(Dave Martin / AP)

The right arm of Ahmad Brooks met the neck of Drew Brees and it made for cartoonery on Sunday afternoon.

Luckily, it didn’t make for injury.

Brooks’s hit came in the closing minutes of the San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints. Brooks was flagged on the play, on which Brees coughed up the football. The penalty overturned the fumble.

Brooks later said the call was “B.S.” but the NFL is going to protect quarterbacks, especially one named Drew Brees.

“I mean I’m going full speed and he is going full speed, and at the last second he ducked his shoulder, you know what I mean?” Brooks said (via Yahoo). “I mean I don’t think I could have done anything differently. I mean I could have tackled him lower, but I’m running around quick and coming around the corner and I’m there trying to knock the ball out of his hands because I’m thinking he’s going to throw the ball, but then he ducks his shoulder.”

Brees was left with blood running down his chin and a dazed look. “All I remember is just getting clotheslined in the chin and as I’m on the ground, I’m saying, ‘That’s got to be a flag,’” Brees said. “One of my teammates kind of picked me up and said, ‘Are you all right’ and he said, `Don’t worry, there’s a flag.’”