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Carlos Dunlap and NFL analysts react to the Bengals DE’s questionable roughing the passer penalty

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If this is seriously a penalty, expect to see flags flying regularly this year. Dunlap was rightfully annoyed by his second roughing the passer penalty in Week 1.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With 1 minute and 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Bengals’ Week 1 win over the Colts, defensive end Carlos Dunlap had a strip sack on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. It was recovered by Clayton Fejedelem who ran it 35 yards to the Indianapolis four-yard line. Unfortunately, the ball was brought back to the Bengals’ 48 yard line due to a roughing the passer call on Dunlap. Bengals fans did not like it. And NFL analysts around the country didn’t like. it. Oh, and Dunlap definitely didn’t like it either.

“I planked and rolled off right away and I tried to let the referee know I was not trying to be malicious and drive him through the ground because I know it’s Andrew Luck after two years, so they’re going to call it tight regardless,” Dunlap said, via Katherine Terrell. “So I tried to do the next best thing. There was no other way for me to try to avoid him on the front side so on the back side I tried to keep my weight from driving him into the ground, which is the terminology they used.”

How are you supposed to sack a quarterback without using your body weight? That question remains unanswered, despite the NFL’s new rule indicating such tackling is not allowed.

From Mike Golic to Trent Dilfer, the NFL community spoke out about the highly questionable call on Dunlap. It was his second roughing the passer penalty in the game.

Dunlap even replied to Dilfer.

Dunlap is breathing easy as the Bengals still won the game, but that play could have been a huge difference maker. The score was 23-17 in the favor of the Colts at the time. The Bengals would have had first-and-goal, if the play counted.

Dunlap got a sack two plays later to show the officials who’s really boss.

Most importantly, the Bengals are 1-0, my friends!


Update (Monday 6:45 p.m. ET): The NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, Al Riveron, told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the call on Dunlap was correct and by the NFL rules.

Four flags thrown for players landing on quarterbacks -- on Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett, Cincinnati’s Carlos Dunlap, Minnesota’s Sheldon Richardson and New Orleans’ David Onyemata -- were correctly called as penalties under a longstanding rule that prohibits a player from landing on the quarterback with most or all of his body weight, which is an area of emphasis for officials this year.

Meanwhile, a call made on Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was not correct.