NFL is “Uncomfortable” With All the Roughing the Passer Penalties
The NFL and its self-inflicted wounds continue.
In the never ending quest to keep the quarterback from being squashed, the NFL competition committee revised the 23 year old rule on flattening the quarterback with a defender's full body weight coming down on top of the signal caller (think Aaron Rodgers snapping his collarbone when a Viking defender buried his throwing shoulder into the turf using his momentum and gravity to finish the job in October of last year.)
Officials have called roughing the passer penalties 34 times this season, which is a sharp increase from 2016 and 2017, when there were 20 and 16 of those calls through three weeks. Some members of the league's competition committee are reportedly "uncomfortable" with this, so they're having a meeting about it next week. But don't expect immediate changes.
The intent of the rule might be good, but it's nearly impossible for defenders to avoid landing on a quarterback when tackling him because of . . . physics.
Green Bay's Clay Matthews and his call on Redskins QB Alex Smith --that sure looked like a normal football play. Matthews was flagged. He wondered how you are supposed to tackle without using your hands.
William Hayes of the Miami Dolphins tore his ACL and is out for the year trying to avoid landing on top of Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr.
The NFL probably won't make any changes mid-season . . . especially when it'd be pulling back on a safety-related rule. But it's possible that they could try to shift how the rule is enforced. Even that might not happen during the season though.