NFL says strict illegal contact calls will continue


Illegal contact penalties are way up this preseason, the result of the league office telling officials to monitor defensive backs closely and throw flags with impunity. That will continue in the regular season.

We’re not going to change how we’re calling the games once the regular-season starts,’’ NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino told The MMQB.

Blandino added, however, that the league office believes teams will adjust to the stricter rules enforcement and that there won’t necessarily be more flags when the season starts because players will have learned through the preseason what they can and can’t do.

“The way the game’s being officiated now is the way it’s going to be officiated when the season begins,” Blandino said. “We have to remain consistent. I knew we’d see a spike in calls when we put out these points of emphasis. But coaches adjust, and players adjust. They have to, and they know it. And we’ll correct our officials when we feel they’re being over-zealous with certain calls. Plus, I would say that between 70 and 75 percent of the calls I’ve gotten from teams after their games this preseason are asking the question, Why weren’t there more calls? I had a call today from a team with seven questions, and six were, Why wasn’t a foul called on this play?”

After a 2013 season in which several NFL passing records were set, we may see even more in 2014. It’s a good year to be a quarterback or a wide receiver.

194 responses to “NFL says strict illegal contact calls will continue

  1. I suppose it depends if they’re truly going to emphasize penalizing offensive pass interference as they said they were, too. If they eliminate the stupid “pick” plays it seems like a fair trade.

  2. Slower, more tedious games where the best athletes have their plays overridden and interrupted by officials, and where those officials receive more face time on TV than the best football players in the world – these things are all in the best interest of the game.


    Roger Goodell

  3. The reason they’re asking why a foul wasn’t called on a certain play is because they’re comparing the play to another play where a foul was called. In each case, there was no contact. So why a foul here and not a foul there?

  4. This is unfortunate. The preseason so far has been an enormously unpleasant flag-fest and hasn’t had the chance to be entertaining football. Dean Blandino and Roger Goodell are doing everything they can to make football less fun to watch.

  5. The illegal contact penalty called against Seattle in the 4th qtr on the 105 yd pick 6 was crap. If they are going to call a penalty when the wr leans in and initiates contact then they should at least make it reviewable.

  6. Step away from the bottle Dean. The game is unwatchable given the amount of flagging being done in the preseason.
    May as well start attaching some of those flags to the players’ belts, because that seems to be where it’s headed.

  7. I’m a Packers fan and the point of emphasis on illegal contact penalties will help teams like Green Bay and I still think its stupid. What does the NFL want to turn into Arena Football?

  8. Getting these guys to call games correctly and consistently is nearly impossible. Officiating in this league is a nightmare and has been for years. Tweaking things like this year after year doesn’t help.

  9. Then the refs don’t know what they’re looking at. To name a couple, Chad Greenway established defensive position Saturday night and the receiver runs right into him. Refs called illegal contact. Last night, some Chiefs back up was called for holding in the end zone on 3rd down for briefly rubbing a guys arm while the ball was in the air. If these games continue to go toward the NBA model, where you literally cannot play defense, I’ll quit watching. Pretty soon games will be 80-73. It’s really starting to make me wonder how much money is riding on these games with all the questionable calls (just like the NBA).

  10. Instead of using a common sense approach, we have a total over-reaction by the NFL and the NFL officials.

    Football will soon be un-watchable if those in charge don’t come to their senses and if they don’t strive for a middle ground.

  11. Never mind the amount of penalties that are being called, the football will be crap when players get used to it. Let them fight for the ball. Last year’s NFC championship game was one of the greatest games in recent memory and now you want to get rid of that? Good job Roger, way to start ruining an amazing game. What next no hitting the receiver hard enough to knock the ball loose… Oh wait.

  12. Totally fine with it, as long as they’re also not blind to a receiver pushing off to get separation. Seeing how that hasn’t been a “point of emphasis” yet, my guess is they’ll continue to somehow miss that.

  13. Why does the NFL do stupid stuff like this “Illegal Contact” rule??? It flips games for the offenses unnecessarily. Oh, and call it both ways then. On Offense too. I’ve seen plenty of no call offensive IC plays this year. It’s Just DUMB.

  14. The penalty is too stiff. 5 yards? Fine but the automatic first down is ludicrous. WR are no dummies and are going to adjust to this pike others have suggested and initiate contact in hopes of getting a cheap penalty call.

  15. Uh, Dean….those guys thought the play earned a call and were surprised it did not. They telephoned to determine exactly why no flag was thrown so they can teach the DBs the technique.

    Its not about wanting more flags, its about understanding what is OK and what is not.

  16. The league needs to get out of their high horse and just accept that they are doing this wrong. They just want offensive game fest and just have the defenses play flag football. If they cant even have consistency among their refs calling the play, they shouldnt be enforcing them.

  17. First time in 12 years I won’t be playing fantasy football. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my going to web sites to ‘check stats’ and do research would effect the game I love.
    If you’re asking me to choose between real football and the ‘arena ball’ they seem to be working for– it’s no contest.
    and someone should point out to Roger and the owners that adding more teams (Europe, LA, etc) will hurt scoring more than good defense.

  18. And even though we (including the NFL officials) all know they are doing it wrong, unless we stop watching/attending the games, they have no motivation for changing this because it doesn’t impact their financial bottom line.

  19. Anything to raise the scores.

    The NFL will see NBA type scores within the next 10 years if this keeps going.

    I don’t even know why I watch anymore. Every game I watch is ruined by the rulebook.

    I’ve only watched the Lions preseason games so far, but both have completely been determined by the officials at the end of the games. Both times, officials penalized the defenses multiple times for weak defensive holding calls. First time it benefited the Lions, second time it didn’t. I wasn’t happy with the win, I was furious with the loss.

    The rules ruin the game now. I see no point in having any talent in the secondary.

  20. Longer games=more advertising revenue. Where ya gonna go fans?

    Every review means we get to run another couple commercials. Chi-ching.

    Oh, the game, well it fits well around our advertisements.Chi-ching. Whatcha gonna do, go bowling? Get back on that couch!!!

    Got that new 80″ screen yet? Watch how far that flag flies. The record is 31 yards in preseason. Great throw.

  21. Simply awful and almost unwatchable.

    The nfl seems intent on driving fans away from the game.

  22. If the flag-fest continues into the regular season, then I will begin to believe the Peyton Manning conspiracy theorists. Too bad we can bring back Pete Rozelle.

  23. Jets were flagged for this a ton before… now it is time they set the record with most flags in a game for illegal contact.

    Signed a lifelong Jets fan

  24. Somebody better let Pete Carroll know the powers that be really don’t care about his opinion….Doh!!

  25. The NFL office also reported that the new uniform changes from pants to skirts will also be proceeding as planned.

  26. NFL as an organization is killing the GAME of football. And for what .. higher scores?? I Believe most people will be bored when scores approach numbers like Basketball . and the SLOWNESS is like watching golf with 2 people play for 4 hours. And from what I hear it is all a result of the NFL trying to make even more money from Fantasy Football. I am getting tired and maybe I should start focusing more on College Football, at least they are evolving. The NFL is DEvolving.

    Sign me as one pissed of Fan who may be an ex fan soon.

  27. Week one scores will be 57-54. how can d backs even come close to stopping recievers,especially big recievers if they cant touch him,who is the penalty going to be on if a defensive back jumps for the ball the same time as the reciever but they both touch each other on the jump for the ball,since they touched bodys a foul MUST be called,its the rules.

  28. NFL is going the way of NBA with it’s officiating. All subjective calls that swimg the game based on who’s the referee. Vegas won’t like this or maybe they will.

  29. This game will become unwatchable.

    NFL just trying to get web traffic to thier fantasy football site.

    at least the concussion rules were understandable on some level. The contact calls in pre season are not only weak but often called on the wrong team or incidental.

    so the NFL is probably going to let them go for a few weeks until it decides some bog games on bad calls, then back peddle just like replacement refs.

    the NFL us a juggernaut and by far the most popular sport in the u.s.. But its not invincible. Nobody wants to watch arena football and that’s exactly what we will get.

  30. Toss player safety out the window. The NFL wants WRs to be able to fly around the secondary which may results in higher scoring games, better TV ratings, etc. But is also will result in the most massive collisions – which is probably good for TV ratings as well. Anyhow, if the NFL was serious about safety they would let the secondary to be more physical before the ball is thrown and slow down the play over the middle where many of the games most dangerous plays occur.

  31. .
    Goodell is innocent on this one. The “point of emphasis” (rule) change did not come from the league office. It came from the Competition Committee which is run by Rich McKay and Jeff Fisher.

    It was McKay, Fisher and Peyton’s ring bearer, Bill Polian who changed the rules in 2004 to ensure that Saint Manning would defeat the evil Patriots.

  32. Roger Goodell has to be the worst thing to happen to Football.

    I’m sure the owners would strongly disagree as their bank accounts beg to differ.

    Hail, Hail the Almighty Dollar.

  33. Any wonder why to the rise in popularity of soccer?

    I can’t say I cater to it but this past World Cup series had a lot of people watching it here in the land of the NFL.

    I’ll watch preseason games, start to finish, to get a look at rookie players and those on the bubble. I haven’t made it past the 1st half this year. Somewhere, way off in the land of past NFL greatness, I can hear Vince grumbling “what are they doing to my game?”


    Its amazing how many pissed-0ff fans are replying to this article. Obviously, Goodell doesn’t give two doughnuts about maintaining the integrity of the game but is concerned about making the almighty dollar.

    At any rate, is the league’s circle of zebra bozos going to call it when a WR runs into a DB and initiates the contact?

  35. So how long until the Ref’s start complaining and demand more compensation for them having to work so much more now?

  36. The games have been horrible thus far to watch:
    1. Preseason sucks, the way it is;
    2. Majority of every productive/exciting play has been called back for some BS call.

    Can’t wait to watch a passing scrim every Sunday, now.

  37. You cannot beat one of the NFL’s Golden Boys with defense and not have the NFL want to revolt in every way they could. Had Seattle beaten the Ravens or the Bengals we wouldn’t currently have this new “emphasis.” But since it was Peyton F. Manning they beat then something has to change.

    I played DB in my youth, and you touch the offensive player just so you know where he is, kind of like an insect with antennae. Many times the receivers INITIATE contact, and the flag still comes on the defense. I’m down for calling the pushing and pulling, but I’ve seen flags thrown for “locating” the receiver without hindering or impeding them in any way and that’s crap.

    The game is already heavily offensively slantedand now they are making it moreso? It’s going to be like basketball on grass with a funny shaped ball in a couple years. Goodell and the “Competition Committee” are ruining the game I love every year. Next thing I’ll hear is that the fans want these flags like we want 18 games or a team in London. Goodell is as in touch with what the fans want as a man who has been in a coma for the past 25 years.

  38. Growing up with Al Harris and Mike McKenzie playing that press coverage – lots of fun.

    …not anymore – can’t even touch the WRs.

    smh – the Defenses were already handcuffed, now the NFL sawed their darn arms off…

    a damn shame.

  39. Some of the worst football I’ve seen in preseason in my lifetime. There are calls made for rubs, receivers running into defenders, incidental contact in the air, and even phantom calls (direct reference to those zealous refs).

    It’s very concerning. I already thought half the illegal contact calls were sketchy (knock ball away – oh wait, the defender’s hand grazed the receiver’s back).

    If it’s not obvious, then don’t throw a flag. If it’s marginal, let it go. It can still be a point of emphasis without becoming ticky tack.

  40. All these complaints about enforcing the rules of the game.
    Everyone saying they wont watch the nfl anymore will still be here and still be watching. They can do what they want until they start losing money. That is not going to happen.

  41. The NFL is doing everything in it’s power to ruin the game of football. IT has been great for years leave it alone. Let player’s play. The game stops and starts to often. People don’t like it, that is why we watch the redzone no commercials no breaks. Leave the game alone, you not protecting anyone

  42. If what Therold Simon did on his pick 6 is a penalty, then it is now officially illegal to play pass defense in the NFL.

  43. Defenses will adjust by going after the QB. BEtter to take a 15 yard roughing call for knocking Manning out of the game than some bogus 40 yard PI penalty. When the number of QBs lost for the season reaches 6, the league will wake up.

    Oh and if I were a DC, I’d be putting a bounty on every teams QB

  44. Some of these pre-season games were unwatchable due to all the flags. and as the end of the article notes, passing is at an all-time high. Why is there this emphasis? I don’t know how defensive backs can possibly do their jobs? Has anyone asked the NFL/Goodell to explain why they felt the need for this emphasis, other than Peyton Manning being embarrassed in the Super Bowl? When Bob Gibson had a 1.12 ERA and other pitchers were putting up similar amazing numbers, MLB responded by making things a little easier for the hitters. What Goodell has done is the equivalent of baseball after Gibson’s season responding by changing a strikeout to only two strikes.

  45. I’ve gotten to a point, where I really only watch the Ravens and that’s it… the games aren’t fun anymore and I have found better things to do with my time on a Sunday, Monday and now Thursday night…

    Once viewership starts to drop, so will all the corporate dollars.

  46. If this type of officiating continues then I am out. After watching this game for 55 years I can say that the Pats-Eagles pre season game was the worst form of sports entertainment on TV. Only a NASCAR race that ends on a yellow caution could compete. The idiots on that island where they beleive life begins and ends better wake up. The kids are turning you off and watching the X-games Red Bull series, which is exciting. The time has come to remove this group of pampered trustafarians from running the league.

  47. We are reaching the point where the odds favor a team just dropping back and throwing deep sideline routes over and over and over again because there is a good chance 1 of 3 plays will result in a free 1st down OR catch. The odds that a defender is able to out-muscle a WR and not get called is decreasing.

    Some teams may use the increase as a strategy simply. Some WRs may start to intiate contact more knowing the Refs are more whistle happy.

    As a fan, it’s hard to watch even when it benefits your team. It ruins the flow, it rewards the offense, and it changes the outcome of games.

  48. It better get better than this. I’ve seen 2 Eagles games and both have been unwatchable, penalty after penalty after penalty. Goodell and the owners are ruining the NFL. They already have ruined kickoff excitement, now they are needlessly messing with extra points.

  49. Peyton, “Roger, I don’t like it when they play defense. Can’t we make it more like flag football. That would be great.”

    Roger, “I know Peyton, fans drool for games like you played against Dallas. We can’t make it flag… wait a minute, I have an idea.”

  50. The NFL is setting itelf up for a fall at some point. Maybe not this year, but eventually. Rodger Goodell has taken his role as commissioner to the extreme, and these types of initiatives drive more fans away than they add.

    The NFL is letting success go to their head. They believe no matter what they do, the fans will always come back. Eventually, this won’t be the case.

    Watching that Eagles/Patriots game was awful. The fact that people had to pay to go see that mess is deplorable with a penalty seemingly every other play.

    Not only that, but what is purpose for any young player to want to play defense anymore. You can’t hit, can’t touch, and really can’t do much of anything on that side of the ball.

    All in the name of Mo-er, saftey.

  51. I don’t think that teams regularly scoring in the 40s and 50s is what the fans want. This isn’t Arena Football and if Goodell tries to make it that then he’s going to ruin the NFL as we’ve known it.

  52. Goodell is spitting in the face of the loyal NFL fan. He does not care about us. He only cares about appealing to women, kids with ADD and weenie Europeans and he thinks the key to that is high scoring shootouts.

    The reason why football is so great is there’s a balance between offense and defense. They are destroying that balance and tilting it too far to offense.

    A 45-42 game is exciting, until you have multiple games like that every week. Then it becomes dull. It’s just 7 on 7 passing drills.

    Only great offenses should be able to score that much. When it’s easy, it’s no longer interesting.

  53. To y’all blaming Manning for the emphasis: The real reason for the emphasis is from a particular team whose coach and players challenging the NFL by stating that they did it intentionally and were coached to do it because they knew the refs would not call it. Never good to challenge your boss by bragging about flaunting the rules intentionally. Not a new rule, simply enforcing the existing one tightly because some players ran off at the mouth

  54. Good then I will stop watching. Goodell is ruining this game. They should just make it flag football change all the teams names to letters so no group can claim racism. Put all players in bubble wrap uniforms so the concussion issue goes away. Really this is crazy anymore. Thank god I sold my seat license 4 years ago!!!

  55. People blaming peyton crack me up.

    This was caused by one team being told to cheat on every play. Knowing the refs wouldn’t throw a flag on every play.
    The seahawks mugged receivers on every play and got away with it the whole year. They still do it, its the the only way they know how to cover anybody.

    Dont kid yourself blaming manning. This rule is being enforced because one team cheated the whole year and got away with it.

    Now we are all going to pay for it. Sorta like USC had to pay for the same guys cheating a couple years ago.

  56. Trying to figure out what everyone is complaining about.. they arent changing any rules. just enforcing the rules they’ve been slacking on.
    Dont like it dont watch. simple as that.

  57. It’s the NFL– It will vary from game-to-game, team-to-team, and player-to-player… There is NO consistency in the league.

    And then the playoffs will begin and they will “let the players play– and let minor contact go– and allow the game to be decided “on the field”… And the games will be much better!

    Bottom-Line: DO NOT GIVE THE ZEBRAS MORE PERMISSION TO THROW FLAGS FOR SMALL STUFF! I’d rather see WR’s and DB’s be allowed to use their hands MORE for positioning.

  58. I think the league could really benefit from a subtle color change of the penalty flags. Changing them from yellow to hot pink is likely to counterbalance all these rules that gift the offense.

  59. I don’t think it’s the end of the world like everyone is making it out to be. The players will adjust and the flags will go down. I really wish the internet and sites like this were around when they added the forward pass into the game. My computer would have committed suicide from all the negativity.

  60. NFL promo commercial:

    “Coming this sunday, a matchup of superstars, Sherman…Megatron….Hoculi”

  61. The real reason for the emphasis is from a particular team whose coach and players challenging the NFL by stating that they did it intentionally and were coached to do it because they knew the refs would not call it.

    This is as real as the Lochness monster.

    Please, ANYONE, give me the link to any player or coach from the Hawks saying they hold on purpose because the refs can’t call them all.


    Also, which d backfield has been called the least so far in preseason? The Hawks.

    The fact is all DBs worth their salt get physical. Seattle just did it better.

    Again, link?

  62. We all know why the league is doing this.

    They’re doing for the same reason they did it the first time, after the 2003 season – because once again, Peyton Manning put up great regular season numbers, only to suffer yet another embarrassing playoff defeat.

    I have an idea. Why doesn’t the league just stop playing the games altogether. Just meet every February at the league offices in NYC and hand Peyton his MVP and Lombardi Trophies.

    After all, that’s obviously what the league wants.

  63. There are a few examples the last couple of years that the NFL jumped the shark… cuban might be right after all.

    I have been disillusioned by the NFL the last few years with a lot of my favorite players being cut and signing just silly money elsewhere… it gets hard to be a fan when you watch guys you drafted walk because someone else will pay a guard 6-7-8 mil per year… makes it hard to build a team and makes people just go “get a $20 million qb” to hope they make the playoffs.

    If the flags fly in the reg season like they have in the preseason then I wont have any trouble just watching a box score anymore the next day.

    Ive already given up the stadium experience due to overpricing seats, parking and snacks… how are you supposed to enjoy a day at the stadium with your wife and 3 kids more than once a year???

    The point is the NFL shouldn’t buy their own hype… after all… the world cup was pretty exciting… might go check on that.. or see what the MLB or NBA is up to these days…

  64. (WHISTLE)

    #25 Defense, Intercepting the Ball, 25 yard penalty, ejected from game..

    If I was a defensive coordinator in this league I would now design 9 and 10 man fronts, keep a safety 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and rush everybody else to see if we can destroy the QB, yes you will get burned for a bunch of yards once in a while, but they will be carrying QBs and RBs off the field by the gross.
    Want to run 5 reciever sets? GREAT 4 BIG defensive linemen should contain your Oline and everybody else goes after the QB, RB and ball.

  65. Peyton Manning has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in the super bowls which he has played.

    The one superbowl Manning won it was do to running the ball. Lovie Smith not knowing how to put together an offensive line.

  66. If the league continues to actually follow it’s own rules, Cheattle has no chance at going back to the SB, let alone winning it.

  67. This isn’t the first time that rules are suddenly “emphasized” or have been changed for Megahead’s benefit. This is what happens when the NFL’s golden boy is embarrassed in the SB. The League: “don’t worry, peyton…nfl royalty has it’s perks, we have you covered.”

  68. “We’re not going to change how we’re calling the games once the regular-season starts,’’ NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino told The MMQB.

    Great. Now the regular games will be as unwatchable as the preseason. As a fan of the actual game of football the NFL under the command of the great Roger Goodell has turned me off.

  69. Seattle has fewer of these penalties than the Broncos. As usual, the true offenders would rather make excuses than admit their own culpability. Fine by me…the Seahawks will waltz to the SB on the strength of everyone else’s excuses. Then all the whiners will complain that the refs were against them and it’s a conspiracy. LOL

  70. The officials should at least use discretion in what they call. If it affects the play, then sure, call it. But if the “foul” happens far away from the ball and has no effect on the results of the play whatsoever, let it go.

  71. Easy way to counteract this, just rush the passer with abandon, and HIT the receivers at the line. Knock the receiver off his route, get in the QB’s line of sight.
    Good DB’s are able to adjust to the game.
    Treat the WR’s like linemen, and BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK them all day long.

  72. The overtime rules were changed because the Saints won the Superbowl and PI calls were changed because the Seahawks won the Superbowl. Remember though, there is no favoritism in the NFL…I’m sure if Dallas would have beat the Saints in overtime in ’09 and the Giants or SF beat the Seahawks last year these rules still would have been changed like they were :/

  73. Over officiating is the mistake the NBA made and now the average NBA game is unwatchable. When you see some of the petty, unnecessary calls made by NBA referees it makes you think the league is determining the outcome of the game instead of the players on the court.

    This preseason the NFL is headed down that same road, and the games have been too aggravating to watch.

  74. If the NFL really “listens” to the fans as they always claim this thread ought to be mandatory reading.

  75. Someone up there in New York didn’t like the Seahawks ruining Prince Peyton’s coronation last season. With this rule tweak things should go as they planned.

  76. Once the 1:00 EST games leak over into the 4:30 EST games from all of the play stopage due to 20+ penalties per game, the networks will change the NFLs stance on this.

  77. Unwatchable. That’s the best word to describe the Pre-Season games we’re seeing this year. I know they don’t mean anything more than talent evaluation, but you can’t even do that with the constant flag fest. It almost seems like the NFL is just trying to see how close they can get the golden goose to the rotisserie before the dang thing is freakin cooked but good……….

  78. I just called Vegas and bet the “over” on every single NFL game. I am going to be rich by February.

    Let them play.

  79. I’m glad the illegal pick plays are finally being called. I wish that holding on O-Linemen would be enforced with equal rigor. Pass rushers are literally being tackled to the ground this preseason and nobody seems to care.

  80. Why in the world are you trying to ruin Football. You’re saving nothing protecting no one. You’re making the game longer, slower and less interesting. Let the players play. The more you cut the heart out of the game the less interesting it is. Your job is to make it better not worse.

  81. This rule is strictly Peyton Manning II. When he couldn’t beat the Patriots, they changed the enforcement so Peyton could win. Now that the enforcement has gone back to normal, Peyton got his ass kicked by the Seahawks. There has never been a player that has generated as much money for this league as Peyton, and as we all know, MONEY RULES.

  82. “We have to remain consistent. ” i think this applies from year to year, not just within a season. i’m sick of new rules every year.

  83. I guess teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Richard Sherman should have kept their mouths shut about how they “can’t call everything” comments.

    Congratulations… it looks like all that trash talking has got them calling everything.

    LMAO !!!!!!!

  84. I cannot imagine what the home fans will do in a real game once their team gets hit with 2-3 bogus calls straight like I’ve seen in some of these preseason games.

  85. Oh good, fastest way to ruin what you have going is to turn it into the nba. I was even getting pissed off at flags flying in my teams favor last week! I’ll stop watching if this crap keeps going.

  86. High scores lead to ratings. Ratings lead to advertising. Advertising leads to big money. Big money leads to change. Change leads to core fan base discontent.

  87. The only way to get the NFLs attention is to stop watching,,,I did a couple of yrs ago and believe me, you won’t miss it. I do keep tabs,,,draft, sports media etc,,,but sit down and watch pro football that resembles a hardy flag football, no thanks. And now these insufferable pass, touching, feeling, penalties are absolutely terrible. But typical Goodell, this moron wants no defense what so ever so the scores will be 55-46, nail bitters to keep us moron fans in the seats,,,,,

  88. Word from the League offices:

    Penalties on both Simon & Adams were incorrect – should not have been called.

    In addition, total combined penalties by the Seattle 1st units (offense & defense): 1 false start.

    Good luck telling yourselves it’s Seattle’s fault when your teams flag themselves into a loss. LMAO.

  89. NFL contacted the Seahawks to say that the Illegal Contact penalty on Simon, which resulted in a 105 INT return for TD should NOT have been called a penalty. Reminder, the emphasis tape sent to all teams had zero seahawk plays shown.

  90. I have the feeling the defenses won’t be getting off the field until the offense scores this year. It will be frustrating to see on every 3rd down a ticky-tack illegal contact penalty being called. This should make the game suck!!!!

  91. And folks complain about the time it takes a pitcher to make a pitch…

    Plays only take like 5 to 6 seconds in the NFL and then there is a lot of waiting for the next snap to take place, up to 45 seconds each time.

    Now, we get a LOT more zebra viewing on top of the total of around 10 to 11 min’s of game action on the 60 min clock.

    Football has become S L O W…

  92. As many have already stated, this change is obviously being made to benefit Peyton Manning.

    What’s amazing to me is how transparent the league is in their attempts to help Peyton out. I mean, is it a coincidence that the two times the league has done this were after seasons in which Manning put up historic numbers during the regular season, only to get shut down by good defenses in the playoffs?

    The NFL should be ashamed. And if the Broncos win the SB this season, there should be an asterisks after it in the record books.

  93. @bigdawg24, good point. Are they going to start “emphasizing” offensive pass interference?

    I watched every Denver game last season because I had Manning as my FF QB, and while I was glad to see him light up the scoreboard (at least during the regular season), I was amazed at how much offensive pass interference they get away with.

    It isn’t just the pick plays, either. Watch how the Broncos run screen passes. Their WRs routinely block downfield before the bal is thrown, which is textbook offensive PI.

  94. More flags = longer games = more commercial breaks = more $$$$ for the NFL.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but once games consistently reach 4hrs I’m out. The NFL is a big enough time suck …

  95. Everyone complains that the game is still unwatchable yet you can’t wait for it to start. No matter what they do 99.9% of us will continue to watch and since only that 0.001% is actually going to actually stop watching the NFL will grow even bigger because that 99.9% has A LOT of children. Like it or not guys this is going towards super high scoring, nearly flag football and we will ALL continue to watch and even pay to watch.

  96. As each year passes, the NFL that I had grown to love is fading away. I no longer look forward to the upcoming season with anticipation. It won’t be long until I just stop watching the NFL altogether. The rules changes and the implementation of the rules are ruining the game.

  97. Getting calls on “Why aren’t there more Calls?”…..that’s idiotic…..some of the games are so delayed its simply unwatchable…….the commercials themselves are 50% of the overall timeline for watching a NFL games……I am becoming less and less a fan and certainly will not be getting the NFL ticket this year….nice job NFL!

    and Mark Cubans voice echo’s…..

  98. After watching the Panthers Chiefs game … the refs will decide a lot of games this year.
    They are so worried about illegal contact that they missed helmet to helmet hits … in the Raider game the TE lost his helmet no call … yesterday 2 hits to the head on the same play to Alex Smith … no call.

  99. I’m not buying that completely – calls on hand-fighting down the field will get a little more lenient in the regular season, especially down the stretch, and then dry up in the playoffs. The league doesn’t want its refs deciding the outcomes of games.

  100. this is going to be a long season, QB ‘s going together lots of yards, long games.

  101. Illegal hands to the face is up way high this pre season as well. It really does suck the flow of the game out.

    For those stating that you just have to play within the rules…I’m sorry but an arm rub is not illegal contact as it is not impeding the WR from running the route. It’s garbage. The true illegal contact is knocking a receiver down to the ground before the ball is released after he crosses 5 yards beyond LOS. Contact while ball is in the air is PI. We know this, but the calls they are making are garbage…

    That being said look at your last two SB Champs. Most penalized team in each of their championship years. I say, just keep playing physical and get your money’s worth. If you’re going to contact the player then CONTACT the player. Sooner or later that WR or RB will be a little weary running the route.

  102. Umm, this rule change isn’t about physicality — its about the integrity of the game.

    If everyone pushed the legal boundaries of illegal contact like Seattle did last year, the game would be significantly degraded. Can’t throw a flag on every play — right?

    The NFL moved in the ‘call more contact’ direction.

    I would have moved in the opposite direction, making illegal contact legal, and matching that with legalized holding inside of the tackle box.

  103. Being physical IS NOT the issue, grabbing a guy past five yards is pass interference. And I’m not talking about a jump ball and both the WR and CB are vying for position (w/o a blatant shove to the ground by either player) that’s just good defense. Kam C. was PHYSICAL with my boy Jimmy G. and Graham couldn’t beat his press coverage. But whenever Graham would get past R. Sherman, the guy was grabbing him. If I was hatin’ on the Seattle DBs then I would cause ALL of them of PI, as many have done, wouldn’t I? Just because the refs don’t call it doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. HOFer Michael Irvin made a career of pushing off, although he rarely got called.

  104. Just get it over with. Give the offense an extra guy… a power play. receivers can now push off at will And get the call in their favor. You cant hit a qb high or low. ANY hard hit on a qb is flagged. a receiver going up for a high throw is “defenseless”, so he can not be hit. db can only attempt to strip the ball. All this garbage will decide games and even really important games. What has happened to our beautiful game?

    extended games mean more commercials, more sponsors. This is the same reason they made a joke out of kickoffs. They say its about player safety but then jam in a Thursday game for every team. How safety conscious is that? Hypocrite a holes, you are not fooling anyone.

  105. Has anybody else noticed that in many instances, flags are being thrown well after the end of the play? Watch the officials, most of the time none of them seem to know what’s going on. It appears they are given instructions to throw flags from their headsets, then they are being asked to verify the player since whoever is watching probably can’t always see the player’s number.

  106. the games have been unwatchable this preasason with the penalties…the only way to get the NFL to back off is by hitting them with lower ratings

    that said this would be the ideal time for someone to start a football league that is physical with significantly fewer penalties. Have the players who want to play sign releases and play a brand of football that hasn’t been played in decades

  107. so many people saying unwatchable..yet they are commenting on the games.. lol… Roger Goodell is what is wrong with everything.. as one reader pointed out.. it was the competition committee that decided to emphasize the penalties… and.. i doubt Peyton Manning had anything to do with it..

  108. Rogers way at sticking it to the fans for critiquing his Ray Rice and Josh Gordon handlings. We the fans and the players are sheep. Roger is the wolf.

  109. What I don’t get is, these linemen (especially DL) have their entire face covered with a metal mask and visor, yet hands to the face is all the sudden supposed to be this big lethal threat.

    If I’m a savvy D-Lineman I just start throwing my head back every 2nd or third pass rush and I’ve probably got a decent chance of getting free yardage for my team even if the OL was nowhere near my face.

  110. CON’TD ABOVE….

    steal a game from the Packers in Seattle!!
    I love the NFL, but if they’re serious about calling the games this way, I’ll find something else to do. Because it’s going to ruin the games and cost some team(s) games based on crappy calls.

  111. more ways for the refs to influence the outcome of the games . I guess allowing only one team’s O-line to get away with holding hasn’t produced enough predictable game results for the wise guys

  112. Kudos to the commissioner. The overwhelming majority of us fans want clean high scoring games decided by athleticism, not dirty play and cheating.

  113. How are the players supposed to learn when the officials aren’t even calling illegal contact correctly? See overturned Tharold Simon’s pick 6.

  114. namaths5thofwhiskey says:
    Aug 18, 2014 5:03 PM
    but push offs by WRs is ok though?


    No. Judging by the calls this past week, push offs by the wide receiver are also penalties against the defense.

  115. this is another reason why the running back in the nfl is becoming obsolete. why hand it off when you can get an easy call. throw a two-yard out on 3rd and 3, push off, get the call or the yardage as a result of a push off that wont be called. theres your offensive coordinator of the future.

  116. “The overtime rules were changed because the Saints won the Superbowl”

    No, that was yet another rule that was changed as a direct result of a Peyton Manning playoff choke.

    You may recall, that although it took several years to get agreement on and implement the new OT rules, the idea first started gaining momentum after the Chargers beat the Colts in OT in 2009.

    In that game, the Chargers got the ball first in OT and marched right down the field and scored to win the game. Almost the second the game ended, announcers, sports writers and pundits who had never uttered a word about wanting to change the OT rules suddenly started crying about hwo unfair the rules were, and about what a shame it was that a game could end without Golden Boy Peyton ever getting a chance to get his hands on the ball.

    Granted, the Chargers scored a TD, so under the new rules they would have won anyway, but that’s when the idea to change the rules started.

  117. I don’t understand why everyone is so quick to blame Goodell. Its not like he snaps his fingers and a rule is put in place. There is an entire committee, that includes coaches like Tomlin and Lewis that all vote on these changes and are pushing for this.

    I don’t agree with this at all, and I do think its making football painful to watch- but you should direct your anger at the people making these changes and its not just Goodell. Its the coaches, presidents and managers of the teams playing that make up the competition committee.

  118. The game is going to be slower than ever and penalties are going to make watching it more unbearable.
    Look at kick offs. You can bet that on more than half the kick offs in every game we’ll get the same “illegal block in the back” call.
    Now we’re going to get even more stupid calls on the secondary because Goodell and his cronies want more scoring and more time outs for tv ads.
    The statsitics QB’s put up now are so inflated it isn’t funny. Now they’re going to even be more inflated. It’s a joke.
    The NFL is now the Varsity Arena Football League.
    I’ll take the NFL I grew up watching in the 60’s any day over the product I see now. At least it was a more level playing field between the offense and defense.
    But as long as Goodell gets his 30 million a year and the owners and players make their millions, they couldn’t care less what the fans think.
    And don’t hand me that Goodell isn’t behind this. He’s got his fingers on everything.

  119. “I’ll take the NFL I grew up watching in the 60’s any day over the product I see now”

    I agree. I used to like seeing some defense now and again. The way it is now, no one can stop anyone. Teams often march up and down the field against each other almost at will.

    Remember the game last year, I think it was the Vikings and Ravens? The two teams scored something like 5 TDs in the last two minutes.

    Is that what the league wants to see? I suppose they do, so long as Peyton Manning wins a SB. I think we all know, that’s really what this is about.

    As several people have mentioned, it’s no coincidence that the two times the league has done this were right after Manning suffered embarrassing playoff losses at the hands of a tough, physical defense.

  120. BTW, if people want to see something done about this, I suggest everyone write a letter to Roger Goodell at the address below.

    I realize the letters will never get to him, and he will never read them, but if one of his lackeys has to waste time sorting through piles of thousands of complaint letters, perhaps it will at least get someone’s attention.

    Roger Goodell
    national Football League
    280 Park Avenue, Suite 12
    New York, NY 10017-1216

  121. English Premiere League just started.
    Let’s see what international football is all about.

  122. Bottom line is there will be less flags in the reg season for 2 reasons. 1-teams will learn and 2-the officials will back off. The LOB rule is funny in that its going to help the Hawks. Our O looks nasty this year and with Harvin out there with RW, ML, PR and the best O-line we have had under Pete if they wana make ticy tac calls on the DB’s like the one Baldwin drew on the Chargers so be it. The Hawks can score on O too.

  123. “Who do I go to thank for ruining the game I loved to watch?”

    Why do you think PFT keeps posting pictures of the Seahawks’ coach and players in these stories?

    You can send your thank you cards directly to the Seattle Seahawks. Their approach last year was to commit so many penalties in the secondary that the refs couldn’t possibly call them all. Well it worked and the NFL took notice.

  124. THANK THE MOUTH, Richard Sherman, and Seattle for this.

    For 3 years now, they have perfected the art of pass interference, illegal contact.

    Finally, the NFL took notice and had to take measures to stop it.

    The Mouth is lucky though. He’s parlayed 3 seasons of that into fooling people and his team into thinking he’s the best CB in football.

    Had the zebra’s called him for all his illegal contacts beyond 5 yards as in the law, he’d just be a Davon House at this point in time, finishing out his 5th round draft pick contract and hoping for another…..

  125. @sweetnlow44: “No. Judging by the calls this past week, push offs by the wide receiver are also penalties against the defense.” — Well, that is how Michael Irvin got his catches and penalties called on opposing defenses.

  126. Great …

    First, the db must let the receiver catch the pass, then he isn’t permitted to hit the receiver after the catch, unless the hit doesn’t hurt.

    It’d be pretty dumb for an offense to run the ball with these stupid rules, when every pass play is going to be a completion or will result in a defensive penalty for a 1st down.

  127. Why should teams run the ball at all with the rules called like this? Just line up five WR and tell them to run six to ten yards downfield and try and get close to the DB and LB in the area and when the QB throws the ball everyone flop on the ground like the defender hit you, bam, instant flag, instant first down.

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