The officials in the Chargers-Dolphins game on Sunday night might want a mulligan on a roughing the passer penalty that was called against Miami pass rusher Jaelan Phillips following a sack of Justin Herbert. The play in question came on a third-and-9 situation at the L.A. 18-yard line in the third quarter. Phillips was able to get to Herbert and take him to the ground for the sack.
While Phillips did fall on top of Herbert (likely what drew the penalty from the official), it did seem like he tried to cushion his descent and could even be seen putting his arms to the side to further show that he wasn't driving the player into the turf. Nevertheless, it drew yellow laundry.
There have been a lot of bad roughing the passer calls this year, this might be the worst. Jaelan Phillips literally braced himself to avoid body weight. That’s textbook avoiding a penalty pic.twitter.com/ESO16lHwyF— Football Nerds (@FootballNerds_) December 12, 2022
Fortunately for the Dolphins, the Chargers were unable to put up points following that penalty as the defense forced a punt a few plays later. However, it did cost Miami a chunk of field position and did chew an additional 2:10 off the clock in a game where they were trailing by double digits.
Naturally, this penalty drew the ire of many people across social media, including some high-profile figures across the NFL. Here are some of the more notable reactions to what is being viewed as an extremely soft call on Phillips.
One of the worst rouging the passer penalties I’ve ever seen!— Rich Gannon (@RichGannon12) December 12, 2022
Absurd roughing the passer call.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 12, 2022
Awful call— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 12, 2022
Roughing the passer…they gotta penalize refs for ridiculous flags like that some how..— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) December 12, 2022
WHAT THE FRENCH TOAST KINDA ROUGHING THE PASSER CALL WAS THAT?!?!— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) December 12, 2022
Roughing the passer🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬— Charles Woodson (@CharlesWoodson) December 12, 2022
Roughing the passer Dolphins on Herbert was ridiculous— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) December 12, 2022