Dolphins' Kiko Alonso: 'No way' to avoid dangerous, illegal hit to sliding Joe Flacco

The NFL goes to great lengths to protect quarterbacks because without them the game devolves into pretty much what we see from the Browns' offense every week. But football is also played by some of the fastest, strongest, most well-conditioned athletes on the planet, which means the game moves at astonishing speed and sometimes what looks avoidable upon a second, super slow-motion viewing, was inescapable in real time.

That's what Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso is saying in the aftermath of his brutal, dangerous and ultimately illegal hit on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco during the second quarter of Thursday night's game.

Afterward, Alonso said there was "no way" he could have avoided the hit.

"When a guy slides, the target is very small. I just think it [Flacco's slide] was a second late, which is why I hit him, to be honest with you, "the linebacker explained, via ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. "At first I was anticipating I thought he was going to slide. And then it got to a point where I was like, 'I got to him,' because he slid too late."

That's debatable. And it doesn't help Alonso's case that he led with his forearm to the side of Flacco's head.

Not surprisingly, Flacco's teammates and coaches were incensed; seconds after the hit, offensive lineman Ryan Jensen knocked Alonso to the ground and coach John Harbaugh was screaming in Alonso's face before an official intervened. During the postgame press conference Harbaugh wouldn't comment on whether he thought Alonso should have been ejected.

"That's not for me to say," Harbaugh said. "It's a fair question. Put it that way." He added that "It was penalized correctly."

While Alonso wasn't ejected he could be facing a suspension, even if, in his mind, he couldn't avoid blasting Flacco in the head.

"I thought it was a dirty play, personally," Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "I don't think Kiko's a dirty player, but I thought that particular play was dirty."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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