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Did the NFL's new edict affect physical play?

Reader Jerry B. tacked on an interesting extra point to Sunday's Seven Points post, writing in a comment, "What we witnessed around the league today was a direct result of the league's edict last week relative to helmet-to-helmet hits: very poor tackling as attempts were made to tackle the ball instead of hitting receivers."

Reader Charles W. agreed, writing, "I felt that both of [Ravens tight end Todd] Heap's touchdowns could have been prevented. In both causes the Bill's defender tried to play the ball rather then hit the receiver."

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Reader J. Razzle added, "On one of Heaps touchdowns, Donte Whitner clearly conceded the touchdown as opposed to trying to separate Heap from the ball."

Do the higher-ups over at the NFL agree that the new edict resulted in less physical play Sunday?

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"I've seen a change in behavior in one week,'' NFL vice president of officiating Carl Johnson told Sports Illustrated's Peter King on Sunday.

"We like to think we're off to a good start in terms of the new emphasis and the recognition that we are going to play aggressively but well within the rules," Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, told The Associated Press on Monday. "It's a good start."

But Heap, who took a huge hit last weekend and had a scary fall on Sunday, didn't notice a change in how the game was played against the Bills.

"I didn't sense that," Heap told The Baltimore Sun. "It's still a physical game. As an offensive player, when you're going up to the ball, you're expecting to get hit. It feels a lot better if you catch it and you might as well catch it. That's kind of the mindset. I don't know whether last week's discussions and everything that went into that had anything to do with this game."

I only got to watch the Ravens-Bills game Sunday (and some of you will argue that I

, too). So for those of you who watched multiple games, what's your take?

Did you see a difference?

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