In recent years, the NFL has gone to extreme measures to protect quarterbacks from taking hard hits because, well, the league doesn’t want its most marketable players missing time. That’s led to some awfully questionable roughing-the-passer calls.
But you’d be hard pressed to find a worse roughing call than what we were treated to during Sunday’s Week 17 game between the Vikings and Lions.
With the Vikings going for it on fourth and goal and a two-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Lions’ Tracy Walker III got to Cousins untouched on a blitz. He sacked Kirk Cousins with a textbook tackle, but there was no hesitation on the flag for roughing the passer.
This is just a horrendous roughing the passer call, it’s a tackle and a sack pic.twitter.com/FG1tnlR5aj
— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) January 3, 2021
Just a dreadful call.
At most, the officials ruled that Walker carried through the tackle with his body weight on Cousins, but come on. There’s no way that hit warranted a roughing penalty. The Vikings would score a touchdown thanks to the penalty.
The NFL basically lucked out that this was a meaningless game because otherwise the outrage would have been wild. NFL fans were still in disbelief.
This call makes no sense. Arguably the worst roughing call I’ve ever seen. pic.twitter.com/5QjTLy2yJ1
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) January 3, 2021
This was called roughing the passer.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 3, 2021
4th & Goal and you call this roughing the passer in a one score game?
The NFL is BRUTAL. pic.twitter.com/KYnqbLJsMs
— Detroit Moments (@DetroitMoments) January 3, 2021
Easily the worst roughing the passer penalty that truly wasn’t just happened in Detroit to erase a turnover on downs for the Lions.
Seek it out. Just dreadful.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 3, 2021
Just saw Cousins scored and danced after that roughing call and I’m officially renouncing Ball Don’t Lie
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) January 3, 2021
If this is roughing the passer, then the competition committee needs to eliminate sacks altogether. Make it two-hand touch. https://t.co/2vUPo5HwEV
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) January 3, 2021
THIS IS THE SOFTEST ROUGHING THE PASSER CALL I HAVE EVER SEEN LMFAOO pic.twitter.com/JAt4ebmG7s
— NFL Humor (@NFLHumor) January 3, 2021
How ..how is that roughing the passer on Walker??? Ridiculous
— trey wingo (@wingoz) January 3, 2021
Someone said this in the quote tweets but I want to repeat it:
If this is roughing the passer, eliminate tackling the quarterback all together. Make sacks two hand tough going forward, or give the quarterback a flag https://t.co/vE5M4bMfQD
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) January 3, 2021
What was Walker supposed to do there? That call changed the game.