Do Roughing the Passer calls apply differently to Tom Brady?

In a recent interview on NFL Total Access, Joey Porter stated that different rules apply to Tom Brady when it comes to calling Roughing the Passer penalties. As the linked article says, there was some controversy over a couple of calls in the Ravens – Patriots game a few weeks. Ray Lewis complained about the calls after the game as well, and the penalty where the Ravens defender made almost no actual contact with Brady raised the most concern. So that go me thinking, is there actual evidence that Brady gets preferential treatment? Is this comment by Porter accurate?

When a guy can tell a ref when to throw a flag and he gets it and stuff like that, I mean he got his own rules

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any statistics on how often certain penalties are called for a specific player, in particular how often a quarterback gets a Roughing the Passer call. The only evidence that I have at the moment is a couple of anecdotal examples. First, there was a play (I believe against the Vikings) in which Ben Roethlisberger dodged a player who, had he hit Ben, would have been near the knee area. I remember thinking that it would have been a penalty if that had been Tom Brady. Again, in the Vikings – Packers game, there was a play where Brett Favre had his helmet hit during a play. I was impressed, because unlike Brady in the “Ole” play (i.e. the play where the Raven slightly grazed Brady’s thigh), Favre didn’t give it a second thought. I don’t believe that Ben did either in the example that I sited above. But, perhaps you could argue that Tom Brady is just more savvy about working the refs to his advantage than Ben or Brett are.

Now to the point of my post. Do any of you have some more concrete evidence as to whether Tom Brady gets preferential treatment or not? If so, please add it to the comments.


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