Nick Moody's hit on Russell Wilson didn't merit roughing penalty

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Nick Moody did not use the crown of his helmet against Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during last Sunday's game.

Moody was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty, which NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Friday during his media officiating video that it shouldn't have been called a penalty.

"The rule is clear for a quarterback who is in that passing posture," Blandino said. "You can't hit him forcibly in the head or neck area and you can't use the crown or the forehead part of the helmet to make contact to the body. That's the key, that second part.

"He hits (Wilson) with the facemask to the body. We are looking for here really is either forcible contact with either crown or the very top of the helmet or the forehead ... with that dipping and ripping type action into the chest."

Blandino said this is was an example of a call he would like officials to avoid. The second-half penalty allowed the Seahawks to keep a touchdown drive alive and put the game out of reach from the 49ers.

"What we're really looking for is ... (players) who lower their head and bury the helmet into the chest of the quarterback," he said, adding that the key is to watch where the defenders eyes are pointed. If the rusher is looking down, then it is likely that he is about to perform an illegal tackle."

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