This fall, the NFL has requested that officials concentrate on penalties for improper contact. Unauthorized contact by a defender while the quarterback is still in the pocket and in possession of the ball is referred to as illegal contact.
That results in a five-yard penalty and an automatic first down. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert has more on that:
“The NFL has asked its on-field officials to pay particular attention to illegal contact fouls during the 2022 season, a league spokesperson confirmed Monday. The request could lead to an increase in such flags following a big drop during the 2021 season.”
Seifert notes that illegal contact was called an average of 97 times per season between 2002 and 2020, but that number dropped to just 36 in 2021. That drastic drop led to the league’s competition committee including this in its “points of clarification” notes to officials (formerly “points of emphasis”).
Additionally, Seifert notes that roughing the passer penalties will also be a “significant” point of clarification this season. The committee clarified that contact to the helmet or below the knee must be “forcible” in order to see a flag thrown, in an attempt to prevent flags being thrown for minor contact.
It looks like fans are going to see a lot more flags during games.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.