Selfish penalties are a reality in the NFL. Despite the league increasing the penalty for taunting and excessive celebration to 15 yards a few years ago, players still routinely get flagged for partying too hard after they score.
Getting flagged for celebrating after a touchdown is one thing. At least you put points on the board before you took a penalty. What Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan did in yesterday’s game takes the selfish penalty to a whole new level. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Morgan cost his team the game.
Down by three points to the St. Louis Ram, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was leading the Redskins down to the field for what would have been the tying or winning points. He hit Morgan with a pass near the sidelines, setting the team up within field goal range. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan tackled Morgan and then gave him a very subtle shove as Morgan got to his feet. It’s the kind of agitating play that a veteran like Finnegan has mastered.
Morgan then lost his composure and took one the the dumbest penalties in NFL history. He threw the football at Finnegan’s head and was flagged for a personal foul. The referees marches the Redskins back 15 yards, taking them out of field goal range and, ultimately, costing them the game.
“I should’ve just kept my calm. We were driving. I should’ve kept my calm,” Morgan said after the game.
“One guy doesn’t win or lose the game for you,” Robert Griffin III said.
One guy can sure make a big difference, though.