- The NFL’s crackdown on taunting has gone exactly as expected, poorly.
- Week 2’s most ridiculous penalties prove that it is already a problem.
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Roger Goodell, the NFL, and its owners cannot stop stepping on their own toes. Everybody but the No Fun League knew that its point of emphasis on taunting was going to be a problem this season.
And yet, the NFL continued forward with its terrible plan.
Now, two weeks into the season, the crackdown on taunting has become a great unifier among football fans. No matter of our fandom affiliation, we can all agree that taunting penalties suck.
The calls are completely subjective, unrelated and yet crucial to the outcome of the game itself, and downright lame.
At total of 10 penalty flags have been thrown through the first two weeks of the NFL season and many of the calls in Week 2 were egregious.
- Texans tight end Jordan Akins spun a ball after a nice completion for a first down. Taunting.
- Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen talked smack after a first down. Taunting.
- Seahawks corner D.J. Reed had a nice pass breakup and said something to the receiver. Taunting.
- Bills corner Levi Wallace ensured an incompletion and made the incomplete gesture. Taunting.
- Bengals safety Vonn Bell came free on a corner blitz, tipped a pass and let Andy Dalton know that he was close to destroying him. Taunting.
- Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards scored a pick-6 and ran backwards into the end zone. Taunting.
Take a look at the calls from Sunday:
Taunting penalties from Sunday pic.twitter.com/JTRVFMoio2
— Ari Meirov (@AriMeirov) September 20, 2021
Perhaps the worst part is the inconsistency. Lamar Jackson scored an untouched rushing touchdown (that proved to be the game-winner) on Sunday night and did a front-flip into the end zone.
LAMAR FLIPS IN. The @ravens take the lead with 3:14 left!
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2021
Jackson should not have been flagged for his entrance into paydirt, because it is fun. However, for him not to get flagged and the other six players throughout Sunday to get flagged is truly absurd.
The one thing that the NFL loves more than being dumb is standing by their dumb decisions. This is one of them.
Can you imagine if Deion Sanders was still playing?