If not for the mess in week one, this probably wouldn’t even be a story. Unfortunately, it is.
Early in the first quarter of the Falcons-Panthers game today, referee Ed Hochuli flagged Julius Peppers for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan. The play had resulted in an interception and a touchdown for the Panthers, but it was called back due to the penalty. Should it have been called?
I watched the game live, and thought it was the right call. It certainly appeared to be helmet-to-helmet, although it wasn’t very hard and it didn’t seem to be intentional. I really think this was a call that could go either way. Sadly for Hochuli, the call had a very direct impact on the game, taking seven points away from the Panthers. Like his call a few weeks ago, he threw the flag before the “big play” happened, so he had no way of knowing how important the call would be.
If I can find a video or screencap of the hit, I’ll post it here. Please let me know if you find one.