This past Sunday, Ndamukong Suh was flagged for unnecessary roughness for what referee Ed Hochuli called "a forearm to the back of the head/helmet" during the game between the Bears and Lions. After the game he backed up a bit, not saying Suh struck the back of Cutlers head, but that the act of shoving him to the ground from behind was a "non football act."
He then gave a brief seminar on proper tackling technique, citing that he should have wrapped up Cutler in a proper tackling form, but did not. Hochuli also stated that the action was unnecessary (in his opinion) because Cutler was on his way out of bounds and to the ground all ready.
However, after reviewing the film of this incident, it's very clearly not the case on any of these accounts.
Cutler was a runner, and no longer protected by QB protection rules as he had crossed the line of scrimmage.
Cutler was still on his feet, and still very mobile at the time Suh arrived to shove him to the ground.
Cutler was still at least 5 yards from the sideline, as a matter of fact you can clearly see Cutler turned from the direction of the sideline to head further up field just before Suh arrived.
Today, to make matters worse, the NFL has announced they will fine Suh $15,000 for the act. Suh said he would appeal the fine, but like every fine that is appealed to the NFL (which is about all of them), it will probably be rejected.
I'm sorry folks, but this season I've lost a lot of respect for both the officials and NFL commissioner Roger Godell. The number of penalties this season has sky rocketed and the number of fines in dollars have sky rocketed as well. The Lions are also one of the teams that seems to get the short end of the stick more often than not.
And it's not even just Lions fans that are taking notice. Minnesota Tight End Visconte Shiancoe recently tweeted "Lions get the short end of the stick a lot.. i wonder what's really going on. Happens too much."
I'm sorry, but when a player from a NFC North Division rival starts to complain that the Lions are being unjustly, and overly penalized, there is something very wrong with this picture. The smell of it all just reeks of inappropriate "official" actions, injustice, and makes me wonder just how unbiased the NFL has been this season.
It's not an epidemic isolated to the Lions either, as many other teams have faced questionable penalties this season, but he Lions just seem to draw the ire of the NFL and its officials alike.
There was a time when I considered football to be the most pure sport on earth. But maybe Mr. Godell is trying to end that? Maybe he'd rather see something more staged like WWE or Friday night Fights? Maybe he would prefer an NFL where events are scripted and winners are determined based on market shares, advertising sales, jersey sales, and other sources of revenue for the NFL.
It's also no big secret that players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (and the guys playing with them) are less penalized. And the teams that play against them are watched closely to protect the golden egg QB's the NFL prizes so much.
I for one, do not like the direction the NFL has taken this year. Roger Godell needs to wake up and realize that he is changing the game of football in the NFL, and he's not changing it for the better.
I can truly say that if penalties are continued to be called on a subjective basis in the future, the NFL will very probably begin to loose viewer ship for the first time in 40 years.
Please, comment at the bottom. What is your take on this trend? Since this is such a subjective topic I'd like to hear from you and your thoughts regarding penalties in the NFL this year, and what the fans feel should be done to curtail this trend.