The week 2 preseason game between the Giants and the Panthers at MetLife Stadium was marked by a questionable roughing the passer call that has left fans scratching their heads.
The play in question occurred during the first quarter when Giants’ defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence made contact with Panthers’ rookie quarterback Bryce Young helmet. The play resulted in a roughing the passer penalty, leaving both fans and players surprised by the referees’ decision.
The call was made due to a palm to the facemask of Young, deemed by the officials as a forcible blow to the head of the quarterback.
The controversy stems from the subjective nature of the term “forcible.” Many viewers have expressed doubt over whether Lawrence’s action truly constituted a forcible blow.
Yes, Dexter Lawrence touched Bryce Young's facemask, but it wasn't a grab or a slap.
Thoughts on this "Roughing the passer" penalty?pic.twitter.com/yU6TEJG9oI
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 18, 2023
Upon reviewing the footage, it appeared that Lawrence’s contact with Young’s head was inadvertent and lacked the aggressive intent often associated with roughing the passer penalties.
Some fans argue that these types of calls are disrupting the flow of the game and making it increasingly difficult for defenders to play aggressively and effectively.
Others believe that while player safety is paramount, there should be a clearer distinction between incidental contact and intentional fouls, to prevent unfair penalties from influencing the outcome of games.
He was making a play on the ball. They need to fix this rule.
— Bum (@TaiyoYozakura) August 19, 2023
Soft call but technically the right one. not allowed to make contact with with head Doesn’t mean I agree.
— The Rational Football League Show (@TheRFLShow) August 18, 2023
If these are the type of calls in the regular season, we’re going to have a big issue
— JT 𓅪 (@JadenSEAA) August 18, 2023
As the NFL preseason continues and teams prepare for the regular season, this incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges the league faces in striking the right balance between enforcing player safety and maintaining the essence of the sport.