Roughing the Passer?

Ethan King, Writer

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The NFL recently implemented a new addition to the “roughing the passer” rule.

Their reasoning for this was to protect quarterbacks from injuries that can be sustained from a defensive player putting their full weight on a quarterback during a tackle. The new rule is referred to as the “body weight rule.”

According to the NFL Rulebook, “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.”

This new rule was created in response to a play in Week 6 of last season when Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, had his collarbone broken by Vikings defender Anthony Barr when he tackled and landed on Rodgers with his full weight.

The NFL is simply trying to protect quarterbacks, but the rule has caused considerable controversy.

Critics believe referees are throwing flags too often on plays that should not be considered penalties. This new rule has also seriously affected the outcomes of games. In Week Two during the Vikings vs. Packers game, the Packers were leading late in the fourth quarter and were trying to make a defensive stand against the driving Vikings.

Vikings quarterback, Kirk Cousins, threw a interception that should have iced the game.

Instead the referees penalized Packers linebacker, Clay Matthews, for landing on Cousins with his full weight. The Vikings managed to come back, and both teams left the stadium with a tie.

The new rule has been a major problem this year for the NFL, and many students on campus disagree with it. Some argue that the new rule is completely changing the sport.

“It’s football, it’s a game that’s meant to be played to tackle people,” said sophomore Riley Skinner. “I don’t really agree with the new rule, it doesn’t make sense.”

Football has gained a reputation as a full contact sport. The big hits and physical aspect of the game serve as entertainment for many fans.

“The new rule is bad because it makes the NFL more passive, people can’t fully tackle anyone,” sophomore Armaan Jhangiani said.

The rule will not be changed anytime soon.

The Competition Committee stated “the committee determined there would be no changes to the point of emphasis approved this spring or to the rule”.

The only thing that will be changed is the “consistency in officiating” the rule.

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