Lions safety Tracy Walker was called for the worst roughing the passer we’ve ever seen.
Kirk Cousins isn’t Tom Brady — he doesn’t deserve those types of calls. Yet, in a meaningless Lions-Vikings Week 17 game, the officials pretended that, for just a moment, they were calling a matchup with slightly more importance.
Walker was unblocked, and thus unabated to the quarterback near the goal-line. Now, as a defender, Walker knows he can’t make much contact with Cousins, or else he’ll be called for a 15-yard penalty. It’s not fair, but it’s the profession he signed up for. Nonetheless, Walker hit Cousins square in his chest, and made sure not to land on him with his entire body weight.
Did that work? Nope.
This was flagged for roughing the passer. Horrendous. pic.twitter.com/c1tA7j89Ao
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 3, 2021
Sacking the quarterback in the modern NFL is impossible
To be able to make a legal hit on an opposing QB is an art form, really. There’s a small window of success rate, and even that doesn’t take into account human error by the officiating crew.
The Lions defense has had a tough enough year. In fact, early on in this game they secured the worst defensive performance (over the course of a season) in franchise history in terms of yardage. Walker’s penalty only made a historically bad day even worse.