Holding penalties down after NFL adjusts following Titans-Jaguars debacle

Tennessee Titans (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Tennessee Titans (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

The NFL’s adjustment to calling offensive holding seems to have worked after the ugly mess that was the Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars Week 3 game.

An adjustment by the NFL on how it calls offensive holding penalties following the debacle that was the Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Thursday night seems to have worked.

Well, at least for now.

The league’s Senior vice president of officiating, Al Riveron, held a conference call on Saturday night to explain to officials how to ease up on offensive holding calls following a Titans-Jaguars game that was littered with laundry.

The game drew harsh criticism from those watching, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who said he would shut the game off because all the flags were ruining it.

And that game was just a microcosm of a larger issue, which saw the NFL’s referees calling offensive holding penalties to the tune of a 66 percent increase from the same span last season.

Well, the adjustment, which had Riveron telling his officials to “allow for more time to get the block inside the frame before throwing a flag” on frontside and other blocks, had good early returns.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there was a significant drop in offensive holding penalties on Sunday. In fact, the rate at which offensive holding flags have been thrown was cut in half.

A plethora of offensive holding calls wasn’t just an issue on Thursday night, as the numbers show. So, what was the last straw that made the NFL finally wake up and make a change?

Was it the Titans-Jaguars game on Thursday night? Or was it the fact that one of the faces of the league, Brady, spoke out and voiced his disgust with the way the game was being ruined?

I guess we can’t know for sure, but the important thing is the NFL is trying to make the improvements necessary, so as not to ruin its own product.

Too bad the changes came too late for the Titans, who on top of

having plenty of other issues during their loss to the Jags, had to fight a losing battle with referees, also.