Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson had three receptions for 91 yards receiving on Monday night in a 17-13 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. On one of those receptions, Watson caught a long pass, and he was running towards the end zone, but cornerback Marcus Peters tackled him by committing a horsecollar penalty that prevented a touchdown.
The penalty was committed within the 15-yard penalty, so it was only half the distance to the goal. The ball was placed on the Raiders’ three-yard line. After that, the Raiders held the Green Bay Packers to a field goal. At that moment in the third quarter, the game was tied at 10 before the field goal was kicked. The next question should be asked: in the future, should the NFL reward a touchdown for Watson because he was obviously going to score?
Moving forward, the NFL has to look at this rule in the offseason. In any other instance, it is a 15-yard penalty. If a horse-collar tackle is committed within 15 yards of the end zone and if he clearly going to score a touchdown, Christian Watson should be awarded a touchdown.
This is the same thing in the NHL when there is no goalie for one team on the ice, and the other team is going to score. Rule 57.4 in the NHL says:
“Awarded Goal-If, when the opposing goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, a player in control of the puck (or who could have obtained possession and control of the puck) in the neutral or attacking zone is tripped or otherwise fouled with no opposition between him and the opposing goal, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, the Refree shall immediately stop play and award a goal to the attacking team.”
They are both similar. It is almost the same concept as well.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Christian Watson Speaks Out on Getting Horse-Collar Tackled, and the NFL Should Change the Rule
Packers wide receiver Christian Watson spoke to reporters after the game on Monday. He told them:
“It’s tough, but at the end of the day, I don’t even think I should be in that position. I think I should be able to outrun him, at that point. I just have to be faster.”
At least he is being honest with himself, and Marcus Peters did a very good strategy. However, it is rare that something happens like that in the NFL where someone commits a horse collar tackle within 15 yards of scoring a touchdown, and it was going to be an obvious touchdown.
The NFL always places the ball on the 1-yard line when there is a penalty committed in the end zone. They don’t reward an automatic touchdown in those situations, but this feels different. The NFL needs to adopt a rule in the offseason like the NHL does when it comes to empty-net goals.