Something on my mind about penalties.

Okay, we've all been fed up with the amount of penalties called against the Lions. There are three that really bug me. The Horse Collar, Offensive Pass Interference, and Chop Block. I'm going to talk about two of them here. Horse Collar and Chop Block

Horse Collar: We saw the Lions called for this twice on one drive today. The second one I completely agree with. The first one (Avril on Palmer) I don't so much agree with. I haven't gone back and watched the the footage, but...was Palmer out of the "tackle box?" I'm not sure if he was. If he was still in the tackle box, you can't call horse collar. Per the NFL rule book


Second-and-10 on B40. As quarterback A1 starts to scramble, B1 pulls A1 down from behind by

grabbing the inside collar of the back of the shoulder pads or jersey, or inside the collar of the side of the

shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulls A1 to the ground. a) A1 is still in the pocket; or b) A1 is

outside the pocket, when this occurs. A1 is tacked at the B45.

Rulings: a) A’s ball, third-and-15 on B45. No foul, as the quarterback (or runner) was still in the pocket

(or tackle box).

b) A’s ball, first-and-10 on B30. Behind/Behind. (12-2-1-d)


First-and-10 on A30. A2 breaks through the line and is at the B10 when B1 catches him from behind,

grabs the collar of A2’s shoulder pads, and pulls him back and to the ground. However, before A2 hits

the ground, he fumbles at the B9, and B1 recovers at the B8.

Ruling: A’s ball, first-and-goal at B5. It is a personal foul despite the fumble prior to A2 being down, and

the enforcement is a foul on a run followed by a change of possession. (12-2-1-d)


Second-and-10 on B40. A2 takes a handoff and runs around left end toward the sideline. B1 grabs the

inside of A2’s shoulder pad opening (or the inside of his jersey) on the side or back and pulls A2 to the

ground, twisting around in front of A2 so that A2 goes to the ground face first at the B35.

Ruling: A’s ball, first-and-10 on B20. Horse collar. The direction that the runner is pulled down is

irrelevant. (12-2-1-d)

The important part to look at is AR 12.91. If he was in the tackle box, that was a legal tackle.

Chop block. We all remember the Peterman's two drive killing chop blocks that never happened...the ones that the ref said "he was baiting the defender into a chop block scenario." The one's I want to talk about are some that I've seen called this year. I've seen at least twice this season where the Lions were flagged for a chop block when the Lineman or RB initiates contact with the defender below the waist. While the defender is going down from the low block a lineman or running back hits him high. Chop block right? Wrong.


Third-and-5 on A30. Quarterback A1 hands off to running back A2 who runs wide around right end to the

50. While tackle A5 is contacting the defensive end below the waist, halfback A3 blocks the defensive

end above the waist.

Ruling: A’s ball, first-and-10 on 50. Legal block—halfback did not block defensive end below the waist.

(12-2-15-5). To have a foul here, the back must block low while the defender is engaged high by another

offensive player.

Now....having posted that. The rules on chop blocks can be very confusing. You actually can have a one man chop block, and you can also preform a chop block that is legal.

This is my best guess at what the ref's were trying to say Peterman was doing.


Second-and-5 on B40. Quarterback A1 drops back to pass and offensive lineman A5 sets up to pass

block, but he does not make contact. A6 is an offensive lineman adjacent to A5. As A5 shows pass

block, A6 blocks the defensive player over A5 in the area of the thigh or lower. The pass is complete to

A4 for a touchdown, and: a) A5 is the offensive tackle and A6 is the tight end; b) A5 is the center and A6

is the left guard; or c) A5 is the tight end and A6 is the wing back.

Rulings: In a), b), and c): Second-and-20 on A45. This is an illegal one-man chop block, provided

lineman A5 shows pass block, and the defensive player being “lured” by A5 is immediately chopped.


Now, what I was saying about there being a "legal chop block" can be found here.


Third-and-5 on A30. Quarterback A1 hands off to running back A2 who runs wide around right end to the

50. Center A5 posts up nose guard B1, and lineman A6 chops B1 in the area of the thigh or lower.

Lineman A6’s original position is: a) left guard; or b) left tackle.

Rulings: a) A’s ball, first-and-10 on 50. Legal block, as A6 was adjacent to A5. (12-2-15-6)

b) Third-and-20 on A15. Illegal chop block. A6 was not adjacent to A5. (12-2-15-6

Basically, if the Guard chops a player that is in contact with the Center, it's legal. If the Guard pulls and the Tackle comes crashing down and chops a player that is engaged by the Center, then it isn't legal.

All in all, the chop block rules are a huge headache and I can see why they are sometimes miss called. However, this is the Ref's job. They are paid not to miss calls like that. Okay, I think I've vented enough.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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