- Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been called for three crucial and controversial roughing-the-passer penalties early in the season.
- Matthews has been outwardly critical of the NFL’s new rules to lessen the blows on quarterbacks, arguing that the league is „getting soft“ and that the criteria for the penalties need to be reevaluated.
- The former USC walk-on teamed up with Activision to create a commercial that simultaneously mocks the controversial roughing-the-passer calls and promotes Black Ops 4.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been outspoken in his opposition to the NFL’s new approach to roughing-the-passer penalties. He went as far as telling the AP’s Howard Fendrich that the league was „getting soft“ after a controversial call went against him September 24.
But this week, Matthews took a completely different approach to express his frustration with the league. The former USC walk-on teamed up with Activision to create a commercial that simultaneously mocks the controversial roughing-the-passer calls and promotes Black Ops 4, which comes out October 12.
Matthews posted the video on Twitter and added: „the calls just keep coming – no matter what game.“
The Packers veteran was called for roughing the passer in three consecutive games, the first of which came in Green Bay’s September 9 rivalry contest against the Chicago Bears. Down by just one point with the game on the line, the Bears went for it on fourth-and-9. Matthews got flagged on the play, giving Chicago 15 yards and a fresh set of downs. Had the Bears converted in the ensuing 1:39, the call would have cost the Packers a crucial win in their division.
„I’m really kind of beating myself up over that, because that’s not a mistake that I generally make, especially on fourth down,“ Matthews told Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. „I think last year they might’ve given me a nice warning, but it’s changing this year.“
The following week, Green Bay’s contest once again came down to the wire. The Minnesota Vikings were down by 8 with 1:45 to play when quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an apparent interception that would have sealed the game for the Packers. Instead, Matthews was once again penalized on a controversial call. This time, the call cost Green Bay the game. The Vikings managed to score on the drive and secure the two-point conversion to force a tie.
„Unfortunately, this league is going in a direction that a lot of people don’t like,“ Matthews said postgame. „The only thing hard about this league is the fines they levy down on guys like me that play the game hard.“
The following week, more of the same for the six-time pro bowler. With the clock winding down in the third quarter, Matthews hit Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith and was called for roughing the passer. The call helped stymie the Packers comeback bid, with Washington going on to win, 31-17.
Even Smith himself thought it was a fair tackle:
„I thought he hit me right in the chest with his shoulder,“ Smith said on The Alex Smith Report. „I thought it was pretty sound. I thought it was a clean form tackle so I think [the rule] could definitely be adjusted.“
Roughing the passer. Clay Matthews may actually kill a referee at this point pic.twitter.com/ta9zJqrAOO
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) September 23, 2018
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Source: Business insider