Last season, the NFL officiating made taunting a point of emphasis. This fall, it appears that illegal contact penalties will be on the rise.
Mark Maske of The Washington Post pointed out that 22 illegal contact penalties were called during the 2022 preseason. That's a huge increase from last year's preseason, which recorded just seven illegal contact penalties.
"Illegal contact is a point of emphasis for NFL officials this season," Maske said. "It was not a significant issue during the preseason but worth keeping in mind now."
Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk is reporting that 15 of the 22 illegal contact penalties from this year's preseason took place during the opening week.
It's possible the NFL told its officials to tone it down.
Of course, this will be something to monitor throughout the regular season.
The NFL season will officially kick off this Thursday night, as the Los Angeles Rams will host the Buffalo Bills.