Football is a physical game. Players are taught to hit other players with their bodies. The harder you hit, the more likely it is that the ball will be dropped. So when Quinton Mikell and Kurt Coleman sandwiched Austin Collie on a bone-crushingly hard, but LEGAL, hit, the refs decided to throw a flag. Not because the player was defenseless, but because they hit him hard and were worried people would be upset if something wasn’t done to avenge this injustice. Hitting hard is part of the game. If you start disallowing that, we may as well play touch football.
After Austin Collie got stretchered out, Mikell was called for a very light facemask on Blair White, setting the stage for a 6-yard untouched scamper for Javarris James. It’s hard to play defense when the referees are playing for the offense and in the NFL legal department’s pocket. Everyone is hoping Collie isn’t as hurt as he looked to be, but he’ll be the first to tell you that the hit was legal and getting popped is just part of the game. Player safety is one thing, but when you’re penalizing guys for doing their job well, you lose sight of how to play the game.
Either way, the Colts are now down just two points with the ball and a minute to go before halftime. Those red zone field goals hurt right now.