The ‘Roughing the Passer’ Penalties Have Gotten out of Hand.
The past two weeks have been ridiculous, to say the least. The NFL has developed a weird obsession with the ‘roughing the passer’ calls, and it’s tough to understand exactly why. Sure, we can all sit back and assume that it’s for the safety of the game. But at this point, why not just eliminate hitting the quarterback at all? I mean, that’s pretty much where we’re at.
A bad call here, and there is understandable. These referees are human and are allowed to make mistakes, as much as it pains for us to admit it. So we have to accept the fact that things aren’t always going to our way. When something this questionable dictates the result of a game, though, there is always going to be a ton of backlash. And that is precisely what’s going on in the NFL right now.
Two weeks ago, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews sacked Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Kirk Cousins in a critical moment. Seconds later, he was flagged for roughing the passer, which allowed the Vikings to keep their drive alive. During the following week, Matthews dealt with the same situation, but against a different team. At that point, the football world has completely lost its minds.
What are the QB’s thoughts on this?
There’s a problem, and it needs to be fixed. I mean, I understand trying to make the game safer, but it’s not like every time a quarterback gets sacked, they are slow to get up. The bottom line is that these defensive linemen are large, and it’s hard for them to control their body weight.
So put it this way, if the so-called ‘victims’ of the penalties are able to speak out, and shine a light on the issue, then maybe the NFL should take a step back and understand just how ridiculous this is. So, since nobody wants to listen to what the defenders have to say regarding the topic, let’s check in on how some of the NFL quarterback’s see it.
Deshaun Watson, HOU
Houston Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson is coming off of a major knee injury that required him to get surgery last year and miss almost three-quarters of his rookie season. It’s no surprise that Watson wants to be as protected as possible, but he also understands that this is a physical sport. He’s going to have to take hits.
“I’m cool with it because I want to be safe and sound, but at the same time, let’s play football,” Watson said. “It goes both ways. Some of the times, when the defensive guys are trying to hold up, they get hurt.” h/t Houston Chronicle
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Big Ben got away with one the other night on Monday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He wouldn’t shy away from saying that he might’ve ‘sold’ the penalty to the refs when he got hit the head by Jason Pierre-Paul’s wrapped up hand. Despite his football ‘flop’ though, Roethlisberger sympathized with the defenders from all over.
“It’s hard for the officials. What do you call? Body weight? If you hit someone with your head in their head, things like that, those are easy ones. But when you’re asking a defender to come full speed at a quarterback, wrap him up and tackle them, but you can’t land on them? Man, I don’t envy what they have to do or not do.” h/t Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eli Manning, NYG
Okay, Eli Manning of the New York Giants took a different approach to this one. I felt it was necessary to mention though, because well, it’s Eli Manning. While Manning did not have a single roughing the passer call for him so far this season, he doesn’t seem to mind what’s going on. And playing behind his offensive line? I don’t blame him one bit.
“I’m OK with it,” he says with a sly smile. h/t Jordan Raanan
Derek Carr, OAK
Derek Carr’s situation is awkward. During last week’s game between Oakland and Miami, Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes did all that he could do to avoid landing all of his body weight onto Carr so he wouldn’t draw a flag. And what do you know? His season is now finished because he ended up awkwardly planting his foot into the ground and tearing his ACL.
“I wish the guy would have just landed on me instead of tearing his ACL, for him to tear his ACL, nobody wants that. I don’t want that.” h/t CBS Sports
Aaron Rodgers, GB
Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is going to speak on the issue since his teammate was flagged for it a couple of weeks ago. For a guy who actually got hurt for having a defender land all of his body weight on Rodgers, he seems to be pretty understanding towards the defenders as well.
“We enjoy the protection below the knee and above the shoulders, but I don’t know many quarterbacks who want those calls. There are very few opportunities in the game for us to show any kind of toughness. We’re not getting hit every play. Hopefully not,” h/t The Washington Post
Joe Flacco, BAL
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco dished his two cents in on the issues before everybody a couple of weeks back, and he definitely isn’t wrong. The quarterback understands that it’s a violent sport and that these incidents are going to happen at some point no matter what.
“I definitely have feelings for those guys over there because not only are they penalizing people and affecting outcomes of games but they’re also taking paychecks away from people and they’re acting like it’s no big deal. But it is a big deal. That’s a lot of money for anybody. So, there’s a lot of issues with it, I think.” h/t ESPN