2. Kimo Von Oelhoffen Rule
People like to point to the Tom Brady-Bernard Pollard hit as the beginning of the rules that narrowed the window where it's legal to hit quarterbacks. All Brady got was an emphasis of a rule that was already in place though.
In a 2005 AFC Wild Card game (funny how these things seem to happen more often when it matters most, isn't it?) Kimo Von Oelhoffen came off the edge with a low, lunging hit directly on Carson Palmer's left knee. It tore Palmer's ACL, MCL and PCL.
This was the second offensive play of the entire game, and the Steelers cruised to a 31-17 win over backup quarterback Jon Kitna, sparking their Super Bowl run.
I mean, first of all, look at Steelers fans literally celebrating the play. Yikes. And something that gets lost in the talk of this hit is that it wasn't just low. It was super late too.
Palmer took the high road here, saying the hit was "just part of the game," but it's hard to take that view considering all the Steelers issues that have happened since. It's also noteworthy that Von Oelhoffen, a former Bengal himself, reportedly never contacted Palmer to apologize personally for the hit.
Was this just an "effort play" with a bad outcome? If it was, it happened to be one that led to a massive benefit for the Steelers in a crucial situation, and which happened to fall into a long line of such plays.