The NFL has had a rough season with their roughing the passer rules. Though the spirit of the rule is correct — to protect quarterbacks and to heighten player safety — there are many moments that seem to take it too far. In the fourth quarter of the Vikings-Giants Wild Card playoff game on Sunday, it appeared to everyone watching that the NFL took it too far.
roughing the passer penalty on Giants on Kirk Cousins pic.twitter.com/okKJrepQHU— Ted Buddwell (@TedBuddy8) January 16, 2023
With the New York Giants leading 31-24 in the final three minutes of the game, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins faced second-and-4 and threw a critical incomplete pass with New York’s Dexter Lawrence immediately putting pressure in his face that should have set up a third down. Instead, Lawrence was called for roughing the passer for reasons that are up for debate.
Lawrence made incidental contact with the QB’s helmet. He spun Cousins to the ground, but was probably more gentle than he had to be. The play looked like a strong tackle to be sure, but it is tackle football after all. Minnesota was gifted a huge first down and kept their drive alive by penalty.
What a ridiculous call for roughing the passer there on Dexter Lawrence. Beyond bad. QB still has the football when he’s being swung to the ground.— Dan Schneier (@DanSchneierNFL) January 16, 2023
CRITICAL junction to the game. Goes from 3rd and 5 to auto 1st and 15 yard game.
Truly despicable call by the official. #Giants
Luckily for the Giants, Kirk Cousins still had Kirk Cousins moments left in him, throwing short of the sticks on a fourth down moments later, setting up New York for a win to move them onto the divisional round.
The Giants played some of their best football of the season. But that moment was rough. There was lots of Twitter reaction, too.
Are u kidding me. Roughing the passer. WTF— Booger (@ESPNBooger) January 16, 2023
This nfl season has been an 18 week competition to see which officiating crew can make the worst roughing the passer call.— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 16, 2023
I was just telling my daughter: “What this game needs is an egregious roughing the passer penalty.” The NFL giving its millions of viewers what they desire.— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) January 16, 2023
Roughing the passer…. TOUGH look for football as a whole normally— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 16, 2023
Let’s fix that this off-season @NFLOfficiating
Roughing the passer…he still has the ball…they gotta stop with that— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) January 16, 2023
That roughing the passer call makes me question why I watch football anymore.— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) January 16, 2023
THIS IS THE WORST ROUGHING THE PASSER CALL OF THE YEAR! pic.twitter.com/iOfar13srX— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 16, 2023
all season long I have thought "oof, weird roughing the passer call, I hope that doesn't happen with two minutes to go in a playoff game" and alas it is two minutes to go in a playoff game— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 16, 2023
Well, we’d gone far too long without an atrocious roughing the passer call.— trey wingo (@wingoz) January 16, 2023
Roughing the passer? Weak! There needs to be more clarity and reviews to it.— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) January 16, 2023
Just a horrid roughing the passer call— Mike Golic (@golic) January 16, 2023
I don't think that was roughing the passer. He did not even throw him to the ground. He sort of placed him down. Don't blame Daboll for going nuts there, especially in that spot.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) January 16, 2023