Amongst the beginning of the 2018 NFL season came forth some new rule changes. None more controversial than the new roughing the passer rule.
The main adjustments to the rule included that there could be no contact to the Quarterbacks head, using any body part, not just helmet to helmet. Also, the defender could no longer land on the QB with his full body weight upon the tackle. These changes proved to be extremely inconsistent and wildly controversial.
In the first few weeks of the season, we saw a drastic increase in the amount of roughing the passer penalties called. It seemed like every other QB hit was flagged for unnecessary roughness. As the season progressed the penalty slightly began to settle down, but we still had many crucial, game-changing calls that possibly determined games. None were more controversial than one called in the AFC Championship game yesterday.
Late in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game, Brady drops back, gets tapped on the shoulder by a defensive lineman, and the yellow laundry flies. What’s worse is, earlier in the game, a very similar play happened to Mahomes while backed up near his own goal line and no flag thrown. These are crucial calls/no calls that could potentially be determining games. The NFL will undoubtedly be reviewing this in the offseason. They will need to find a more consistent and defined ruling, while also taking into account for player safety.