The NFL has had some majors issues this season with roughing the passer penalties, and the Los Angeles Rams are reportedly planning to make a proposal that would be aimed at reducing the number of bad calls.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Rams plan to resubmit a rule proposal to the NFL’s competition committee that would make all personal fouls reviewable. That would include roughing the passer penalties.
The Rams submitted the proposal last year, but the competition committee voted against it 9-0. They likely feel that the rule change may be reconsidered in the wake of all the criticism the NFL has faced in recent weeks.
Roughing the passer is a judgment call. The NFL experimented with making pass interference — another judgment call — reviewable during the 2019 season, but that was not considered a success. That is one reason the Rams’ proposal has not received much support.
There were two roughing the passer calls last week that had a significant impact on the outcome of games. The first (video here) helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seal a win over the Atlanta Falcons. We saw another brutal roughing the passer call in Monday night’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.
Certain elements of roughing the passer calls are always going to be subjective. However, in situations like the one we saw with Josh Allen earlier this season, replay might show that a flag was thrown because an official thought a quarterback got hit in the head but actually did not. Still, the fact that the Rams’ proposal was unanimously voted down last season is not a good sign for those who want it to be enacted.
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