Raiders-Chiefs Ref Defends Head-Scratching Chris Jones Penalty

The NFL is going down a slippery slope with these calls


Oct 11, 2022

Had the Chiefs lost to the Raiders on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City might have pointed to one of the worst NFL penalty calls in recent memory.

Trailing Las Vegas 17-7 with a little over a minute left in the first half, Chris Jones appeared to entirely swing momentum in the Chiefs’ direction when he strip-sacked Derek Carr on third-and-8 and recovered the football on the Raiders’ 43-yard line. However, the game-changing play was nullified when head referee Carl Cheffers hit Jones with a roughing-the-passer penalty.

NFL fans on social media criticized Cheffers for his call, which came one day after there was a similarly questionable penalty ruling on a play involving Tom Brady. But even after reviewing the play following the Chiefs’ 30-29 win, Cheffers stood by his call.

“(Carr) gets full protection of all aspects of what we give the quarterback in a passing posture,” Cheffers said in a pool report, per ESPN. “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.”

Improving quarterback safety has been a point of emphasis for the NFL in recent years, and that effort recently was accelerated by the unfortunate Tua Tagovailoa situation. But moments like Monday night make it seem as though it’s virtually impossible for a pass-rusher to bring down a signal-caller without consequence.

Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images
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