Last week, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback called the NFL “kind of a wussy game.” Staubach referenced roughing the passer penalties that protect quarterbacks and the way receivers are protected when running routes downfield. The NFL certainly has shifted towards an offensive game which has made things that much more difficult for opposing defenses. Refs are getting so extreme in protecting its players that often times bad calls are made, and one in particular stood out to me on Sunday.
During the fourth quarter of the Ravens/Bengals low-scoring contest, Cincy had the ball 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 41. The Ravens were leading 10-9 with 5:34 left. Terrell Suggs broke free from a blocker and buried Carson Palmer. Palmer only started to get rid of the ball when he saw he was about to be sacked, so there was nothing close to a late hit (see the play here at nfl.com with your truly doing the voiceover). Still, a flag came out giving the Bengals 15 yards and putting them at the 26, in range for a nice kick. Cincy nailed a go-ahead field goal and wound up winning 15-10.
Former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira already brought up this call and said it was the worst of the weekend. Not only was it a huge game-changer, but it typified the way the NFL has skewed towards protecting its offensive players. I understand that offense and passing attacks sell, especially in the era of fantasy football’s raging popularity, but the games have to be called fairly. There’s such a premium on high-scoring games and offense that the defense is getting screwed.
I don’t mind personal foul calls when they’re warranted, but let’s not be so quick to flag every hit. How about evening things out in favor of the defense once in a while?Google+