By Evan Bleier / September 17, 2018

Clay Matthews: Protecting Quarterbacks Has Gotten Out of Control

Matthews was flagged for a questionable penalty that kept Packers from beating the Vikings.

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 16:  Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) pleads his case with referee Tony Corrente (99) during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, WI. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 16: Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) pleads his case with referee Tony Corrente (99) during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, WI. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In the fourth quarter versus the Vikings, Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander picked off Kirk Cousins for a game-clinching interception.

Or so he thought.

Inexplicably, the referees flagged Alexander’s teammate, Clay Matthews, for roughing the passer for hitting Cousins on the play a moment after he released the ill-fated pass.

As a result of the penalty, Minnesota’s drive was extended and they went on to tie the score to force overtime. The game ended eventually in a tie after missed field goals all around —including a chip shot from Daniel Carlson that would have won Minnesota the game. 

But Matthews seems to feel the game was swung earlier. The linebacker ripped into the referees for making what even Cousins referred to as a “generous” call.

“I have so many emotions running through as far as what a terrible call it was,” Matthews said. “At the same time, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know. You let me know. You tell me. Did I put pressure on him? I thought I hit him within his waist to chest, I got my head across, put my hands down. To call it at that point in the game is unbelievable.

“I don’t know. It’s a difficult call to call,” he continued. “You see how it changed the game. I know there’s an emphasis on protecting quarterbacks, but it’s gotten out of control. I don’t know what else to do. It’s frustrating because Jaire’s interception, that’s game [over], right? Instead, they go down and score, overtime, this and that.”

Daily Brief

15 Things to Know Today, from RealClearLife

June 23, 2019 June 22, 2019 June 21, 2019