While most of the focus following the tie between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers was on the penalty called on Clay Matthews that allowed the purple to extend their game-tying drive, on Wednesday our attention was placed on another penalty that could have, ultimately, decided that football game.
And, according to one of the guys in the stripes themselves, never should have happened.
In the third quarter of the game, Aaron Rodgers completed a pass to Davante Adams for a 16-yard gain that would have resulted in a first down. On the play, Vikings’ safety Andrew Sendejo was flagged for unnecessary roughness against Adams, a call that moved the ball into the red zone and, ultimately, set up a field goal for Green Bay. The hit appeared to be a perfectly legal one, but Sendejo was penalized for it.
According to Mike Zimmer, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN, the penalty on Sendejo never should have happened. More precisely, not only did Sendejo do nothing wrong, he apparently did everything right, according to. . .the officials.
Mike Zimmer said on KFAN’s “X’s and O’s” that safety Andrew Sendejo was told by an official at Green Bay that he was flagged for unnecessary roughness even though his form and delivery was correct by rules standards. “He (Sendejo) said, ‘What could I have done different?’” Zimmer said on KFAN. “He (the official) said ‘You did everything right. You couldn’t have done anything different. They just want us to throw the flag.’” Zimmer said he placed a call to the league office to review the incident. Video replay of the hit shows Sendejo appearing to lead with his right shoulder on an open field tackle of Devante Adams after cornerback Xavier Rhodes had made initial contact with the receiver.
“They just want us to throw the flag.”
Well, that’s encouraging.
I’ve got a crazy idea. How about rather than “just throwing the flag,” we throw flags when there are actual penalties involved, eh? Not because the NFL wants it or because you have some quota you need to meet or whatever. Flags for penalties, not for perfectly legal football plays, mmm-kay?