Is the NFL’s New “Body Weight” Worse Than the Helmet Rule?
Myles Garrett's play on Ben Roethlisberger may be a harbinger of the season to come.
Before the season began, everyone was worried about the NFL’s new helmet rule changing the course of play on the field and ruining.
But, in Week 1 at least, it was a non-factor.
However, as this play involving Myles Garrett falling on Ben Roethlisberger and being penalized 15 yards illustrates, another new rule may be the bigger issue.
Terrible rule RT @OllieConnolly: Roughing the passer call on Myles Garrett. Landed on Roethlisberger with his body weight. A fourth down stop turned into a touchdown the very next play. pic.twitter.com/XkadnZCdx1
— Don P (@DonP757) September 9, 2018
Flagged under the new “body weight” rule, Garrett was essentially penalized for gravity causing him to fall on top of Roethlisberger after the collision.
The call, afterwards dubbed a mistake by the NFL, could be a harbinger of things to come, as five roughing-the-passer calls involving body weight were called in Week 1 (compared to one lowering-the-helmet flag).
Overall, 15 roughing-the-passer calls were made, the most in any week since 2001.
“It’s common for a new rule or a new point of emphasis to draw more flags when first introduced,” according to Sports Illustrated. “But the Week 1 results indicate that the body weight point of emphasis may actually be more of an adjustment for both players and officials than the lowering-the-helmet rule—and don’t be surprised if it has more of an impact on the 2018 season.”
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