The Denver Broncos teed off on Cam Newton during Thursday night’s season-opening victory. Several of the hits were deemed by many fans and pundits as dirty, helmet-to-helmet hits.
That spiraled into labeling the Broncos as a dirty team, one that was intentionally targeting Newton with cheap shots. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall says that isn’t the case.
“Just because we hit Cam in the head a couple of times, that doesn’t make us dirty,” Marshall told The Denver Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. “Look at some of the dirty plays in the league. There are a lot of dirty players, and that’s not our M.O.”
Marshall distinguished a dirty hit as an intentional hit and that the Broncos weren’t intentionally head hunting. One of Marshall’s head shots, in particular, drew attention nationally. Marshall wasn’t flagged for it, but could face a fine for the helmet-to-helmet contact.
The NFL has put an emphasis on protecting quarterbacks and defenseless players. Dirty hits or not, they’re against the rules and the Broncos could see more flags, or fines, if they don’t abide by them.