Flag on the Play: Double Standard Becoming Obvious in the NFL

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer INovember 22, 2009

A few weeks ago, when the New England Patriots were playing the Baltimore Ravens, Terrell Suggs bumped into Tom Brady's legs. As Tom Brady turned to the referee wanting a penalty, the ref immediately threw his flag.

See, the rules in the NFL have changed. The "Tom Brady rule" prevents the quarterback from taking unnecessary shots to either the head or legs. 

However, not every quarterback seems to reap the benefits.

On the play from today's Chiefs-Steelers game pictured above, one of the Chiefs players was clearly taking a shot at Ben Roethlisberger's head. Big Ben was poked in the eye on third-and-short. Hard to complete a pass while someone's hand is inside your face mask, isn't it?

Then, in overtime, Roethlisberger was scrambling when he dove while a Chiefs' player was tackling him. Another dove at Roethlisberger, hitting him in the head with his knee.

Now, personally, I think the rules getting a little ridiculous. Most of the quarterbacks are becoming cry babies like Brady when he was hopping around wanting the personal foul on Suggs.

But rules are rules, and if they are going to be called for someone like Brady, shouldn't they be called for all quarterbacks? Wouldn't Brady have gotten those calls if he had been hit like Roethlisberger was hit today?

If a personal foul would have been called on the hit Big Ben took in overtime, the Steelers would have had the ball on the Chiefs' 35-yard line. That would have put them in field-goal range to win the game and stay competitive in the AFC playoff race. 

The NFL needs to either change the rules so that hits like these are legal, or they need to be consistent with all of the signal callers in the NFL. Right now, I'm pretty sure that league officials are playing favorites.