Looks like the new tackling rules are starting to sink in. 

Overall, penalties for lowering the helmet to initiate contact dropped 64 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information tracking. There were nine penalties in 16 games in Week 3, an average of 0.56 per game.

In the first two weeks of the preseason, officials threw 51 flags in 33 games for an average of 1.55 per game.

The sudden drop in helmet-rule calls could possibly be attributed to a competition-committee decision made and announced on Wednesday.

Although the committee declined to change the substance of the rule, it did make clear “that inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or face mask is not a foul.”

That clarification allowed officials to ignore instances when a player lowered his helmet but largely initiated contact with another part of his body, such as the shoulder or arms.

All this political correctness will end up destroying the NFL if they’re not careful. Obviously no one wants to see anyone hurt, but at the same time, football is a contact sport, and trying to tinker with a natural tackling instinct is going to be futile.