Shutdown Corner - NFL

If you didn't see it for yourself on ESPN, take a look at this filthy little crackback block that Brett Favre(notes) threw at the knees of Texans safety Eugene Wilson(notes) in the third quarter of the Monday Night preseason game.

Yeah, he's like a little kid out there. Specifically, that little girl Esther in "Orphan."

Mike Tirico's right, that wasn't cool. It was dirty, is what it was, not to mention illegal. My kudos and thanks go to Tirico and Ron Jaworski for pointing it out and not using the kid gloves on the usually sacred Favre.

It's not the worst thing any of us have ever seen, but I cringe any time I see an NFL player do something that is both unnecessary and puts someone else in such danger. I know that it's a dangerous game, and physical plays have to be made, but this, in my view, doesn't fall into that category.

Favre didn't have to go that low. Favre didn't have to put Eugene Wilson's knees in jeopardy. Like Jaws said, that's a potential career-ender.

That said, though, even though I've made no secret of my disapproval of Favre's nonsense over the past couple of years, if this were someone else, I'd probably be way more upset about it. I'm not saying that it's okay, of course, but Favre's been a quarterback in the NFL for 83 years and I can't recall a single other incident of dirty play.

So I won't label him a dirty player. The man's history earns him the benefit of the doubt. Make no mistake, though, the play itself was dirty. Here's what the NFL rulebook says about the crackback block:

An offensive player who lines up more than two yards outside his own tackle or a player who, at the snap, is in a backfield position and subsequently takes a position more than two yards outside a tackle may not clip an opponent anywhere nor may he contact an opponent below the waist if the blocker is moving toward the ball and if contact is made within an area five yards on either side of the line. (crackback)

It was correctly called by the officials and resulted in a 15-yard penalty. Wilson limped off with a knee injury, the severity of which is unknown.

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