Ben Braden's best (anti-targeting?) play of the season

Ben Braden's best (anti-targeting?) play of the season

Submitted by dragonchild on November 21st, 2016 at 9:12 AM

Just wanted to give credit where credit's due.  I was re-watching the Indiana game and caught this on the replay when Smith lost his helmet in the 4th quarter:

It's common to see an O-lineman in this position grab and pull his RB for a few extra yards, but in this case he basically stops playing football, puts his hand on Smith's exposed noggin, and cups it all the way to the ground.

He actually does a good job keeping Smith's neck straight while Smith is being tackled.  Means his arm is loose (edit: apparently not, see below).  He's basically sacrificing his hand in case another helmet comes flying at Smith's skull.

He isn't going to get UFR points for this because it's not a "football" play, but excellent, excellent thinking on his feet and concern for his teammate's safety.

P.S. Smith, you're an RB; get your helmet fixed!  This ain't the first time!

EDIT:  OK, this thread is taking a very ugly turn so let me turn your attention to two other details.  One, look at Braden's right hand in the first shot.  It's Ben Braden pressing the Indiana defender's helmet into Smith's face to prevent it from slamming into Smith's head on the way down (Braden would then push away the helmet just before impact, h/t to SugarShane for pointing that out).  He probably shouldn't have tackled at all but the whistle was late.  Second, the guy who pulled off Smith's helmet -- Covington -- wrapped high but well under the helmet, just couldn't get an arm under Smith's shoulders and even recovered the helmet after it went flying.  There is zero evidence of dirty Indiana play.  I'm trying to celebrate a good thing here, so please cease with the accusations.