Why have there been so many penalties against offensive players in the NFL lately, and why do they all seem to come at crucial moments?
Last nightJason Kelce’s false start effectively cost the Philadelphia Eagles the game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Last SaturdayQuinn Meinerz, Offensive player for the Denver Broncos, was offsides on a Four-and-Goal play in the third quarter, negating a touchdown.
And let’s not forget last week, when Kadarius Toney was offsides and cost the Kansas City Chiefs the game against the Buffalo Bills.
“I think almost everyone has acknowledged that the officials are absolutely right,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodellsaid on December 13th. “It’s their job to call it as a foul… I think it demonstrates how difficult it is for them to do their job.”
Kelce said he had been warned prior about advancing the ball forward years several times, but was still able to get away with it.
Already in October, Pro Football Talk wrote:
“Kelce said that he intends to explain to officials in the future that he sets up for the quarterback sneak with the non-snapping hand on the ground because it helps him get lower, and that they shouldn’t assume that when they see a non-snapping hand in the neutral zone, that it’s a penalty.”
Last season saw 284 offensive offsides calls throughout the league. There have been only 224 so far this season, but the recent trend of these calls in the past few weeks could drive that number up. These calls are rare, but it can’t be a coincidence that there have been two of them within two weeks, can it?
Others, like Peyton Manning, believe there should be rule changes.
“I think they should change this rule,” said Manningto ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption after Toney’s offsides incident. “If they call it like that, let’s just make it dead, so we don’t see what would have happened.”