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Raiders latest victim of NFL's confusing, contradictory penalties

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Oakland linebacker Sio Moore made the right move with his hit on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer last Sunday, but the refs threw a flag anyway. Retired NFL defensive end Stephen White looks at the latest damned if you do, damned if you don't call.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

I am going to need someone to explain the game of football to me. Evidently I don't have a clue anymore. I'm watching the Cardinals vs Raiders game on Game Rewind, and it's a pretty close game that goes back and forth. Just after the beginning of the fourth quarter it's 21-13 in favor of the Cardinals. The Raiders were lining up to defend a third-and-5 from the Cardinals 18-yard line.

Oakland brings pressure, and Carson Palmer is hit just after he throws. The pass falls incomplete. It's a big stop for the Raiders to force a punt only down eight points.

That's when I saw it. A flag on the field just randomly lying there. We all know what's coming next, right?

Yep, the referees threw a flag on the Raiders. This wasn't any ordinary flag. No, this one was reeeaaaally special. They penalized Raiders linebacker Sio Moore for, get this, "lowering the head and leading a blow to the quarterback's body."

I. Shit. You. Not.

I'm sitting there with my mouth wide open like, how, what, why? That's right about the time the broadcast showed the replay, and oh my gawd, I almost had an aneurysm. Moore did not hit Palmer with the crown of his helmet, and he only lowered his aiming point to avoid a helmet-to-helmet on Palmer that would have been a penalty. His facemask, not the top of his helmet, was the first thing to make contact with Palmer's upper body.

Are we really not allowed to hit the fucking quarterback at all anymore?!?!?!

The NFL ought to be ashamed of that call. Sure, the Cardinals still went on to punt on that drive, but the Raiders were also deprived of good field position which might have helped them to score. If the NFL comes out and says that the referee called that correctly, I swear I might be done with football before too soon.