Friday, December 2, 2011
Reading between lines on NFL fines
By Mike Sando
A few thoughts on fine-related revelations from Friday:
- Gore's chop unpunished: Coach Jim Harbaugh was right when he used the word "unlucky" to describe the chop-block penalty against Frank Gore during the San Francisco 49ers' 16-6 defeat at Baltimore. This was the first time Gore had been penalized for a chop block. The league did not fine him. That was the right call. Gore blocked low before guard Chilo Rachal made contact with the defender's upper body. This penalty flag was thrown unnecessarily. The absence of a fine supports that line of thinking. The penalty wiped out a 75-yard touchdown reception that would have changed how the game unfolded, at least to some degree.
- Wright docked heavily: Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright received a $15,000 fine for striking Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman in the neck area. This was a tough call for Wright. Nothing about the hit appeared dirty. I thought WRight shoved Grossman in the upper chest area. The league had access to additional views of the play.
- Giacomini, Tate pay price: The $7,500 fines against Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini for a late hit and receiver Golden Tate for excessive celebration appear to have gotten a message across. Giacomini walked away from a confrontation against Philadelphia on Thursday night. Tate celebrated his latest touchdown without incident.
The league will wait until next week before reviewing plays from the Thursday night game between Seattle and Philadelphia.