Monday night's battle between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints was viewed as one of the best games of the weekend. These two playoff contenders went blow-for-blow and kept fans engaged for all 60 minutes. Texans star Deshaun Watson started the game by giving his team a 14-3 lead before halftime, but Saints quarterback, Drew Brees quickly brought his team back in the third quarter to take control of the game. However, the scoring was not finished there.
Watson threw a touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in regulation, which appeared to give his team the victory, but Brees drove the Saints right down the field and set Will Lutz up for the game-winning 58-yard field goal.
This kick should have been the dominating storyline following the game, but it was less discussed on social media than a tackle made by Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in which he slammed Saints defender Marcus Williams to the ground after an interception.
Per the referees, this tackle was excessive, earning Hopkins a 15-yard personal foul penalty. For wrestling fans on the internet, however, this was a picture-perfect move by Hopkins. The Clemson star may not have a background in professional wrestling, but the belief is that he could take his moves to WWE.
That being said, there were some arguments in the comments based on two different factors. First, what move did Hopkins use? Second, is the NFL "too soft" after throwing a penalty flag for his tackle?
With so many quality programs airing on Monday night, it's difficult to pick one to focus attention on. There is Monday Night Football on ESPN, WWE: Raw, and Straight Up Steve Austin. For those that opted to watch the Saints and Texans face off in New Orleans, there was a concern about missing one of the other shows. Fortunately, Hopkins made the fans of wrestling happy with his latest tackle.
Monday raw looking better every week pic.twitter.com/RueNMqUqe7— Thomas Rink (@Thomas_Rink12) September 10, 2019
As Twitter was quick to point out in case any of the referees or employees of the league were watching, DeAndre Hopkins wasn't breaking ground with his tackle on Monday night. This style of body slam has been used thousands of times throughout NFL history, and the Texans wide receiver was just providing the latest example. In fact, his version appeared to be slightly less violent than some of the others from history.
Looks familiar 🧐 pic.twitter.com/jsU2x3XQYS— king of the nawf (@RayBuchananJr) September 10, 2019
Whether or not this play by Hopkins was legal is irrelevant to some viewers. What really matters is that Barstool Sports butchered the name of the move when they posted the clip on Twitter. The original post used the term "belly to back suplex," but wrestling fans quickly corrected Barstool by clarifying that the move was actually a German suplex.
*german suplex pic.twitter.com/ZKxSlmH61l— Aaron Gleason (@AaronGleason) September 10, 2019
Love or hate the tackle, the fact remains that this move by DeAndre Hopkins was downright impressive. He's a receiver and hasn't really been focusing on tackling throughout his stellar playing career, but that didn't limit the Texans star. He grabbed Williams and slammed him to the ground in order to prevent any return yards following the interception.
Bloody head injuries and body slams? Is this the NFL or the upcoming XFL created by Vince McMahon? That's what one individual on Twitter was asking after watching the big tackle by DeAndre Hopkins. Granted, Eric Weddle's injury didn't actually come from being hit in the head by a steel chair. The Rams safety was actually carted off the field after taking a shin to the head by a leaping Christian McCaffrey.
This just a day after Eric Weddle got a steel chair to the head. Thought the xfl didn't start til the spring— Big K from A.T.C.D (@Cornye_West) September 10, 2019
A former safety for the Philadelphia Eagles, Brian Dawkins was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a standout career. The nine-time Pro Bowler spent 16 seasons in the league and was known for his violent hits on offensive players. In fact, Dawkins routinely utilized this exact body slam against opposing wide receivers and running backs. Granted, the NFL was much different during his time, and Dawkins would have likely received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, just like DeAndre Hopkins.
He just did the Dawkplex pic.twitter.com/lQf5pXriV3— Arash (@ThePersianDon1) September 10, 2019
The aspect of the play that frustrated many football fans wasn't that Hopkins slammed Williams to the ground. It was actually the fact that he was penalized for this move. The Texans receiver was simply trying to prevent a return on the interception, but his method of tackling was frowned upon by the referees. According to many viewers, he was simply penalized for trying to play football.
15 yard penalty. Playing football pic.twitter.com/xSNx76RcuU— Cory Wayland© (@Seedubsworld) September 10, 2019
Is the tackle legal, or were the referees overreacting? Honestly, it doesn't matter to many football fans. At this point, they are far more concerned about the potential for fantasy points. DeAndre Hopkins is a unanimous first-round pick in fantasy football, and he rewarded those that drafted him with two touchdowns on Monday night. Does he get extra points for the tackle?
How many fantasy points do I get for a Deandre judo throw? 🥋— Nodnarb Iksnisarak (@BrandoCommandoe) September 10, 2019
Pat McAfee is one of the more entertaining personalities in the NFL. The former Colts punter was known for his golf celebrations and entertaining comments throughout his career, and he has since transitioned to a successful podcaster and color commentator for college football. As it turns out, McAfee is also a fan of professional wrestling, and he has nothing but respect for the move that Hopkins pulled out on Monday night.
I honestly thought the belly to back suplex was pretty impressive there by Nuke— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 10, 2019
While DeAndre Hopkins' tackle was viewed as overly questionable by many, there are many others wondering why he was the only one that received a penalty on the play. Upon closer examination of the replay, it was revealed that safety Vonn Bell ran up to Hopkins while he was lying on the ground and violently shoved his head backward. The referees did not notice this, but the fans were at home wondering why there wasn't a second penalty?
Hopkins got smacked in the face but no one cares 😂😂— sheldonbomar (@sheldon_bomar) September 10, 2019
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