If the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers played last Sunday’s game under NFL rules and officials’ discretions from 10 years ago, it probably wouldn’t have ended in a tie. The Packers could’ve won that game to go up 2-0 atop the NFC North standings. Instead, they’re now 1-0-1, largely because of one penalty committed by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews during a crucial moment late in regulation.
Matthews was called for a penalty after what looked like a clear hit on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins late in the game with Minnesota trailing Green Bay, 29-21. Cousins’ pass was intercepted as a result of Matthews’ hit. That would have sealed the game in favor of the Packers, but referee Tony Corrente called a roughing the passer infraction on Matthews, thus setting a new drive for the Vikings that ended with them adding eight points and tying the game to force overtime.
“He did what he was coached to do. He tries to brace, the weight distribution,” said Mike McCarthy Monday about the call against Matthews that happened despite him striking quarterback Kirk Cousins on a late fourth quarter throw where Matthews' body actually struck Cousins at the exact moment Cousins let the football go.
“They (the referees) saw it differently.”
Mike McCarthy and the Packers are understandably disappointed, but their focus now should be on next Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Redskins on the road.