NFL Not Changing Roughing the Passer Rule Amid Widespread Criticism, Controversy

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2018

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) hits Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

One of the biggest storylines of the 2018 NFL season has been the excessive penalty flags for roughing the passer under the points of emphasis to improve safety. Unfortunately, the league has no interest in adjusting the current rules.

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent provided a statement on the league's decision:

The league also added a video explaining the proper techniques for tackling a quarterback.

There have been 33 accepted penalties for roughing the passer through three weeks, per NFLPenalties.com. Green Bay Packers veteran Clay Matthews has been flagged three times in three games after being called for the penalty four times in his first nine seasons, per Pro Football Reference.

Matthews and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt have spoken out against the changes:

Meanwhile, even prominent quarterbacks don't like how the rules have been enforced, per Booger McFarland of ESPN:

Miami Dolphins star William Hayes also notably tore his ACL attempting to avoid a penalty while hitting a quarterback.

These calls have altered games already this season, but the NFL doesn't appear willing to budge on the rule.

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