The NFL is one of the most-watched sporting leagues in the world – and for good reason. Week in, week out it supplies thrills and spills that would make even the most seasoned television scriptwriter jealous.
So far the 2022-23 NFL campaign has been no different. We’ve seen injury controversy surrounding Tua Tagovailoa, upsets galore and some questionable calls made by officials.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at some of the latest NFL news to be making headlines.
Carolina Panthers fire Matt Rhule
After three years with the franchise, head coach Matt Rhule has been fired by the Carolina Panthers, finishing his tenure with an overall record of 11-27. Rhule was on a seven-year deal with the Panthers but powers that be at Carolina have decided to cut that short after a string of poor performances.
The Panthers started this season by going 1-4 with not much to show in terms of promise and potential. The latest NFL odds reflect that, placing Carolina as outsiders to make this year’s playoffs.
It’s not just Rhule’s inability to get results on the gridiron but also his attitude off of it that seems to have rubbed some up the wrong way. In recent press conferences he’s claimed his tactics are to score more points than the other team.
Rhule’s ride as head coach at Carolina has not been a smooth one and many of his decisions – particularly surrounding the selection of starting quarterbacks – have been questioned by fans and experts alike.
Now, the Panthers have the opportunity to look elsewhere and attempt to get back on course.
Awful roughing the passer calls impact the sport
Two outlandish roughing the passer calls from refereeing teams in recent games called into question the legitimacy of the NFL for many observers.
The first happened during the Atlanta Falcons’ defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It occurred when Grady Jarrett burst through the line to land what appeared to be a critical sack on Tom Brady. It would have forced a punt and given Atlanta’s offense one last chance to claim victory.
Instead, referee Jerome Boger and his team dropped the flag, indicating that Jarrett had roughed the passer (in this case, Brady). That rule indicates that a defender cannot “unnecessarily or violently throw [the passer] down” when the passer is in the process of throwing a pass or has just released the throw. That didn’t appear to apply to Jarrett’s tackle on Brady and almost everyone watching agreed that this was an awful call from the officials.
A similar call was made in the subsequent game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones appeared to have a strip-sack, a forced fumble and fumble recovery on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr at the end of the second quarter. Instead, he was pulled up on a roughing the passer call and the Raiders were gifted a 15-yard advantage that led to their first down.
The Chiefs managed to go on and win the game 30-29 despite the call, but those two decisions from refereeing teams – which happened within a day of each other – have raised serious concerns over the officiating of the NFL.
Davante Adams apologizes after shoving cameraman
After that narrow defeat to the Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams was involved in a nasty incident as he was walking back to the locker room. Live footage showed Adams shoving a cameraman to the floor before continuing on his way through the tunnel.
The cameraman in question didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong, except perhaps being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Adams was visibly upset after the narrow loss to the Chiefs, during which he scored two long touchdowns. He’s not known for outbursts of emotion, which is why this incident has been so surprising.
He later took to social media to apologize to the cameraman, stating that he “felt horrible immediately” after it happened. The NFL is yet to formally comment on the situation but it’s likely that Adams will be disciplined for his actions.
Dallas Cowboys are flying high
After a four-game win streak the Dallas Cowboys find themselves at 4-1 for the second straight season. A comfortable 22-10 win over reigning Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams proved that the Cowboys are in full flow.
Despite losing star quarterback Dak Prescott to injury in the season’s opening game and questions over their offensive line, the franchise has maintained an impressive run of form.
We are still only in the early stages of the NFL regular season. With plenty more games to come, expect even more drama and news to come out of the league.