Clay Matthews: Roughing the passer penalty was ‘unbelievable’
The controversial roughing the passer penalty called late in the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday was all the talk among Packers fans afterwards.
Clay Matthews was called for roughing the passer with under two minutes remaining, wiping out an interception that likely would have sealed a 29-21 victory for the Packers.
Here's the play from the #Vikings game.
Clay Matthews for roughing the passer again to give the opponent new life on a game ending play.pic.twitter.com/GIaTrkC65O
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 16, 2018
Kirk Cousins took advantage of the extra opportunity and drove the Vikings down the field for a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime. The game ended up as a 29-29 tie.
After the game, Matthews seemed incredulous and called the penalty “unbelievable.”
Clay Matthews on his roughing the QB penalty: , I don’t know what else to do. Did I put pressure on him? I thought I hit him within from his waist to chest, got my head across, put my hands down. To call it at that point in the game is just unbelievable."
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) September 16, 2018
So why did the referees deem it “roughing the passer”? Tony Corrente said it’s because Matthews lifted Cousins and drove him into the ground.
Referee Tony Corrente said Clay Matthews was penalized because "when he hit the quarterback he lifted him and drove him into the ground." It had nothing to do with the new rules protecting the QB, Corrente said in a pool report. Full pool report to come. https://t.co/19B2xEnPVu
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 16, 2018
If that’s not a legal hit anymore, that’s a problem. The rules are making the game more and more difficult on defensive players to do their job — tackle opponents. This rule makes it so that quarterbacks are one step away from being untouchable. Fans were not happy with all the calls for the new rule in Week 1, and this is only making things worse.