The NFL fined two Bears for penalties in their 30-26 win over the Falcons last week, a source said. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks was hit with the biggest fine, a $15,000 penalty, for committing roughing the passer on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Hicks rushed Ryan early in the third quarter. He began his approach as Ryan looked to throw and hit him in the chest a split-second after he released the ball. Ryan completed the pass to wide receiver Brandon Powell for 2 yards.
“You can’t be upset,” Hicks said. “You’ve got to take it because everybody’s going to get a call that they’re not in favor of during the course of the game.
“But that’s a tough one, man. I’m just playing football. There’s no ill will towards anybody. I am trying to be physical, but there’s no ill will or bad intention.”
Hicks also argued that quarterbacks getting hit is good for the game and the viewing experience.
“I think I could speak for the people that watch the game, and they want to see people get hit,” he said. “They want to see the quarterback roughed up a little bit. You don’t want him to stand in the pocket and go on vacation. You want him to feel you around him.
“So I accept the call for what it is, but I would hope that we would look at that sometime maybe in the offseason and say, ‘Hey, let’s let them hit the quarterback for a second.’”
Anyway the league also fined Bears defensive end Mario Edwards $9,412 for his roughing-the-passer violation against Ryan in the second quarter.
Three Falcons players were not fined for their significant penalties: LaRoy Reynolds (facemask on Allen Robinson), Jaylinn Hawkins (unnecessary roughness on David Montgomery) and Keith Smith (unnecessary roughness on Anthony Miller).