NFL’s roughing the passer change rears its ugly head against the Chiefs
This offseason the NFL tweaked the roughing the passer penalty, ruling that it’s now a penalty for a defender hitting a quarterback to “unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight.” That penalty is going to be a controversial one this season.
Today in Chicago, Chiefs pass rusher Tanoh Kpassagnon raced around the edge and drilled Bears quarterback Chase Daniel, drilling him into the dirt. It was a hard tackle but a perfectly clean one, at least by the standards of the way the game of tackle football has been played for more than a century.
But the officials called Kpassagnon for roughing the passer. Apparently they felt that Kpassagnon landed on Daniel with the weight of his body.
Of course, tacklers land on ball carriers with the weight of their bodies all the time. It’s rather hard to tackle someone without landing on him.
Although this rule hasn’t received as much attention as the rule against lowering the helmet, it’s another rule that’s going to be difficult for players and officials to manage. And another rule that’s going to have fans wondering what the NFL is doing to the game of football.