This is a weekly free therapy session I provide for not only myself, but for all football fans. If you’re looking for politically correct, mainstream, polite, NFL content, you’ve come to the wrong place.
In fact, on any given week you should be prepared to either agree with me or be offended, belittled, shocked, and insulted. You can expect to find anger, sarcasm, foul language (I will do my best to refrain), and whatever the hell else I’m feeling come 1 am CST Tuesday mornings this NFL season. So, lie down on your couch and grab your tissue because your NFL Week 10 session has begun…….
“Offensive Pass Interference,” it’s a phrase that you don’t hear too often in the NFL. It’s always driven me crazy that you can see five questionable pass interference calls on the defense in the game, but rarely see a flag for blatant offensive pass interference. It probably has more to do with me feeling that the cornerback position is the toughest position to play in football, outside of quarterback. Regardless of the reason, the fact is that it drives me crazy to watch teams get 50-yard penalties due to tight coverage by a cornerback, but a receiver can basically go MMA style on a cornerback and rarely are flags thrown. If you watched the Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh game, it got even worse.
Torrey Smith who has questionable hands at best, finally put them to good use when he fully extended his left arm and struck the Steelers cornerback, William Gay with two quick jabs to the shoulder pads to create separation. Did a flag come out? Yes, yes it did. “Pass interference, 22 defense”. Huh?
As you can tell on the video, Gay is in Smith’s back pocket at the one yard line. Then magically he gets three yards worth of separation. How is that possible in one yard? Well, when Smith uses his length and pushes off or what Cris Collinsworth refers to as “nudging” and what I refer to as Offensive Pass Interference, it pushes the defender backwards and propels the receiver towards the ball. You can’t defend it and it’s illegal. I don’t blame Torrey Smith or the Ravens. The NFL rarely enforces it. Randy Moss made a career by pushing off this way. The worst part here though is that the ref threw a flag on William Gay. When I saw the flag I knew the play was coming back and I was happily amazed that an official had the balls to call an Offensive Pass Interference on that crucial of a play. Even Torrey Smith thought the flag was on him.
Watch up close the point of separation and watch Smith’s reaction as he hits the ground and immediately looks back for a flag. When he saw that one was thrown, he screams no and his body language is all negative. He knew he pushed off and that the cornerback didn’t commit a penalty. At that time he knew the flag was on him and the play was coming back with 00:08 left and an even further distance to go. I understand the players acting like the offensive penalty never happened but what about the announcers of the game and all of the networks that replay the highlight. Why do they all give this play a pass and not call out poor officiating? If it was a defensive pass interference that went uncalled and cost a team the game, it would be all we talked about.
Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels kept referring to the play as a “nudge” and Collinsworth even calls it a veteran move and praises it. Everyone else talks about how the young kid rebounded from earlier drops and had a great night. Really? He dropped as many balls as he caught and his highlight was a blatant penalty that a zebra was to afraid to call because of the magnitude of the play. Not to pick on Torrey Smith because the same thing happened in the Jets game, but this was the game winning play. If the league isn’t going to enforce a penalty in this situation, then I would train all my receivers to just be overly physical with corners. What’s to lose, especially on a game winning play?
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock