During Monday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders, a controversial roughing the passer penalty not only gave the Raiders a first down, but the call also nullified a fumble that would have given the Chiefs the ball. The call got the NFL world in quite a frenzy, but referee Carl Cheffers defended his decision after the game.
According to Pro Football Talk, Cheffers said he called roughing the passer because Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones landed on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr “with full body weight.”
“The quarterback is in the pocket and he’s in a passing posture,” Cheffers said. “He gets full protection of all the aspects of what we give the quarterback in a passing posture. So, when he was tackled, my ruling was the defender landed on him with full body weight. The quarterback is protected from being tackled with full body weight. My ruling was roughing the passer for that reason.”
The call was made even more confusing by the fact that Jones actually forced a fumble and recovered the ball before even landing on Carr. But according to Cheffers, the fumble didn’t play into his decision.
“No, because he still gets passing protection until he can defend himself,” Cheffers said. “So, with him being in a passing posture and actually attempting to make a pass, he’s going to get full protection until the time when he actually can protect himself. The fact that the ball came out and was subsequently recovered by the defense is not relevant as far as the protection the quarterback gets.”
Cheffers may think he made the right call, but it’s safe to say the rest of the NFL world does not – including star pass rusher Micah Parsons.