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Jets have not benefited lately from league’s effort to protect quarterbacks


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This is so frustrating.

Jets have not benefited lately from league’s effort to protect quarterbacks


The NFL has made it clear that it protects quarterbacks because healthy quarterbacks lead to healthy TV ratings. It’s one of the reasons why the roughing-the-passer rule is the only one on the books that expressly requires officials to resolve doubt by throwing the flag.

As it turns out, some teams get more benefit of the doubt than others.

A review of the relevant data reveals that, since 2021, the Jets have been penalized 16 times for roughing. In turn, the officials have called only three roughing fouls against Jets’ opponents.

The 16 calls against the Jets are the most in the league in that time frame. The three calls for the Jets are the least.

The Jets last had a roughing call in their favor in Week 15 of the 2021 season. There were none in 2022, and there have been none to date in 2023.

Some would say, “Well, maybe the Jets’ opponents haven’t engaged in roughing the passer.” But when the rules specifically mandate doubt to be resolved in favor of throwing the flag, how can the Jets have no doubt resolved toward a finding that their quarterback has been roughed for 26 straight games?

Common sense, based on the justification the league has provided for being so sensitive to roughing, points to one basic reality. If the NFL is doing it to ensure that big-name quarterbacks will be sufficiently healthy to play in high-profile games, the NFL cares less about lower-profile quarterbacks who frankly don’t put eyes on screens.

Patrick Mahomes? Yes. Zach Wilson? No.

The good news for the Jets, if there is any, is that this could change once Aaron Rodgers returns. The bad news is that, until then, doubt likely will continue to not be resolved in favor of the Jets if/when someone hits Wilson in a way that could be characterized as roughing.

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