Another week in the NFL and another controversial roughing the passer call on a defender. Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett was flagged for a hit on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
In the Eagles loss to the Vikings, Bennett appeared to initially make contact with Cousins in the butt and upper thigh area before sliding down as he fell and wrapping him up around his lower legs.
It looked like a routine and legal sack of the QB, but not in today’s NFL. Bennett was flagged for the tackle and it led to a Vikings touchdown.
That Vikings touchdown came after Michael Bennett was flagged for roughing the passer on THIS… pic.twitter.com/YaSivcWBy8
— Dave Loughran (@Loughy_D) October 7, 2018
After the game safety Malcolm Jenkins said he had a lengthy conversation about the hit and revealed that he was pretty much told that in order to avoid being flagged on a play like that was to avoid hitting the quarterback.
“I just think they sometimes lack common sense,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “I get it, we want to protect quarterbacks. I completely understand that; they’re lifeblood to our game. But it’s really hard to do a job and it’s having an effect on some games. But we have plenty of opportunities to win a game. That was just one play that was a little frustrating.”
Chris Long said he thinks it should be on the quarterback to protect himself in the late stages of that play. If he feels someone at his ankles, he should go down. But the NFL is increasingly protective of quarterbacks. It was a tough spot for Bennett to be in.
“I don’t know what he’s supposed to do,” said Jenkins, who had a lengthy conversation with the ref on the field.
Jenkins said he was asking the ref what he should tell Bennett to do differently. The explanation, according to Jenkins, was that Bennett simply has to avoid the hit. The problem with that, of course, is that Bennett gets paid to hit quarterbacks.
“I guess we gotta adapt,” Long said.
Bennett declined interview requests after the game.
The NFL needs to get this worked out before the end of the regular season. Because one of these calls is going to cost a team a playoff game.