7. Roughing the Passer (2018)
The NFL attempted to increase quarterback protection by bringing in new roughing the passer rules in 2018. However, the immediate rollout of this new system was a disaster. This was because the officials were inconsistent in their judgment. It also affected defensive players psychologically and may have inadvertently caused injuries. Officials averaged 11 roughing penalties over the first three weeks of the season (Sports Illustrated).
They often needlessly raised the flag because they were trying to follow the new interpretation of the rules. Dolphins’ defensive end William Hayes tore his ACL because he didn’t want to put his body weight on the Raiders’ QB David Carr when he sacked him. He felt that the new ruling disproportionately favored the quarterback. Over time, the roughing penalties were reduced, but the early weeks were a disaster.