The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Las Vegas Raiders 30-29 on Monday Night Football. But they had to overcome a questionable penalty to do so.
Late in the second quarter, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones appeared to sack Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, strip the ball and recover it, which would have given Kansas City the ball in Raider territory. Instead, Jones was flagged for roughing the passer, keeping possession with the Raiders and giving them a first down. The Raiders went on to make a field goal on the drive.
The penalty has generated a firestorm of criticism, and former NFL coach Tony Dungy joined those upset with the call.
"This is not football anymore. I know we have to protect the QB but Chris Jones was recovering a fumble. We have gotten ridiculous with this." -- Tony Dungy
Referee Carl Cheffers defended the roughing the passer call after Monday night's game.
The penalty on Jones wasn't the only controversial roughing the passer call of the weekend in the NFL. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Atlanta Falcons thanks in part to what looked like a sack by the Falcons' Grady Jarrett turning into a Bucs first down due to a roughing the passer flag on Jarrett. Dungy, who coached Tampa Bay from 1996-2001, spoke out about that call, as well.
"The roughing the passer call on Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett vs Bucs Tom Brady came at a key moment in 4th quarter. It was a terrible call. They have to protect all players, including the QBs. But Jarrett did nothing wrong. I believe this call was an over reaction to Tua last week." -- Tony Dungy
Several other prominent NFL figures, from color commentator Troy Aikman to legendary pass-rusher Lawrence Taylor, have expressed similar outrage about the penalties. After this week, it seems the NFL will have no choice but to revisit its roughing the passer rules.