New roughing the passer rule penalizes the audience

New roughing the passer rule penalizes the audience

Close your eyes and imagine yourself playing American football in the 1980’s. Imagine the sights, smells, the build up of rage about to be let go of by your opponents. Ok. Good. 

Now, imagine yourself walking up to the line of scrimmage as a man three times bigger than you starts to line up across. 

The ball is snapped, and within seconds, you are thrust into the action of blocking a defensive lineman that only cares about getting past you and obliterating the quarterback. 

Finally, imagine yourself doing this multiple times, maybe 30 times. 

That’s a lot, isn’t it? Well, that’s how it used to be. 

At least compared to how I could describe football today, it is way better. 

When you see guys do their jobs and impose their will in order to come out on top in the end, it’s thrilling. 

1980’s football shows how tough this game used to be. It also shows how football today needs to get with the program. 

On Sunday afternoon, late in the fourth quarter of Falcons-Buccaneers, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady dropped back to pass, and he was eventually sacked by Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. 

The sack consisted of a small throwdown and it seemed harmless. Just a major sack on third down for the Falcons, giving them a chance to drive down the field while trailing by six and win the game. 

Until that sack won the game for the wrong squad. 

Referee Jerome Boger stood before many delighted Tampa Bay fans and declared that there was a roughing the passer penalty on Jarrett, and as a result, Tampa Bay was given a free 15 yards and a first down that iced the battle. 

Surely this was just a small mistake, and it wouldn’t get worse, right? 

Or so we thought. 

Raiders-Chiefs headlined Monday night as they battled at Arrowhead Stadium, and all the talk pregame was about the prior roughing penalty on the Falcons and how the NFL would correct their mistake. 

Little did they know that the league would have an additional mistake they would have to correct. 

During the second quarter, Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr was met by Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones in the backfield and he went down as Jones stole the ball away during the descent and landed on Carr. 

Chiefs ball, first down. 

Not so fast, according to what happened next. Referee Carl Cheffers did exactly as referee Boger did the day before, motioning roughing the passer on Jones. 

Raiders ball, first down. 

Raiders ball, first down, and plenty of backlash. 

Twitter burst into flames after this call, and they were enraged that the same penalty that helped out the Buccaneers helped out the Raiders, on the road in primetime, nonetheless, a day later. 

I was also not pleased with the call, and I joined the hundreds of thousands of others watching at home with the same frustrations and disappointment in the fact that penalties have become this bad. 

My frustration was and still is this hot because there needs to be change made. I am going to be blunt and say that the NFL rulebook is as soft as ever, at least from my perspective. 

There has been this huge blanket thrown over quarterbacks that started back when the century changed, and has become a wool-soft blanket as the years have gone by. 

You can almost say that quarterbacks have been tucked into bed and have slept like babies as the NFL continues to favor the modern game, and doesn’t even remember the great past they were once in. 

I 100 percent agree that the penalties are there so things don’t get too escalated on the field with the amount of injuries present in today’s game, but there comes a point where you just have to let the kids play. 

If the NFL is able to alter rules to make that happen, “roughing the passer” will truly mean exactly that again.