The NFL needs to get far more consistent making its own personal foul calls. When the Browns lost to the Ravens, I defended the technicality of the rules on a personal foul called on Browns receiver Josh Gordon on Ed Reed. On a technicality, Gordon was moving a bit back toward the Browns’ goal line making it seem like an illegal hit according to a strict reading of the rules.
Now this week, the Ravens converted an improbable 4th and 30 with a dump off to Ray Rice that succeeded due to a bad spot and also a very questionable blindside block by Anquan Boldin on Eric Weddle that left Weddle injured. Yet this play by Boldin went uncalled even as he was pretty much running directly toward the Ravens goal line cracking a completely unsuspecting Weddle.
The NFL is going to continue to have issues regarding player safety and also fairness if they can’t get some more consistency with regard to handing out 15 yard penalties. Remember that Josh Gordon was not only flagged for his hit on Reed, but also fined $20,000. The Ravens were awarded a first down on the measurement and went on to win the game, largely with the help of a play that should have been 15 yards according to the very rules that were used just a few weeks prior.
Referees do miss things and can’t be expected to see every single thing on every single play, but excuse me if I don’t consider this along with a little holding or facemask grab that goes unnoticed. This seems more like an inconsistency in enforcement or understanding. The NFL should investigate, continue to educate their referees and make sure they get consistent officiating their own game.
(Hat tip to frequent commenter Ezzie for emailing this tip in.)