The person who gave birth to Patrick Mahomes understandably was not happy when he suffered a concussion on Sunday.
As noted by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Randi Mahomes reacted strongly to the hit that knocked Mahomes out of the divisional round playoff game against the Browns.
“#51 [Mack] Wilson that’s some trash football leading with helmet, pulling his head and pushing helmet…why are you not thrown out!?? Come on NFL,’’ Randi Mahomes tweeted, via Cabot.
No flag was thrown, but Wilson technically did lower his helmet and initiate contact with it. To violate that rule, the contact doesn’t have to be helmet to helmet. Wilson lowered his head and struck Mahomes in the shoulder.
Unfortunately, that rule — which as written is extremely broad — gets enforced so inconsistently that the term “haphazardly” would arguably be appropriate. Earlier in the game, when Browns receiver Rashard Higgins reached the ball for the end zone, Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen lowered his helmet and initiated contact with it. Sorensen obviously broke the rule. However, no flag was thrown. (In Sunday’s Buccaneers-Saints game, a flag was thrown for lowering the helmet and initiating what best can be described as a glancing blow to the opponent.)
The rest of Mack Wilson‘s tackle of Patrick Mahomes violated no rules. It’s not illegal to wrap a quarterback who has become a runner (Mahomes was trying to gain a first down with his legs on a third-and-one play) around the neck with a forearm. It’s not illegal to drag him to the ground, even if his helmet hits the ground.
These are legitimate techniques when tackling a runner. When a quarterback becomes a runner, he risks being exposed to those techniques.
That said, by the letter of the lowering-the-helmet rule, Wilson should have been penalized. It will be interesting to see whether he eventually is fined.
None of this changes the fact that Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion. It’s nevertheless difficult to fairly describe a full-speed effort to make a tackle on third and short in an elimination game “trash football” or otherwise dirty.
Still, if Mahomes was my kid, I would have tweeted the exact same thing. Probably with a profanity or two.