“Blindside block” in Lions-Texans game creates confusion

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The new blindside block rule is telling replay review of pass interference to hold its beer.

With multiple questionable, at best, applications of the new procedure for reviewing pass interference calls and non-calls during the 2019 preseason, the new, sweeping banishment of all blindside blocks is creating some confusion.

It happened on Saturday, in the Lions-Texans game. Lions guard Oday Aboushi, while blocking for quarterback David Fales, noticed that Texans linebacker Jamal Davis had looped completely around right tackle David Wiggins, allowing Davis to chase Fales from behind. So Aboushi turned and blocked Davis with Aboushi’s shoulder.

It wasn’t a blindside block in the way the term would be commonly interpreted, because Davis saw it coming. However, it was a blindside block in the way that the NFL defines it. Earlier this year, the league made it a violation of the rules “if a player initiates a block when he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder.”

The rule doesn’t carve out situations where the opponent sees the hit coming. Instead, it prohibits a blocker from blocking with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder while moving in any direction other than toward the opponent’s end line.

And that’s essentially the explanation that NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron supplied when placing on Twitter a clip of the Aboushi hit, which drew a flag for a blindside block.

So what should a player do when a defender is chasing an offensive player toward the defender’s end line? Apparently, the sole options for the offensive player are to use his open palms to make the block or to set a basketball-style screen and basically absorb the football equivalent of a charge, with no penalty whatsoever imposed on the defender for wiping out the offensive player who is just standing there.

9 responses to ““Blindside block” in Lions-Texans game creates confusion

  1. They’ll change it as soon as they realize that this rule is actually counter productive to keeping the QB heathy. Is the lineman supposed to give him a free pass?

  2. Pretty soon they will be playing flag football. I didnt like the crackback blocks by receivers on the Dbacks. I especially didnt like the big blindsides ( aka Sapp block) on interceptions and turnovers when the guy peels back and absolutely destroys an unsuspecting defender. But come on – there is football and there is flag football – we are seeing a trend towards flag football. Time to fire both Goodall and Riverunsdeep.

  3. This similar to what was called in the BAL/GB game on Lamar Jackson’s TD run. The CB was chasing LJ from behind and Snead gave him a fairly soft block but was obviously facing his own endzone.

    Once again, the NFL cant get out of their own way.

  4. “I was confused because I didn’t see it coming. Then I was confused for several days afterwards because I struck my head on the turf after the impact. It was all very confusing.”.

  5. How about the NFL look at blows to the head? One thing I have noticed recently is so many players giving the ball carrier a forearm smash to the head while tackling or tacking him down.

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