CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is hit by Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears in the helmet as Peppers was called for a personal foul in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Aaron Rodgers;Julius Peppers
Early in the fourth quarter, he knocked down Rodgers as the QB was unleashing a pass that could have given the Pack a two-touchdown lead. The Bears had just scored, and a big defensive stop was required to keep Chicago in the game. That's exactly what Peppers delivered.
For that hit, the Bears were penalized 15 yards, but that wasn't enough for the league.
Their vague prohibition on helmet-to-helmet hits means Peppers has to pay $10,000.
Though the NFL will be busy -- we hope -- negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with the players' union this spring, they hopefully will take a hard look at their rules on helmet-to-helmet hits. Because it is unclear as it stands.
In this hit, Rodgers lowered himself to brace for the impact of Peppers. That put his helmet in play, because Peppers was trying to execute a tackle that would have hit near Rodgers' shoulders. Why isn't Rodgers to blame?