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NFL World Reacts To Controversial Penalty In Bucs-Rams

NFL referee yellow flag

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 03: A referee picks up a penalty flag during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at New Era Field on December 3, 2017 in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 23-3. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to mount a furious fourth quarter comeback against the Los Angeles Rams right now. But a controversial penalty that didn't have the result they wanted has a lot of people confused.

On a fourth down pass attempt, Brady launched the ball downfield where a receiver was waiting. The pass was incomplete, but Rams safety Eric Weddle got a hit on the Bucs receiver after the ball hit the ground.

The flag came out for unnecessary roughness and in most cases that would have resulted in a Bucs first down. But referee Shawn Hochuli explained that since the pass was incomplete and resulted in a turnover on downs, the penalty would not result in a Bucs first down.

NFL fans immediately took to Twitter to express how confused they were. Some believe that rule sets a bad precedent for how teams will play on fourth down:

In the grand scheme of things the play might not have mattered that much. The Buccaneers were down two touchdowns at that point and there's no guarantee that they would have scored a touchdown on that drive.

So nobody's going to be claiming that the Bucs are being "robbed" of the win outright like the Saints were in the NFC Championship Game four years ago. Still, this flag is probably going to see a lot of debate in the weeks and months to come.

Don't be surprised if he hear about a rule change to the dead ball penalty rule in the offseason.