Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrann Mathieu gave us a great example on Sunday of how players can help one another avoid unnecessary injury, and the Kansas City Chiefs star felt the need to defend himself over it when it became a topic on social media.

Late in Kansas City’s 51-31 win over the Houston Texans, Mathieu had a free run at Deshaun Watson (his former teammate) and a chance to lay a hard, clean hit on the quarterback. Since the game was already well in-hand, he took it easy on Watson. On Monday, Mathieu defended the decision and said he’s not “fake tough.”

Mathieu’s take on the play is refreshing. All we ever seem to talk about is defenders throwing cheap shots at quarterbacks, and Mathieu should be commended for using his head and caring about the health of a fellow player.

There’s nothing wrong with a clean hit, but it isn’t always necessary. It would be nice to see more players take their foot off the gas in situations like that when the game is completely out of reach.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name the NFL quarterbacks with the most career passing touchdowns in the postseason?
73 / NE
Tom Brady
45 / SF, KC
Joe Montana
44 / GB, MIN
Brett Favre
40 / IND, DEN
Peyton Manning
40 / GB
Aaron Rodgers
34 / NO, SD
Drew Brees
32 / MIA
Dan Marino
31 / STL, ARZ
Kurt Warner
30 / PIT
Terry Bradshaw
30 / PIT
Ben Roethlisberger
27 / DEN
John Elway
25 / BAL
Joe Flacco
24 / DAL
Roger Staubach
24 / PHI
Donovan McNabb
23 / DAL
Troy Aikman
23 / SEA
Russell Wilson
21 / BUF
Jim Kelly
20 / ATL
Matt Ryan
20 / SF
Steve Young
19 / OAK, BUF
Daryle Lamonica
19 / OAK, HOUO
Ken Stabler
18 / SEA
Matt Hasselbeck
18 / NYG
Eli Manning
17 / HOUO, MIN
Warren Moon
16 / CLE, DAL, MIA
Bernie Kosar

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