Not sure if you caught the end of the Packers/Vikings game, but there was a horrendous penalty call on Clay Matthews that extended a Minnesota drive and ultimately brought us to overtime.
It was late in the 4th quarter, 1:45 on the clock, when a Kirk Cousins interception was overturned because Matthews was flagged for roughing the passer on what I thought was a clean hit.
Apparently the hit is not clean, and you can see it in a split screen below as NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero explains that this “scoop and pull” technique is illegal:
Clay Matthews called his critical roughing the passer penalty “a terrible call”, but I’m told the NFL is actually going to include that play — and #Vikings LB Eric Kendricks’ similar penalty — on a teaching tape that reiterates the “scoop-and-pull” technique is a foul. pic.twitter.com/psqwjN6N9q
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 17, 2018
I honestly don’t see a lot of scooping and pulling there. It’s a pretty fluid forward motion, and Matthews isn’t exactly driving Cousins into the ground. He puts the left hand down to brace himself and try to distribute his body weight so that he’s not landing flush on top of the quarterback.
Minnesota went down the field, scored, and hit a two-point conversion to tie the game at 29.
The other play took place earlier in the game, with Eric Kendricks bringing down Aaron Rodgers at the end of the second half.
Video after the jump:
@mikespofford Look at this Penalty Kendricks got at the End of the 2nd. Is this a Penalty? No way. But the Refs Called it. And If they call THAT Roughing the Passer, then they HAVE to call Rouging the Passer on Matthews. Its Karma pic.twitter.com/cIsjdlokVk
— Nils Petendorf (@npetendorf97) September 16, 2018
Hmm, the first angle makes the flag look equally questionable, but I think you see more of the pull and drive to the ground with the last angle, which I’ll freeze for you:
Looks a little more flag-worthy than the Matthews hit, in my opinion.
Still, it doesn’t seem like either play was malicious or done with any intent to harm the quarterback, yet here we are dealing with another iffy rule change in week two that limits defensive players and changes games. The irony is that the new “lowering the helmet” rule has barely been called through the second NFL weekend, which is the infraction we thought would be ruining the football experience for players and fans alike.