Even Redskins fans hate penalty against Clay Matthews

Brian Tinsman
September 23, 2018 - 3:52 pm
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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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The NFL's new rules protecting the quarterback are controversial, to say the least. That doesn't make them bad for the game, but they certainly are hard to understand and even harder to properly enforce.

The rule changes this year are designed to prevent defenders from landing on quarterbacks with their full body weight. The injury in mind with this rule, ironically, was the Aaron Rodgers sack in 2017 that broke his collarbone, causing him to miss most of the season.

Packers teammate Clay Matthews, who has been one of the league's most marketable stars of his generation, has struggled to adjust to this rule, earning unnecessary roughness/roughing the passer penalties in each of the first three weeks of the season. The problem is that the hit does not look materially different from a so-call legal hit.

This was his Week 3 hit on Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith at the start of the fourth quarter:

When the FOX TV crew contacted Dean Blandino, former NFL head of officiating, for comment, Blandino confirmed that it was a body weight issue, as Matthews hit him in the legal zone and in a legal manner. Unfortunately, his momentum caused him to land on top of Smith as well which is illegal.

Even he admitted that this is troubling: "I don’t know what else he’s supposed to do here...I don’t like that as a foul. I would leave that alone."

Packers fans sounding off, often in profane fashion, both in the stadium and on Twitter. Redskins fans even seemed bewildered by the call. Even the Redskins-friendly personalities from 106.7 The Fan shared the collective disbelief:

 

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