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Roughing the Passer

by Logan M. Snyder 4 years ago in football
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How the NFL Created a Brand New Problem

Roughing the passer is when typically when the defender continues to hit the quarterback after the quarterback has released the ball. Through the first three weeks of the season there has been 34 roughing the passer penalties called. The league is on pace for 181 roughing the passer penalties called this year. In 2016 there was only 92 called all season.

Last season Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone after he was hit during a game which cost him to miss several weeks and effectively ended the Packers season. In an attempt to protect quarterbacks more, so the NFL doesn’t lose their stars, the league changed the rule. The main change is the league doesn’t want defenders landing on the quarterback with their body weight when talking them.

No longer can defenders touch quarterbacks below the knee, if they do they will automatically draw a flag. If a defender falls to the ground before tackling the quarterback, he now has to stand completely up before going after the quarterback again. When a defender gets to a quarterback, he can no longer tackle him and land on him with his full body weight. Meaning if you get to the quarterback, you have to twist your body in midair so you don’t land on him.

Clay Matthews clearly sacked the quarterback but was still flagged for wrapping his arms around him and landing on him. This shouldn’t be considered a penalty, it’s a clean football play. The league is ruining how people play defense. Why is it completely okay for a defender to land on a receiver or running back with their body weight but not quarterbacks? The league also wants defenders to be able to rush full speed at quarterbacks but if they release the ball a split second before they get touched, the defender is supposed to be aware of that and stop without touching him, sometimes midair.

William Hayes tried following the rule when the Dolphins were playing the Raiders. But when he sacked Derek Carr, he attempted to roll to the side and injured his knee. Now he will miss the remainder of the season. So while the rule might potentially protect quarterbacks, it is hurting other players. There are members of the football media who claim it to be a good rule, saying that if the league lost guys like Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady to injury that no one would want to watch. That is basically saying that there isn’t stars at other positions in the league. Which basically means all the years when JJ Watt was the only star on the Texans or Adrian Peterson was the only star for the Vikings, no one was watching those teams.

The league knows fans like offense and high scoring games so they have changed rules over the years to help teams score. I think they have gone to far this time, are angering fans and are at risk of losing viewers.

The NFL came out and tried to quote the rule book claiming that the Clay Matthews sack was a penalty.

It didn’t use to be a penalty, fans disagree and believe this should be a sack. The NFL has 14 weeks left before the playoffs. These rule changes have already changed out comes of games, specifically two of the Green Bay Packers games with Clay Matthews drawing three roughing the passer penalties this year. Hopefully the same crap doesn’t happen during the Super Bowl.

Thank you for reading, please share and let the NFL know on Twitter that you’re tired of these rule changes that are supposed to protect only the quarterbacks but are hurting game play.


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Logan M. Snyder

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