The Packers' Week 2 tie with the Vikings was due in large part to the controversial penalty called against Clay Matthews.
Late in the fourth quarter, Matthews sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. The sack should have sucked all the life out of the Vikings' frantic comeback. but instead, referees threw a flag on Matthews for roughing the passer. The penalty never should have been thrown. Matthews' hit was violent, but not illegal.
The Vikings would go on to tie the game, and it would stay that way following a scoreless overtime.
On Sunday, in Week 3, Redskins rookie lineman Daron Payne recorded his first NFL sack, drilling Aaron Rodgers with a monstrous hit.
As our Trevor Matich pointed out, it was very similar to Matthews' hit. Luckily, the referees kept the penalty flags in their pockets.
Redskins DT Daron Payne just sacked Aaron Rogers, hard. Looked just like Clay Matthews' sack last week vs Minnesota that was flagged--NFL said penalty was a mistake. Thanks, Clay, for clearing that up for Daron! #HTTR #GBvsWAS— Trevor Matich (@TMatich) September 23, 2018
And as if that were not enough, on the very next series, Matthews was flagged for roughing the passer on Alex Smith.
Like in Week 2, it probably should not have been flagged.
This is a foul for roughing the passer - the defender lands “with all or most of the defender’s weight” on the passer. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9(b): https://t.co/s9YKN8NLuT #GBvsWAS pic.twitter.com/ei2QZkvvzx— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) September 23, 2018
Referees are stuck between a rock and a hard place. But it's clear that Matthews' actions are impacting referee judgment. That is playing into the hands of the Redskins. The NFL agrees that the Matthews' hit on Smith was illegal.
NFL says it supports the roughing-the-passer call on Clay Matthews. Again.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) September 23, 2018
What the NFL needs to clarify is, if Clay Matthews is running directly at Alex Smith and doesn't hit him too high or too low, how can he hit him at all without landing on him?— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) September 23, 2018
Redskins fans will take that to the bank, whether or not it should have been called.
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