Robinson's hit on Jackson was legal. Harrison's hit on Cribbs was ruled legal and I'm not sure about the last one. I'm all for punishing helmet on helmet hits, but hits on guys that simply cut the middle are legal and this opens the door for punishing anything ruled a "hard" hit.
The Robinson hit was ruled illegal because of the new definition of a "defenseless player", a part of the new rules announced back in the summer. He didn't lead with his helmet but you can't launch yourself at a player and hit him above the shoulder pads.
The key rules change for player safety bars a defenseless player from being hit in the head or neck area by an opponent who launches himself and uses his helmet, shoulder or forearm to make contact. Previously, those kind of tackles were banned against receivers who couldn't protect themselves, but now it will apply to everyone.
The definition of a "defenseless receiver" (where a receiver cannot be hit in the head or neck area by an opponent who launches himself and makes contact with his helmet, shoulder, or forearm) will now apply to every defenseless player.
-that's from wiki
I don't necessarily think it's dirty...but we've been given evidence of why it's illegal.
The NFL will announce by Wednesday that, effective this weekend, even first-time offenders face suspension for "devastating hits" and "head shots," according to Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations.
"We can't and won't tolerate what we saw Sunday," Anderson said Monday. "We've got to get the message to players that these devastating hits and head shots will be met with a very necessary higher standard of accountability. We have to dispel the notion that you get one free pass in these egregious or flagrant shots."
Anderson was alluding to the normal disciplinary measures in which the league has issued fines for first-time offenders and, very often, second-time offenders.
"What we saw Sunday was disturbing," Anderson said. "We're talking about avoiding life-altering impacts."
That sucks. They're trying to make Football as soft as tuesday night Badminton. Football is a man's sport, quit with the p*ssy sh*t. Hard hits and tackles are apart of the game, if they can't take the hits, GTFO the league.
If the NFL really gives a shit about this, not just the public perception and media reaction it brings, but REALLY gives a shit, they'll consider widening the field and diminishing the amount of padding.
Getting rids of a few pounds of plastic and padding around your dome in this kind of game seems pretty counter productive at first glance I realize, until you actually watch a number of these hits and see that so many of the defenders laying the hits (the VAST majority of them legal) are doing it in a way that they're launching themselves in a controlled manner knowing what they're doing. I'm not saying there's a bunch of headhunters in the NFL that're trying to paralyze people, but when you've got the amount of equipment these guys do and you've got the extra split second to gather yourself and explode into an offensive player that's going any which way from a previous hit, then you do it. It's your job, and the equipment allows you to do it in such a controlled manner that the hitter has little to worry about.
You want less violent contact hits? Quit putting more and more padding on these guys. Let the guy laying the hit get seriously injured and these hits are done.