The Saints off-season woes began when a confidential report on a Saints pay-to-injure scheme (AKA bounty scandal) was sent to 31 teams and subsequently leaked to the media.

A media war of words ensued over the CBA implications of a pay for injury or a pay for performance scheme.

And a war of evidence also began—the putting forth of evidence in the media by the NFL and other parties replete with the subsequent blasting of holes into said evidence by the media, the NFLPA, and the Saints.

This worthy process will hopefully propel the case in its entirety into a courtroom. In that venue, all witnesses and evidence will be subjected to cross-examination before a trier of fact.

It is there, through watching the demeanor of each witness and determining truthfulness, each side’s theory of the case is tested. And it is there a determination will be made as to which side more nearly resembles the truth.

However, if we were to think outside the bounty box—would you have followed this trail if you were the Commissioner in search of safer play?  The Who Dat Nation would beg to differ.

We instinctively know our guys are not out to injure other players because we intently watch them play each snap, each week.

If we were the NFL Commissioner and injuries are our concern, we would have looked at teams who actually injured players and try to determine what is happening on the field and how to mitigate it.

If injury is the issue, let’s look at the teams causing injuries as well as grade A penalties.
To make my point, I will take you through the 2011 season with a team Who Dats luv to hate.

This team made the research fun and easy as well as 16-game manageable. Below are the injuries caused by and the grade A penalties associated with the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers:
• Week 1 – Seattle at San Francisco
o
o 2 Personal fouls – Running into Kicker – Tavares Gooden
o Unnecessary Roughness – Ricky Jean Francois
o Unnecessary Roughness – Madieu Williams
o Unnecessary Roughness – Shawntae Spencer
o Roughing the Passer – Ahmad Brooks

• Week 2 – Dallas at San Francisco
o Broken ribs – Tony Romo gets a blindside blitz hit by Carlos Rogers; however, Romo returns to game
o Separated shoulder and wrist injury – Felix Jones on hit by NaVarro Bowman and Patrick Willis. Returned to game with shoulder harness
o Bruised ribs – Jason Witten hit by Carlos Rodgers

• Week 3 – San Francisco at Bengals
o No egregious penalties
o No injuries

• Week 4 – San Francisco at Eagles
o Tripping penalty – Anthony Davis
o Several large hits – LeSean McCoy – Nine total carries

• Week 5 – Tampa Bay – San Francisco – London
o MCL tear – LaGarrette Blount – Hit by Dashon Goldson. Did not return to game. Out 6 weeks

• Week 6 – San Francisco at Detroit
o Concussion – Javid Best
o Roughing the Passer – Aldon Smith
o Unsportsmanlike conduct – Team penalty
o Unnecessary roughness – Isaac Sopoaga
o Famous Handshake after game – both coaches

• Week 7 – Bye week

• Week 8 – Cleveland at San Francisco
o Unnecessary roughness – Dashon Goldson
o Calf injury – Montario Hardesty – Out for several weeks

• Week 9 – San Francisco at Washington
o No egregious penalties
o Groin injury – Jammal Brown

• Week 10 – Giants at San Francisco
o No egregious penalties
o No injuries

• Week 11 – Arizona at San Francisco
o No egregious penalties
o No injuries

• Week 12 – San Francisco at Ravens
o Illegal block – Frank Gore
o No injuries

• Week 13 – St Louis at San Francisco

o Unsportsmanlike conduct – Dashon Goldson
o Illegal block – Kyle Williams
o Unnecessary roughness – Larry Grant
o Broken thumb – A J Feeley Quarterback

• Week 14 – San Francisco at Cardinals
o Roughing the passer – Larry Grant
o Concussion – Kevin Kolb Knee in the back of the head – Ahmad Brooks

• Week 15 – Pittsburgh at San Francisco
o Illegal block – Frank Gore
o Sprained MCL – Mewelde Moore
o Bruised ribs – Rashard Mendenhall
o Roethlisberger believed 49ers targeted his ankle

• Week 16 – San Francisco at Seattle
o Illegal Block – Braylon Edwards
o Illegal Block – Blake Costanzo

• Week 17 – San Francisco at St Louis
o Illegal Block – Madieu Williams
o Arm injury – Steven Jackson – did not return to game Hit by Dashon Goldson
o Broken ankle – Kellen Clemens QB did not return to game – Sacked by NaVorro Bowman
• Divisional Round – Saints at San Francisco
o No egregious penalties
o Concussion – Pierre Thomas – did not return to game – Donte Witner
In my next installment, I will take the same time frame and analyze the Saints 2011 season.