Matt Ryan on taunting penalty: I didn’t think it was anything that bad

Atlanta Falcons v Buffalo Bills
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The NFL’s enhanced focus on taunting penalties has been a topic of conversation throughout the 2021 season and it ensnared an unlikely player during Week 17.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was flagged for taunting Bills safety Jordan Poyer after an apparent touchdown run in Sunday’s 29-15 Bills win and that came as a surprise since Ryan has not been known as an overly demonstrative player over the course of his career. After the game, Poyer said, via Ben Tsujimoto of the Buffalo News, that he “didn’t honestly know what the penalty was” and that he’d keep anything Ryan said between them.

Ryan said he didn’t think anything said rose to the level of taunting.

“Then, you know, football is an emotional game,” Ryan said. “So, there are lots of things that are said out there. I’m disappointed in myself in that the timing costs us. But I didn’t think it was anything that bad.”

Replays showed Ryan was down before crossing into the end zone, so the 15-yard penalty did more than cost them yards on an extra point try or the ensuing kickoff. The Falcons were unable to get back into the end zone after moving backward and the Bills maintained their 29-15 lead through the final whistle.

18 responses to “Matt Ryan on taunting penalty: I didn’t think it was anything that bad

  1. You know it’s bad when the person that was “taunted” is confused on where the penalty is.

  2. These are the type of calls that call into question impartiality. Every penalty can impact a game and the score but there needs to be some restraint for penalties that don’t impact a play on the field nor cause the potential of physical injury.

    There was a division championship on the line in this game as well as playoff seeding. A skeptic could look at this call and calls on another drive in scoring position that was lost to penalties and think the NFL put their thumb on the scales intentionally or unintentionally.

  3. They allowed a little too much stuff to go on after the whistle, and the players didn’t have as much self-control as was advertised when they made the agreement. It got out of hand and the league decided it was not something the NFL needed, so they’re putting an end to it. The league encourages individuality from players on their own time, but things like uniforms and behavior on the field are regulated. A lot of us wear uniforms to work and are expected to act in a professional manner. We can cut loose after work. Just focus on football for 60 minutes a week, 17 times a year. That’s not too much to ask for $25 million.

  4. Welcome to 2022. I’ve seen flags for taunting when a scoring player spins a football. No emotions allowed. I agree this is very inconsistent. Shame on Matt Ryan who knew better than to spike the ball in the face of a defender and bark at him.

  5. tigerlilac says:
    January 3, 2022 at 7:59 am
    These are the type of calls that call into question impartiality. Every penalty can impact a game and the score but there needs to be some restraint for penalties that don’t impact a play on the field nor cause the potential of physical injury.

    There was a division championship on the line in this game as well as playoff seeding. A skeptic could look at this call and calls on another drive in scoring position that was lost to penalties and think the NFL put their thumb on the scales intentionally or unintentionally.

    ——-

    I agree with you to an extent here. This play was pretty unique. I don’t think Ryan has a word to say if he doesn’t think he has already scored a TD. He probably would have hurried back to the line.

    However, he believes he has scored and screams directly to an opposing player’s face immediately after. The refs have been crap this year, but they have been pretty consistent calling taunting on that type of sequence. Turns out he didn’t make it into the end zone and the call completely changes the shape of the game.

    Unfortunate, but of all players “Matty Ice” should have played it cool.

  6. Page 283 of the official NFL rule book makes it clear as mud that taunting can be called at the whim of the official.

  7. It’s one of those cases where it probably ‘looked’ worse than it was…

    In this case – he spiked the ball in front of the defender and said ‘something’ – and the official who threw the flag was all of 2 steps behind him…

    Josh Allen got a similar penalty for spinning a ball in front of the defender earlier in the season, so I was unsurprised…

    Would’ve TOTALLY been a non-issue if Matt Ryan had actually scored – but his knee was clearly down outside the goal. OOPSY!

  8. The problem is this has gone way over the line in recent years and it got way out of control. If you don’t know by now what you should or shouldn’t do then go read the rulebook or what some of the tape on what they’re calling.

    The sad thing is it’s easy to not get flagged for taunting. It’s called poise and awareness. You have to realize you just can’t do certain things. The average joe does it several times per day every day when driving on the road or at work or whatever. It shouldn’t be that hard for these multi-millionaires to do the same.

  9. “They should know and obey the rules.” Yeah, no kidding. The sky is blue and water is wet.

    The discussion needs to be about whether the rule is being called consistently (it isn’t) and whether the rule serves any useful purpose (it doesn’t).

  10. The Bills were huge beneficiaries of that call – and I think most Bills fans felt like they were due for a break – but a break it was, and I don’t like those calls.

    That was a very impactful call due to the circumstances. The ref threw the flag when he thought it was a score. When replay showed he was short, the flag basically cost the Falcons 7 points. Which changed how the game progressed from there.

    I get that the refs are trying to be consistent, but I’d be upset if I was a Falcons fan.

  11. It’s clear the league wants to see the Bills in the super bowl.

    ————————————————————————————————

    You obviously have not been watching Bills games this year!

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