Titans-Jaguars TNF debacle forces NFL to adjust offensive holding policy
After the penalty-filled bonanza that was the Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars game in Week 3, the NFL is adjusting its policy on holding calls.
The NFL is going to adjust its point of emphasis on offensive holding calls following an embarrassing, flag-filled Thursday Night Football game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the NFL held a conference call on Saturday and Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron told his officials to ease up on holding calls for “frontside and other blocks.”
"During Saturday’s call, Riveron instructed referees to continue emphasizing the need for offensive linemen to immediately move their blocks inside the defender’s frame if they initiate the block outside. But on frontside and other blocks, Riveron counseled them to allow for more time to get the block inside the frame before throwing a flag."
It’s no surprise the NFL is making this adjustment, although we’ll see if it helps at all. Some of the holding calls made on Thursday night were about as ticky-tack as you can get, and the game became a running joke after awhile.
Penalty flags were flying on what seemed like every other play, and as a result the game was slowed to a snail’s pace. It was a terrible look for the product, which is currently suffering overall because of this added emphasis by the league for offensive holding calls.
Also per Seifert’s report, referees have thrown 178 flags for all kinds of offensive holding through two weeks, leading to an astounding 66 percent increase from the same span last season.
It got so bad during the Titans-Jags game, that even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had to speak out on Twitter, saying he was going to shut the game off because of all the penalties.
While it’s too little too late to save the Titans-Jags game, at least the NFL sees the glaring problem — albeit after two full weeks and one game into Week 3 — and is making an effort to change it.