Helmet foul by A.J. Bouye was correct application of rule

Getty Images

The new helmet rule continues to create plenty of consternation, primarily because plenty of fans and media members continue to have plenty of confusion about what the rule allows and prohibits. Primarily because the league, before this week, had not done much to explain the niceties of the new rule.

A flag thrown on Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye early in Saturday’s game at Minnesota provides a good example of how the rule will operate, any and all flaws notwithstanding.

After catching a swing pass near the left sideline, Vikings fullback C.J. Ham began running forward. Bouye approached. Ham lowered his head. Bouye dropped even lower.

While the angle from the coaching film may be more clear, it appears that Bouye struck Ham with Bouye’s helmet, instead of hitting Ham with the flipper of Bouye’s shoulder pad. Also, Bouye had his head down instead of having his face up.

Because the new rule prohibits lowering the helmet to initiate contact and then initiating contact with an opponent, and because Bouye lowered his helmet to initiate contact and did in fact initiate contact with the helmet, it was a foul.

Whether anyone likes the rule or not (and plenty don’t), Bouye’s decision to lower his helmet and his failure to get the helmet to Ham’s side made it a foul.

Some have argued that Ham should have been penalized, too. But even though Ham lowered his helmet, he didn’t initiate contact. If Bouye had taken the hit (much like a basketball player taking a very hard charge), Ham would have been penalized. If both helmets had collided after both players had lowered their helmets to initiate contact, the penalties would have been offsetting.

For much more on the helmet rule from NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron, check out Friday’s #PFTPM podcast.

30 responses to “Helmet foul by A.J. Bouye was correct application of rule

  1. This rule is going to cause the games to go even slower. The NFL is turning into the MLB with 4 hour long games.

    There’s like 5 minutes of actual gameplay these days. Constant flags, replay reviews, commercials for watered down beer and boner pills over and over again, and injury timeouts on every drive. Yawn.

  2. “If Bouye had taken the hit (much like a basketball player taking a very hard charge), Ham would have been penalized. If both helmets had collided after both players had lowered their helmets to initiate contact, the penalties would have been offsetting.“

    This is a joke right?? I had to reread this like 4 times and it doesn’t make any sense. How is Bouye supposed to “take a hit like a basketball player takes a hard charge”?!?!? THIS IS FOOTBALL!

  3. nhpats says:
    August 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm
    They have all but ruined the game

    ///////////////////////
    Your reaction is a little over the top. The players will change and the game will be better. Great job Mr. Goodell.

  4. icecubeusedtobeangry says:
    August 18, 2018 at 2:37 pm
    Well…this explains Kirk’s abysmal stats for this game.
    ———
    Can’t play the Packers garbage defense every week.

    —-

    The defense that has, thus far, outscored your offense this week?

    Or…

  5. By all means protect players, force them to re-learn like it was in rugby – i.e. to lead into a tackle with the shoulder (and actually tackle rather than merely put a “killer hit” on a guy). But I think if serious they should look first at the padding – over the history of the game it’s evolved from merely protective (actual “padding”) into Robo-Cop hard armor and which has become a powerful enabler making full speed “big hits” more effective than proper tackling.

  6. I’m gonna miss the ol fumble. Maybe instead of tackling, receivers could just be down where ever they catch the ball without being hit at all. This would encourage longer throws and be safer still.

  7. One of these flags in this game was a defended defending himself against an on coming RB that had already lowered his head.

    This is a bad joke. As the announcers just said, many of these calls are going to change the outcomes of games.

    This is not acceptable.

  8. This crew has been awful, lets not try to find why they are correct calls. The crews aren’t accountable for anything and they completely take away from the game with all the flags. To many excuses for some of the way they call a game.

  9. “…was correct application of rule”.
    Because the media is ALWAYS right….right?
    Wrong. The media typically spins stories whichever way suits them at the moment.
    The rule was put into place to protect the NFL from legal liability in present and future litigation.
    If the PLAYERS didn’t sue the NFL, largely because lawyers see the NFL as a cash cow and needed an “aggrieved population” to sue on behalf of, then all of these wussification rules would not have been put into place.
    I agree with what the NFL is doing, the owners MUST protect themselves from a legal standpoint and this rule can be used in court to show that the NFL implemented preventative measures to reduce player injuries.

  10. >>Some have argued that Ham should have been penalized, too. But even though Ham lowered his helmet, he didn’t initiate contact. If Bouye had taken the hit (much like a basketball player taking a very hard charge), Ham would have been penalized.

    In the NFL, against skilled players, you don’t tackle someone by letting them run into you.
    Its not a question of toughness, its a question of physics. You can’t tackle someone big, fast, and strong if you are being rocked backwards.

    If the runner lowers his head, what should the defender do?

  11. Sooooo he should get trucked and flop akim to the NBA and risk that the flag isn’t thrown leading to a TD for the opposition. That’s a brilliant idea

  12. How did reggie do? In the past packers game? i dont no ask tony how is offensive line is doing!!!!!!

  13. The roughing the passer penalty on Williams is the new problem. It was the right call…because the new rule says you can’t tackle a quarterback anymore…you have to “roll” them so you aren’t doing an “intimidating” tackle. Some people will tell you it was the correct call. That’s not the issue. The issue is the new rule that was randomly thrown in at the last minute before the season started.

    Good lord. The nfl is done is this rule is not stricken from the books. Soon this rule will apply to receivers. Two hand touch is less than 5 years away.

  14. I don’t think the rule is appropriate because it is trying to eliminate something already deemed illegal by capturing stuff that they COULD flag if the time is right. There was one against the Panthers on a Dolphins RB on the sideline that was questionable. Some of these guys are just playing football. Hammer the headhunters without remorse but don’t flag good plays by guys with good intentions just because you feel a message needs to be sent or to mitigate future player lawsuits.

  15. Since the Vikings got the 15-yard call on this one, it can’t possibly be controversial. No, those are saved for Viking playoff games, as few as they have been in the last 5 years.

  16. It was a bad call A.J. should not have gotten a penalty. If anyone should have it was Ham the runner.The Rodgers rule is bad forthe game as well. Williams should not have been flagged either.

Leave a Reply

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