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Panthers Lb Jason Phillips Tried To Injure Biermann On Opening 2Nd Half Kickoff

Bill Brasky

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If you have NFL Game Rewind or otherwise have access to a tape of the Falcons-Panthers game, there's something you're going to want to see. Watch the opening kickoff of the second half and pay close attention to Carolina's first wave of blockers. Go ahead, we won't spoil it for you.

For those of you without access, here's what happened (.gif courtesy of squick3n). As the Falcons go to kick off, all of the Panthers players peel off to set up for a short kick, except for linebacker Jason Phillips (no. 53). Instead, Phillips sprints full speed ahead toward Falcons lineman Kroy Biermann (no. 71), hoping to hit him with 10 yards of momentum before Biermann can realize what's happening. It's terrifying. Fortunately, Biermann moved away at the last moment before Phillips committed premeditated assault.

So, what happened? Macho NFL stuff, of course! Biermann dove into a scrambling Cam Newton as Newton was about to give himself up on a run at the end of the first half. Was it necessary? Probably not, but it was also a clean enough hit that it (rightfully) wasn't flagged for unnecessary roughness. To make up for this, Phillips totally shirked his responsibilities and flagrantly tried to injure Biermann. You can try to chalk this up to the players and the game policing itself, but do you remember how well that went with the replacement referees over the past three weeks? It took a full week before cheap shots and shoving matches that wouldn't fly with the real refs made their way back into the game. Had Phillips actually taken out Biermann, he would have been suspended and likely made a cause célèbre for concussion arguments. Maybe the league should judge him on his intent anyway.

Bill Barnwell


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