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What is a horse-collar tackle? Purdy illegally brought down by Nick Bolton




In the second quarter of the Super Bowl, with the 49ers leading 3-0, their quarterback, Brock Purdy ran out of his own end zone and went flying up the left flank looking for a first down.

As he neared the gain line, linebacker Nick Bolton chased him down from behind and brought him down illegally with what’s known as a horse-collar tackle. That was called immediately by the officials, with a 15-yard penalty.

What is a horse-collar tackle

The horse-collar tackle is a move where a defender tackles their opposing number by grabbing the back collar or the back of the shoulder pads and uses force to pull them down directly, in order to pull their feet from under them.

The move was legal through to the 2004 season, when it was blamed after a spate of injuries. It was banned from the NFL during the 2005 off-season. In 2006 the horse-collar ban was expanded to also cover tackles pulling the back of the jersey.

Penalty for horse-collar tackle

The horse-collar tackle results in a 15-yard personal foul penalty and an automatic first down.