More AFCC Rule changes?
Food for thought from NFL.com's TMQB. Enjoy.
Pittsburgh-New England Zebra Update
A week ago against Indianapolis, the Patriots were never flagged for offensive holding or pass interference, usually the two most-harmful penalties. This week against Pittsburgh, the Patriots were not flagged for offensive holding or pass interference. Last season in the AFC title game against Indianapolis, the Patriots were never called for pass interference or offensive holding. Last season in the playoff game before that, Tennessee at New England, the Patriots were not flagged for offensive holding or defensive interference. Because they are well-coached, the Patriots commit fewer infractions than other teams, and there is no doubt the best team won at Heinz Field this Sunday. But are we seriously supposed to believe that in four consecutive AFC playoff games, Patriots offensive linemen never held and Patriots defensive backs never interfered? Rules are rules, and ought to be enforced for New England the same way they are for everyone else.
Time to Change the Defensive Holding Call
Defensive holding is five yards marched off, but an automatic first down; this makes the penalty an absolute killer if assessed when the offense has more than five yards to go. New England 24, Pittsburgh 10 in the third quarter, the Steelers had the Patriots facing third-and-17 in their own territory. A screen pass clanged to the ground incomplete, the crowd roared, the Steelers would get the ball back in good field position, except -- defensive holding. Set aside that the call was ticky-tacky. New England needed 17 yards for a first down; Pittsburgh was penalized five yards; New England received a first down. The Flying Elvii ended up with a touchdown on the drive, and the game changed from tense to a walkover. How about making defensive holding a simple five-yard mark-off?