Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker took out Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, and New England fans are crying foul.
Welker, who spent six years with the Patriots before joining the Broncos before the 2013 season, caught Talib in a pick play early in the second quarter, injuring the best defensive player on New England’s active roster. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that the NFL will look at the hit, and he even called it “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Belichick’s comments certainly will fire up the locals, but just because the HC of the NEP hints that the hit was dirty doesn’t mean it was an illegal play. Enter Mike Pereira, former vice president of NFL officiating. Suffice to say, this guy has read the rule book a few times.
“People asking about [the] hit on Talib,” Pereira tweeted. “That is not a foul. Ball was touched by [Demaryius Thomas] about the same time as contact, Can’t be [offensive pass interference].”
Donte Stallworth, who had two stints with the Patriots during his 10-year NFL career, weighed in on the matter, too. The 33-year-old isn’t taking Belichick’s side on this one, either.
“I have nothing but love and respect for Bill Belichick, but he’s absolutely wrong about Wes Welker’s hit on Aqib Talib … and he knows it,” he tweeted Monday morning.
Check out a GIF of the play below, via Fansided.