By RICK SOLEM
A day later, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is calling foul.
His cornerback, Aqib Talib, was injured for the game Sunday on a pick-play by Denver Broncos' wide receiver Wes Welker.
According to Mike Reiss with ESPN, “Belichick said a ‘deliberate intent to take out Aqib’ and one of the worst he's seen.”
Apparnetly Belichick hasn’t seen very much.
Yes, Talib hurt his knee and Denver won 26-16, but one of the worst plays he’s ever seen? Belichick has been coaching since 1975.
"The way that play turned out, I went back and watched it, which I didn't have a chance to [Sunday]," Belichick said Monday morning, via ESPN Boston. "It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open. I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play, whatever they decide. It's one of the worst plays I've seen."
It’s hard to say what context Belichick is speaking by the “worst plays” he’s seen - maybe it was that day? - but the video speaks for itself. It certainly wasn’t malicious, and you could make the case it wasn’t even a penalty.
Welker hits Talib a fraction of a second before the ball hits the receiver’s hands.
Even Mike Pereira, the former VP of officiating who is now the NFL Rules Analyst for FOX said so.
After the game, Welker, who was with New England the past six seasons, said he wasn’t trying to injure or hit Talib, according to SI.
“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said. “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that. I hope he’s OK. He’s a great player and a big part of their defense.”
Minutes after the Seattle's win over San Francisco they opened as a 1.5-point favorite over Denver in Super Bowl 48.
About 30 minutes later, Denver was the favorite, according to Sporting News.
Maybe it was Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman's remarks, but fans flocked toward betting on Denver and the line moved them to 2-point favorites.
The Super Bowl is set for MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on Feb. 2, around 5:30 p.m. on Fox.
THURSDAY NIGHT NFL ON PRIMETIME?
SEATTLE (AP) The NFL is shopping Thursday night rights, which have been on the NFL Network, starting this upcoming season.
A person with knowledge of the bidding process tells the AP that all four of the NFL's network partners have bid on the Thursday night television package (ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox).
TBS (Turner Sports) has also put in a bid and there’s a possibility that if ESPN wins, it would put its games on ABC.
NFL Network began airing an eight-game package in 2006, which increased to 13 games in 2012.
In 2011, ESPN renewed its rights for Monday Night Football for $15.2 billion through 2021. The cost worked out to more than $105 million per game.