The topic took over the offseason, as players complained and coaches worried and officials panicked.
But after the first full night of preseason games, the NFL’s new lowering the helmet rule hasn’t been called as often as some feared.
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, through the first 13 preseason games played so far, a total of 18 penalties have been called under the new rule.
That average of 1.38 calls per game is less than half the rate of offensive holding calls last season (3.2 per game).
Of course, it’s early yet, and officials could call more as the preseason goes along, to emphasize the rule early in the year so everyone gets used to its enforcement and can modify their behavior.