The NFL has a problem. That problem is a rule called “roughing the passer.” That problem was on full display during Monday Night Football, which is bad news for the league.
We get it. Quarterbacks have to be protected. They are the moneymakers of the league and the NFL can ill-afford to have superstar QBs getting hurt. Understood.
But these roughing the passer penalties are absolutely getting out-of-control. In the first half of the Chiefs-Raiders Monday Night Football game, Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones made an incredible play to sack Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr.
Not only did he get to Carr, but he managed to wrestle the ball away from the Vegas QB while both fell to the ground. With the Chiefs trailing 17-7, it was a massive turnover that was poised to swing the momentum of the contest.
But it didn’t. Why? Because roughing the passer, that’s why.
The reactions poured in on Twitter and they were not kind.
Even the ESPN broadcast laid into the referees and like the rest of us legitimately could not believe what they were seeing. Troy Aikman, a former quarterback whose career was derailed by concussions, grew frustrated with the way that today’s QBs are treated.
Of course, the wokes lost their minds over that comment. OutKick’s Alejandro Avila covered that “controversy” here.
But let’s stick with the topic at hand. Did you know that there’s only one rule in the NFL rulebook that has an addendum like this: “When in doubt about a roughness call or potentially dangerous tactic against the quarterback, the Referee should always call roughing the passer.”
Excuse me? When in doubt, the referee should ALWAYS call roughing the passer? That’s arguably the most absurd thing included in any sports rulebook of which I am aware.
This is getting out of control and is absolutely ruining the game of football. The NFL overreacted to the Tua Tagovailoa injury and it is hurting the product. We know the NFL doesn’t stand for hurting the product, but they are also suddenly “all-in” on player safety.
You can’t have both, NFL. Which is it going to be? It’s your move.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ