I have heard a lot of debate between Texans and Vikings fans over the low hit that DE Jared Allen made on Texans QB Matt Schaub last season. It was a blow that pretty much ended any potential playoff hopes the team had as Schaub missed the next four games with a busted MCL.
Now that time has passed, I reevaluated the play to determine if it was a dirty hit or not. Well, the league basically said it was when they pegged Allen with a fine of $50,000. A lot of Texans players said it was, including Chester Pitts, who said that he called Allen a "scumbag" after the game. And if you ask a Texans fan, you won’t be surprised to hear that it was a cheap shot. What you will be a little surprised about is some of the names Texans fans have for Mr. Allen.
A phrase we hear a lot when a hit like this occurs is, "He just got caught up in the moment." Well, sometimes that can apply. This is football, after all. Hard hits are going to happen. But when the same player does it twice in the same game to the opposing QB, the "moment" has passed and you are just being…well, a "scumbag."
But Jared Allen, being the upstanding guy he apparently is, decided to "apologize" after the game to Matt Schaub. The apology is said to have consisted of the statement "Pitts separated my shoulder, if it makes you feel better." Wow. How big of you, Jared.
Look, Jared Allen is a hell of a player. And if he is on your team, you will probably defend his style of play to the death. But when hits you are making are causing the NFL to change rules about what is an illegal hit on a QB, getting caught up in the moment is no longer an excuse.
So, in my opinion, hell yes it was a dirty hit. And I fully intend to voice my opinion to "Mr. Cheap Shot" tonight while in attendance at Monday Night Football. Let’s see if Texans fans can keep a PG rating when Allen takes the field. It is just preseason, after all.
If you need a refresher, take a peek at the video.