The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) came into the Week 5 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons as 11-point favorites, but it took a very controversial penalty call to officially put the game on ice and prevent a brewing Falcons comeback.
The Buccaneers were trying to finish off the Falcons and faced a 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 47.
Tom Brady was subsequently sacked by Pro Bowl defensive lineman Grady Jarrett and it appeared as if the Falcons were about to get the ball back with at least one timeout and a chance to win the game with a touchdown.
But, Jarrett’s party quickly ended as soon as the refs flagged him for unnecessary roughness.
And as you can see below, the play was anything but that.
This may be the WORST roughing the passer penalty I’ve ever seen. Embarrassingly bad call. The Falcons got screwed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 9, 2022
The Buccaneers proceeded to convert the next third down with a nine-yard pass to Mike Evans and that was curtains.
Objectively, the Buccaneers caught a huge break, here. Granted, there was a missed DPI call on the previous play, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Especially egregious wrongs such as the Jarrett call.
Tom Brady was asked about the call after the game and pretty much responded how most assume he would.
“I don’t throw the flags,” Brady told reporters.
Todd Bowles was a big more insightful with his response.
“I don’t know,” Bowles said when asked if he thinks other quarterbacks would get that call. “I saw it against Tua [Tagovailoa] since he got it [and] I saw it in the London game this morning. I think they are starting to crack down on some of the things and slinging back.
“Right now, the way they are calling it, I think a lot of people would have got that call.”
At the end of the day, it’s the perfect example of the NFL being reactive instead of proactive. Of course, they are cracking down on different types of hits to quarterbacks since they caught all of the flak for Tagovailoa a couple of weeks ago.
As for the future? Well, I would expect more calls like this to affect games.
“League safety is at an all-time high, as it should be,” said Bowles. “Anything close, we understand going into the ballgame, they’re going to call it.”
You can check out Bowles’ full presser, below: