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Joe Theismann Rips NFL's Roughing-The-Passer Rule ... 'It's Absurd!'

9/25/2018 12:20 AM PDT

Joe Theismann Rips NFL's Roughing-The-Passer Rule, 'It's Absurd!'

EXCLUSIVE

Joe Theismann says the NFL should straight-up just take the pads off QBs now ... 'cause the league's new roughing-the-passer penalty "has reached the point of absurdity."

The ex-Redskins quarterback watched guys like Clay Matthews get flagged for simply tackling QBs all day Sunday ... and he was LIVID.

So much so -- Joe tells TMZ Sports the next step for the NFL will be to just eliminate QB hits from the game altogether.

"This is my question to the NFL, 'What is the defensive player supposed to do?' Would somebody please explain it to him?" Theismann says.

Remember ... Theismann's career was ended by a violent hit to the QB -- and even he can't believe some of the flags he's seen through three weeks so far.

"You wanted an offensive game, I understand that," he tells us.

"But now you've reached the point of absurdity."

Still ... even with all the flags protecting QBs -- Joe had a hard time watching passers not slide ... telling us that's why Jimmy Garoppolo's season is over after just 3 games.

By the way ... Joe says Jimmy should be ready to go for the 2019 season -- if he follows some of the tips Joe learned during his lengthy rehab process.

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