The NFL brought some new rules into play over the offseason on the premise of trying to make one of the world's more violent team sports a little bit safer.
The rule that annoyed most over the preseason was the horribly-defined "contact with the helmet" rule that seemed to get flagged every game and draw penalties on near-perfect plays, annoying fans in the process.
Thankfully, the NFL saw those complaints and calls of the foul have been worked on, refined, and thankfully reduced. The same cannot be said for the second foul - and it hurt the Green Bay Packers yet again.
The Rodgers Rule
The rule in question? The new addition to 'Roughing the Passer' whereby if a defender lands with their bodyweight on the quarterback - it's a penalty. Ironically, the rule is informally known as the 'Rodgers Rule' as it was brought in after the Packers QB broke his collarbone and was ruled out of last season thanks to Vikings LB Anthony Barr landing on it after a tackle.
And now it has come back to haunt the Packers twice in two weeks.
The Packers took on the Washington Redskins today, in a game they ended up losing 31-17. Things could've been different, however, as Clay Matthews burst into the backfield to take down 'Skins QB Alex Smith with a perfect form tackle for the sack.
Head fully out of the way, wrapped up and taken safely to the ground, this should be the teaching tape for sacks.
Instead, a flag was thrown as Matthews landed on Smith. That was called a penalty! 15 yards, new first down. A beautiful rush and sack wiped off the board.
The most annoying thing about it? By the new rule, this was called perfectly.
This is what the Rodgers Rule is causing and it is absolutely horrible.
However, at least we got this Mike McCarthy meltdown to make us feel better.
McCarthy chases the sideline judge down the length of the field to shout at him, turning brighter and brighter red with every step and presumed profanity slipping out of his mouth.
We need a change. Perfect tackles like that shouldn't get penalised. Defenders can't just start defying physics and rolling away in mid-air to satisfy the zebras and Roger Goodell - who just cares about keeping the stars healthy.
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