A week after multiple violent, helmet-to-helmet hits raised the ire of the NFL, the league praised its players for clean play on Sunday in Week Seven games.
Ray Anderson, the league's football operations chief, singled out Patriots S Brandon Meriweather and Steelers LB James Harrison, saying they both "heeded our emphasis" on eliminating flagrant fouls by making clean, hard tackles in their team's victories.
Meriweather was fined $50,000 and Harrison $75,000 for illegal hits last week. The NFL announced it would begin suspending players for such tackles from this point forward, even for first-time offenders.
Anderson said no flags were thrown for illegal hits to defenseless players in Sunday's 13 games. He called it a "good start" toward eliminating the violent hits.
The way we see it
Meriweather had a crushing hit on a Chargers receiver earlier in the Patriots game, but seemed to make an effort to aim low on his hit, proving that players can still deliver punishing tackles without going for an opponent's helmet. We'll see how long it takes until the first player delivers a hit suspension-worthy.