Many fans and observers were incensed after Grady Jarrett was penalized for roughing the passer late in the second quarter of Thursday night’s NFL season opener between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.
Jarrett was pursuing Eagles QB Nick Foles and launched himself towards the quarterback for a potential sack just as Foles was throwing the ball. Though the tackle seemed completely clean, Jarrett was penalized 15 yards for roughing the passer.
I expect to see a TON of these calls this season pic.twitter.com/2q7DvDtiW7
— Prime Bam Childress (@fearthe_beard11) September 7, 2018
The penalty was called as part of the league’s new rule that discourages defensive players from using their body weight to stuff quarterbacks into the ground.
Here’s the language of the rule:
A rushing defender is prohibited from committing such intimidating and punishing acts as “stuffing” a passer into the ground or unnecessarily wrestling or driving him down after the passer has thrown the ball, even if the rusher makes his initial contact with the passer within the one-step limitation provided for in (a) above. When tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up the passer with the defensive player’s arms and not land on the passer with all or most of his body weight.
Fans and media members did not like the call.
15 yards for tackling the passer
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 7, 2018
I hate the body-weight call the most
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 7, 2018
NFL wants defensive players to alter the laws of physics in mid air with these new rules.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 7, 2018
There's the terrible roughing the passer rule again.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 7, 2018
These rules are so ridiculous and everyone can see it. It’s the same call that led to the Vikings’ ridiculous preseason penalty call. Why not just say quarterbacks are not allowed to be tackled at this point?