Ball don’t lie: 3 worst calls from Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 14: Head Coach Pete Carroll speaks with officials during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

NFL officials don’t do themselves any favors, making similar mistakes on a weekly basis. Roughing the passer was a familiar theme in Week 10.

The league emphasizes roughing the passer, as quarterbacks make the NFL world turn. Without keeping said passers upright, scoring would be down, and defense would instead reign supreme. Roger Goodell cannot have that.

The league’s popularity has exploded in recent years, and for good reason — scoring has increased seemingly every season, and with it passing records fall. Now with an extra regular-season game in hand, the great quarterbacks of old will be just another footnote in the NFL’s glorious history while the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers continue to down their records with relative ease.

What is roughing the passer in the NFL?

Forgive me for including similar information in my last few editions of this column, but roughing the passer took centerstage yet again this week. So, here it is, straight from the NFL official rulebook:

"“Because the act of passing often puts the quarterback (or any other player attempting a pass) in a position where he is particularly vulnerable to injury, special rules against roughing the passer apply. The Referee has principal responsibility for enforcing these rules. Any physical acts against a player who is in a passing posture (i.e. before, during, or after a pass) which, in the Referee’s judgment, are unwarranted by the circumstances of the play will be called as fouls.”"

NFL ref salary: How much to NFL officials make?

As recently as 2019, NFL officials made roughly $205,000 a season. That number is relatively low compared to the player they’re paid to judge on a weekly basis, which might be why they aren’t held to the same standard.

Ravens: Lamar Jackson benefits from awful roughing the passer

The Ravens needed every call they could get on Thursday Night Football, as the offense managed just 10 points against the lowly Miami Dolphins in primetime. Lamar Jackson fantasy owners can concur that Baltimore’s showing was abysmal, which is odd given how the MVP candidate was performing heading into that week’s action.

Technically helmet to helmet? Sure, why not. But the Dolphins defender barely made contact with Jackson’s facemask, which ought to nullify any supposed penalty on the play.

15 yards later, and the Ravens were in business.