Questionable roughing the passer penalties have been the talk of the NFL this season, and Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt may have been the victim of the worst call yet.
Watt was rushing against the Falcons today when he made a diving attempt to get to Matt Ryan. As Ryan threw the ball, Watt appeared to just barely graze one of Ryan’s legs. And that was enough to get a roughing the passer call.
It was a ridiculous ruling from the officials. Yes, the “Tom Brady rule” implemented in 2009 bans defensive players from hitting quarterbacks low. But Watt didn’t “hit” Ryan low any more than patting someone on the head is akin to punching him in the face.
The NFL simply has to get a better handle on what is and is not roughing the passer. Under the inconsistent enforcement we’ve seen this season, defensive players have no clue what they’re allowed to do, and what they’re not allowed to do.