Report: T.J. Watt fined for hitting Matt Ryan in leg

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was fined this week for saying, among other critiques of officials, that some of the penalties being called this season are a “joke.”

Tomlin’s comments came after last Sunday’s win over the Falcons and one of the calls that drew the most attention in that game was a roughing the passer call on linebacker T.J. Watt. Watt was penalized for making contact with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan‘s lower leg while Ryan was throwing a pass, but the call was met with an incredulous response because Watt appeared to do little more than graze Ryan on his way to the turf.

The NFL did not agree with those who thought the flag was unwarranted. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Watt has been fined $20,054 for the hit, which the league says violated the rule against defenders “forcibly hitting [quarterbacks] in the knee area or below.”

Watt’s brother and co-leader in sacks J.J. Watt responded on Twitter and spoke for many by calling the fine “insanity.”

53 responses to “Report: T.J. Watt fined for hitting Matt Ryan in leg

  1. When did “grazing” become “forcibly”? If I wanted to see a non contact sport, I’d spend more time watching grandpa play pickle ball down at the old folks home.

  2. imjustsayinsoo says:
    October 12, 2018 at 11:56 am
    Ridiculous! Almost as ridiculous as the flop that Ryan took….


    Yep. Ryan should have been fined for that flop. Embarrassing.

  3. I am waiting for when a qb trips on the turf and the ref throws a flag on the grass and marks off fifteen yards on the defense.

  4. At this rate they’ll start flagging the defense if the QB slips in the locker room before even taking the field.

  5. Come on guys. I don’t care what team you root for, that call, and subsequent fine, are complete BS. I contemplated not getting Sunday Ticket this year and, based on the continued ruination of the game, I won’t be back next year.

  6. tampabayblumpkineers1 says:
    October 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm
    What does the league do with their fine money?


  7. they just fined Watt to try to prove that the penalty was justified. if they didn’t fine him they would be admitting that Tomlin was right about the penalty being a joke.

  8. I remember back in the 80’s when Jack Lambert got so frustrated with the efforts by the refs to protect quarterbacks, he recommended that QBs just start wearing dresses on the field.

    With all the ridiculous calls we’ve seen this season, I’m starting to think that might be a good idea.

  9. “It is not a foul if the defender swipes or grabs a passer in the knee area or below in an attempt to tackle him, provided he does not make forcible contact with the helmet, shoulder, chest, or forearm.” It was a twisting swipe that Watt let up on very quickly; that is the definition of a non-forcible attempt to tackle. The NFL officiating doesn’t even follow its own detailed rules.

  10. The point you’re all missing, grazing or not, is that he was targeting Ryan too low, made contact. That is a total no-no, and an emphasis as determined by Mike Tomlin’s Competition Committee.

  11. Are NFL players now supposed to defy the laws of physics? Gravity was bringing Watt to the ground. The fact that he didn’t hold on to Ryan’s leg, or attempt to role over it should have been enough evidence to not find him.

  12. I just watched that on JJ’s twitter.

    Yep, that’s a total disgrace. I HATE the Steelers, but that call and fine are both a disgrace. Yeah, I said disgrace twice.

  13. How about the Atlanta offensive lineman who barrel-rolled THREE times to take out, for the season, Saints CB Patrick Robinson? I guess the piped-in crowd noise made the video replay too shaky to watch?

  14. The little kid in front of me learned the F-word on Sunday after that bad call. Great job NFL. Kids learning cusswords because of your incompetence!

  15. That was one of the worst QB calls ever, the NFL to even consider a fine is so pathetic. Watching Atlanta QB take really a dive and then to throw up his hand for a flag and then get was the poster child of what is wrong in the games and how officiated.

  16. Ha, the current NFL is a joke.

    This highlight should serve a Exhibit A on the long list of growing issues with the 2018 era NFL.

    At what point do the fans realize they are being played for fools?

  17. I’ve read a couple times “This is why I don’t watch the games anymore.”

    Right….Lol. So you don’t watch NFL games, but read and comment on ProFootballTalk….

  18. And people always saying that the black and gold get all the calls and the league caters to them. Right………

  19. The other week I flipped back and forth between the Ohio State/Penn State game and the Notre Dame/Stanford game. And I found myself thinking my God football can be fun to watch! It was a joy to watch those games. And I haven’t felt that way watching an NFL game in a long, long time.

  20. That is utter bull crap, Watt barely touched him and it was ON ACCIDENT he didnt purposely dive at Ryan’s legs in an attempt to hurt him, he was trying to make a play. This is FOOTBALL , FOOTBALL IS A CONTACT SPORT!!!! Shame on the NFL for fining the due 20G’s over that hit. What other Employer in the world can fine you and take away hard earned money over minor accidental mistakes? The NFL is becoming a Dictatorship run by a very small man. If I were Watt i’d fight that fine. I am not even a Steelers fan but this situation makes me insanely mad as Defenders cannot even play defense anymore as u tackle a guy and its 15YDs & a 20K$ fine.

  21. troubledoneswhobathe says:
    October 12, 2018 at 12:04 pm
    You can’t breathe on a qb. They are ratings gold. Kaching! $$$$!

    You hit the nail on the head. Money is the ONLY reason the NFL owners & competition committee have implemented all of these draconian rules to protect QB’s across the league. The NFL doesnt want these guys going down because ticket sales and TV Ratings decline when star QB’s end up injured and lost for any amount of time. Money is also why they’re implementing all these rules that favor the passing game as TV ratings LOVE High-Flying offenses. Offensive firepower makes money so now they’re making it when DB’s cannot even play defense anymore, they’re starting to protect WR’s almost as much as QBs.

  22. Note to owners …You’re killing yourselves and the game.
    I can’t stand it anymore….every play a flag.
    ThIs tricky tacky violation…after a holding call
    on the right corner when the QB throws a 3 step
    out to the left.
    I can’t stand the game anymore. The NFL worries
    about length of game …let me give you a hint..
    when the game involves the ever present ref calling
    some stupid penalty which gave no team a real
    advantage …your boring the fans…you see the
    damn ref every play.. it stinks .

  23. I truly believE that the teams that call out the refs publicly, get bullseyes painted on them by the NFL.

    It’s just sad to watch how blatant they are about it and then lie after the fact to justify it. It’s like watching a White House press conference.

  24. Bernard Pollard called it on the head years ago, The nfl will cease to exist in 30 yrs, so far he is right.

  25. Superstars like Butuks and little guys like Pope would keep the NFL afloat or, they would be out of the league. Goodell is a complete idiot and, has made former players like Troy Vincent SELLOUTS.

  26. Once again a disgraceful Steelers player takes a dirty shot at someone and all the fans cry like it’s some conspiracy.

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