The NFL’s obsession (potentially temporary) with roughing the passer invites a new dynamic: Quarterbacks engaging in soccer-style flops in order to draw fouls when otherwise a foul wouldn’t be called.
It happened on Monday night when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger collapsed like a Jenga tower in a wind tunnel after being tapped on the head by Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott also seemed to embellish a bit when hit by Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson.
Peter King suggested during Tuesday’s PFT Live that perhaps the NFL would have to make flopping a foul of its own. Of course, kickers and punters (primarily punters) will ham it up when grazed, hopeful to draw a foul. But that happens fairly rarely, and there’s a bright-line rule about touching or not touching the kicker or the punter once the ball is away. For quarterbacks, the opportunities to take a dive are plentiful — and maybe there needs to be a way to discourage Oscar-quality (or otherwise) performance from quarterbacks looking to get a cheap 15 yards.