It was only a matter of time before this started to happen.
The NFL recently cracked down (again) on players being over aggressive while sacking quarterbacks, and there has been plenty of outrage (and plenty of jokes) about the new definition of “roughing the passer.” What were formally solid, clean, and legal tackles are now turning into 15-yard penalties just because some players *cough*ClayMatthews*cough* can’t manage to tackle a QB without also landing on top of them — something that seems like a natural consequence of physically grabbing someone and forcing them to the ground.
Quarterbacks are smart, though. They see what is happening around the league, and it didn’t take long for one of them to start using the strict new rules to their advantage.
Here’s Ben Roethlisberger, nicknamed “Big Ben” and weighing in at 6’5″ and 240 pounds and generally considered one of the toughest dudes in the NFL, flopping to the ground like a fish when he feels slight contact to his helmet as Tampa Bay defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul tries to stop the pass attempt.
— WonderousATX (@wonderousATX) September 25, 2018
Between the new rules and the ongoing concern over head injuries, the referees obviously flagged this play as “roughing the passer.” Frankly, we can’t wait for the XFL to come back in 2020.