METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was fined $10,000 for his illegal hit against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan last week, which also drew a 15-yard penalty. But end Akiem Hicks was not fined for a similar hit that did not draw a penalty during the Saints' 17-13 victory.
It's hard to figure why one hit was penalized and the other wasn't. Neither hit was intentional or malicious -- but both players clearly hit Ryan's facemask with a swinging arm as they attempted to get inside for a sack or batted pass.
"I don't remember hitting him too hard or being too physical with the quarterback. But I get it," Jordan said. "Quarterbacks have halos around them, in practice, in games. It is what it is. You've got to be aware of how you hit these guys these days. It's not the '90s when everything was just legal. You have to be aware of how you hit people."
Hicks' hit actually looked worse in live action, since he briefly had his arm wrapped around the area of Ryan's neck and shoulders while sacking him for an 8-yard loss.
Obviously there has been some inconsistency -- and controversy – with the way such penalties are called.