Just over 24 hours after a controversial rough the passer call played into the Buccaneers-Falcons matchup, an equally as egregious — if not worse — call took place on “Monday Night Football.”
Late in the second quarter of the Monday night matchup, Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones strip-sacked Raiders passer Derek Carr, but a flag for roughing the passer was thrown, seemingly for Jones landing on top of Carr with all his body weight.
Not sure what else Chris Jones can do here… pic.twitter.com/38Z0drK1DL— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) October 11, 2022
This specific implementation of the roughing the passer rule falls under Rule 12, Article 11, Section B of the NFL rulebook, which bans “stuffing” the quarterback into the ground:
B. A rushing defender is prohibited from committing such intimidating and punishing acts as “stuffing” a passer into the ground or unnecessarily wrestling or driving him down after the passer has thrown the ball, even if the rusher makes his initial contact with the passer within the one-step limitation provided for in (a) above. When tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to fall to the side of the quarterback’s body, or to brace his fall with his arms to avoid landing on the quarterback with all or most of his body weight.
But that’s where the gray area comes in: Jones appears to brace his fall with his left hand, which would satisfy the last criteria of avoiding the rule here.
The Raiders would take the 15-yard penalty and parlay it into a field goal to stretch the lead to 20-7. The Chiefs later mounted a comeback to win 30-29, deeming the play somewhat less consequential in the end.
After the game, referee Carl Cheffers explained the reasoning behind his call of roughing the passer.
The full pool report with referee Carl Cheffers on the Chris Jones roughing the passer penalty: pic.twitter.com/pVNdgfhEVL
— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) October 11, 2022
He gets the full protection of all the aspects of what we give the quarterback in the passing posture. So, when he was tackled, my ruling was the defender landed on him with his full body weight. The quarterback is protected from being tackled with full body weight. My ruling was roughing the passer for that reason… the fact that the ball came out and was subsequently recovered by the defense is not relevant as far as protraction the quarterback gets.
No one (aside from Raiders fans) were pleased with the call, starting with Troy Aikman and continuing to Tony Dungy and others:
— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) October 11, 2022
This is not football anymore. I know we have to protect the QB but Chris Jones was recovering a fumble. We have gotten ridiculous with this.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 11, 2022
Chris Jones just became the first player in NFL history called for roughing the passer while holding the ball.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 11, 2022
That is one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen! We stand with Chris Jones.
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) October 11, 2022
roughing the passer? that’s absurd – Chris Jones even was holding the football by the time the two landed on the ground
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) October 11, 2022
Chris Jones roughed the passer on a play that he possessed the ball. A first in NFL history!
— nick wright (@getnickwright) October 11, 2022
The NFL has to fix this rule. We know they adjust how games are officiated and for the sake of the game, it must be done with this penalty. pic.twitter.com/SwUPYSGhr9
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 11, 2022
The NFL has announced a new rule that when a defensive player tackles the QB it is automatically roughing the passer.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 11, 2022
Me: That roughing the passer call on Grady Jarrett is the worst I’ve ever seen.
MNF officials: pic.twitter.com/gToESwbcMl
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 11, 2022