Overtime penalty on Kareem Jackson came from new category of “unnecessary roughness”


During overtime of Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Texans, a 15-yard penalty on Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson helped fuel the game-winning drive for Seattle.

The flag came after Jackson slammed Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin to the ground.

Texans fans weren’t happy with the decision (though not quite as unhappy as they were with quarterback Matt Schaub), and coach Gary Kubiak has publicly questioned the decision.

“I understand the rule about picking somebody up and putting them on their head,” Kubiak said Monday.  “I understand that.  I didn’t see the play that way.  Obviously, the league’s got the call on that, so we’ll see what they come back and say to us.”

We don’t know what the league has said to the Texans, but here’s what the league said to us:  Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6(e) expressly prohibits throwing a runner to the ground after the ball is dead.

It’s the newest addition to the list of specific acts of unnecessary roughness listed in Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6.  And it applies only if the ball already is dead.

In this case, the game broadcast shows that the official already had marked forward progress and had blown the whistle.  In one replay angle from FOX, the linesman can be seen in the background blowing the whistle as Jackson is in the process of scooping Baldwin off the ground.

The move would have been permissible before the whistle, and it likely isn’t easy for a player like Jackson to short-circuit the launch sequence that results in a body slam, especially if the player is still fighting to get free.

Regardless, once the ball is dead the maneuver isn’t permitted.  For the Texans on Sunday, it was the proper application of a new rule.

16 responses to “Overtime penalty on Kareem Jackson came from new category of “unnecessary roughness”

  1. Ticky tack rule and the play was almost simultaneous with the whistle being blown, in a stadium that loud it is an completely unnecessary penalty as the play was in no way dangerous.

    Guys celebrate TDs rougher than that.

  2. I don’t think the rule would’ve mattered in the long run. There’s no telling what would have happened if they didn’t call that penalty so it’s pointless for the Texans or their fans to complain about it.

    I mean, if Seattle had their offensive line in tact, the game wouldn’t have come to overtime. just saying.

  3. Since the beginning of preseason games this year, the refs have been calling lots of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and unnecessary roughness penalties.

    Personally, I am glad to see the league trying to clean up the game. All the hitting out of bounds, the way teams let their players “make statements” and “act out” their frustrations in tackles, spearing with the helmet and late hits – all this has gotten way out of hand.

    Besides, if the league is indeed serious about player safety, they have to make a good faith effort to enforce these rules or else continue facing litigation.

  4. No doubt an awful call. Not even close to a valid a call even under the new rule. Schaub and the refs gifted the game to the hawks. Texans defense crushed the hawks all game, so this call was a game changer. Of course, now we have to hear for another week about the hawks beat the broncos in the preseason and therefore are the best team. Sometimes I wonder if only 12 year olds are Seahawks fans.

    If thats the best the nfc has to offer, then wow. Wow.

  5. That coming on the heels of the wiping out Lechner’s first punt — ball on the 2 yard line — because of some referee’s interpretation of the rules did not help matters.

  6. Hawk fan here, told my wife at the time, “if that would have been called on us, I wouldn’t have argued” it’s a penalty, and was a stupid play by that corner.

  7. It shouldn’t have came to that, now should it have Mr. Schaub? I really didn’t like the call there though. Then again this is the league that fines people 5 figures for snow angels, so I can’t say I am shocked.

  8. Watching the broadcast, the whistle was heard during that tackle not before it. Not a good call and it may have impacted the game.

  9. Good call. He had the runner tightly wrapped up and had not only stopped the runner’s forward progress but had pushed him back 4-5 yards as the whistle was blown before he picks him up off his feet to unnecessarily body slam him down to the turf.

    It seemed to me that Jackson was channelling the collective Texans rage and frustration at their 2nd half collapse that led to OT and took it out on Baldwin. Good on Baldwin for retaining self-control and not retaliating to offset the 15-yard penalty.

  10. Kubiak and Schaub should look in the mirror for the reason they lost.

    That’s where the answer is.

  11. If they’re going to call that, then they need to flag running backs & WRs who continue to drive forward after a whistle. Defensive players are at a total disadvantage here. If it’s about safety & playing past the whistle, flag both sides of the ball.

  12. I guess the REFS didn’t care about the two hits to the helmet on Schaub in overtime right before this series that would have put Texans in field goal range.

    If you call it, call it both ways

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!