of this thread…….I think the fine is ridiculous and excessive – as were the fines against James Harrison last year. Football is a physical game; and everyone on that field knows there’s a risk of injury every time they walk on it. These defensive guys learned to play hard and hit hard; and now they have to pull back? Doing so can definitely make a difference between sack or no sack, possibly having an effect on the outcome of the game……

  53. Ok… Steeler Fan here…
    This fining thing has gotten waaaaaayyyyy out of control… Haloti Ngata made a perfect hit / sack / force fumble. As for the tackle… players are moving forward… the head always is first. Try bending over to pick something up… your head goes in that direction. Reach for something on a table…just out of reach…your head goes forward also… As hard as it is to be “nice” to the Ravens (LOL)… this is just BS. It’s a good thing that Goodell is not a track coach… teaching people running fast to keep their head up at the tape… don’t reach for anything or lean forward… Getting real tired of this stuff…

  54. If you are a Ravens fan and not happy with this then good. I watched the Steelers get taxed on every hit they made last year and got laughed at by most of you clowns. Seeyou in a few weeks. Hope Chuck Pagano better bring his big boy jock. Have no plans on giving this game to your defense. God (and Joe Flacco) know they carry your average squad.

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