There were plenty of crazy plays in the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night win over the Seattle Seahawks. But perhaps none more bizarre than the unnecessary roughness penalty called on Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt.
Watt was flagged when he repeatedly punched at the ball during a carry by Seahawks running back Alex Collins. Watt’s game is all about trying to strip the football and despite that being his intent, the officials felt the need to throw a flag. Watt addressed this after the game.
“I go for the ball,” Watt said. “As you can see, I got a penalty. I’m always punching the ball.” Any logic of the call falls apart when you consider this. If the officials threw the flag because it appeared Collins was throwing punches, why wasn’t he ejected? There’s no such thing as trying too hard to get the football. So if he wasn’t hitting Collins there’s no need for the flag.
In fact, if we want to take this argument to a logical end, watch Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf on this play. His attempt to strip the football from linebacker Devin Bush looked far more like throwing punches than what Watt did and the officials didn’t even bother to call it a penalty.
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