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Yesterday the took on the New York Giants, the defending NFL champions. During the game, Pittsburgh’s Ryan Clark was flagged for hitting New York’s Victor Cruz with his helmet. This call, like many of the night, was controversial to many people.
According to Yahoo Sports, “Clark didn't go for Cruz's head, nor did he use his head to strike the blow. He used his shoulder to hit Cruz in the ribs.”
Even after the replay, Clark still got a 15-yard penalty. The referees felt Cruz was defenseless since the ball was batted down and he wasn’t prepared for Clark to smash him that hard.
Because of the strict rules the NFL has on helmet-to-helmet hits, referees are often eager to give penalties when they are not necessary. This particular play was clean since Clark led with his shoulder. According to , the hit could be argued for at most, unnecessary roughness, but that’s even questionable.
Like myself, many people were looking forward to this great game. Anytime you have two very aggressive teams facing off, it proves to be a good show. Pittsburgh ended winning the game with a late fourth quarter touchdown coming from ten points behind.