There seems to be no consensus on Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Carson Wentz.
Clowney, the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, knocked Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, out of their wild card playoff game last Sunday in Philadelphia. Wentz had been tripped up and was going to ground when Clowney landed on Wentz’s back, making helmet contact to the back of Wentz’s helmet, which then slammed Wentz’s head into the turf. Wentz finished the drive, but didn’t return afterward because of a head injury, and Seattle went on to win 17-9 to advance to this Sunday’s divisional round game at Green Bay.
Clowney was not flagged on the play, but the chatter after the game — particularly from Eagles fans — was that Clowney should have faced punishment for the hit, which may have played a significant role in the outcome of the game.
Therefore, we decided to see what fans on this coast thought. This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers what they thought about Clowney’s hit on Wentz, and there was disagreement across the spectrum. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: What’s your take on Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Eagles QB Carson Wentz, which knocked Wentz out of their playoff game? Full context, including video of the hit and all the subsequent reaction, here: https://t.co/Ozf7d7doz5
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 6, 2020
Add it all up and no response received even a third of the votes. The most votes came in saying it wasn’t a penalty, but that garnered just 32 percent from what can be guessed to be a heavily pro-Seahawks crowd. Twenty-seven percent of the voters said Clowney should not only have been flagged, but that he should have been ejected from the game. Another 25 percent said Clowney should have been penalized but face no other punishment, while 16 percent said Clowney should have been penalized and fined, but not ejected.
So the opinions are all over the map, even for Seattle fans.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll has been consistent in the aftermath, saying the contact was incidental:
“He hit him in the back of the head, but he wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything,” Carroll said during his Monday press conference. “That just happened. It’s football and unfortunately, he got banged. Hate that he didn’t get to play the game. I don’t know. I don’t know why there’s much discussion about it. I mean, the guy is chasing, and he dove on the guy and hit him. It’s unfortunate.”
The NFL seems to agree with Carroll. The referee from last Sunday’s game, Shawn Smith, spoke to the pool reporter after the game, standing by the decision not to throw a flag. And while there were reports that the league was reviewing Clowney’s hit on Wentz, there’s been no news of a subsequent fine.
It’s interesting that of the three options that had Clowney at least getting flagged, the one that received the most votes was that one that also had him being ejected from the game. Clowney played an excellent game against the Eagles as he was constantly in the Philadelphia backfield, and had he been ejected in the first quarter it also may have turned the tide of the game. I guess a fair share of Seattle fans feel it should have happened anyway — or are at least willing to say so given the Seahawks won and the victory can’t be taken away now.