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Adrian Peterson: Ahmad Brooks hit on Drew Brees wasn't a penalty

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Adrian Peterson doesn't think this hit should have been penalized.
Adrian Peterson doesn't think this hit should have been penalized. (USATSI)

One of the most controversial plays in Week 11 that didn't involve Luke Kuechly or Rob Gronkowski happened in New Orleans when 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks tackled Saints quarterback Drew Brees near his neck.

On a third-and-2 play in the fourth quarter, Brooks was called for a personal foul after tackling Brees near his neck. The penalty gave New Orleans a first down and eventually led to the Saints tying the game on a Garrett Hartley 42-yard field goal.

Brooks strongly disagreed with the call and so did former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who offered to pay half of Brooks' $16,000 fine. A defensive player agreeing with a defensive player is pretty normal in the NFL, what's not so normal is an offensive player agreeing with a defensive player.

Vikings running Adrian Peterson did just that this week, saying that NFL quarterbacks are babied and that Brooks shouldn't have been penalized.

"I love Drew Brees. He's one of my favorite guys to watch, but that hit he took wasn't a penalty," Peterson said in an interview with FoxSports.com. "So they kind of baby the quarterbacks, but the running back we're like every other player. We get hit and that's what it is."

The call was so controversial, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino had to explain this week what made the hit a penalty.

"The quarterback, in the act of passing, or in the passing posture, is defenseless," Blandino said. "You can't make forcible contact to the head or the neck area. Even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up, if there's force to that contact, it's a foul."

Brees thought it was a foul too. "I don't think what Ahmad Brooks did was intentional at all," Brees said. "I think he's a heck of a football player and a clean football player... But I can tell you how it felt when I got hit. It felt like my head got ripped off and I get up and I've got a mouth full of blood. There was no doubt in my mind that it was going to be a penalty."

Peterson's opinon on the penalty doesn't change anything, but Brooks might feel slightly better knowing he has the NFL's reigning MVP on his side.

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