‘Plays like that happen:’ McCarthy, Rodgers, Matthews talk about roughing the passer penalty

GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers’ head coach and QB Aaron Rodgers on Wednesday, Sept. 19 spoke out about the game Sunday, Sept 16 vs. the Minnesota Vikings that ended in a tie at Lambeau Field, and the officiating during the game.

This, with plenty of fans still up in arms about that roughing the passer penalty against Clay Matthews.

It happened on a drive that included a 22-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen from Kirk Cousins and a two-point conversion catch by Stefon Diggs to tie the game at 29.

Matthews called it a “terrible call,” saying: “I don’t know where to start, to be honest with you. I have so many emotions running through as far as what a terrible call it was. At the same time, I don’t know what else to do.”

The penalty negated an interception by Jaire Alexander with 1:45 left that would have allowed the Packers to run out the clock. Referee Tony Corrente said the call was not related to the new helmet-to-helmet rule.

“He picked up the quarterback and drove him into the ground,” Corrente said.

On Monday, Coach McCarthy said Matthews “did what he was coached to do.”

“You really can’t do anything about it after the fact. What are you going to do? Call the league up, say a bunch of bad words, make yourself feel good? That doesn’t work. Trust me, that’s been tried by a lot of people over the years, so the reality is it’s about education and getting it right, but I’m going to tell you this — we haven’t changed anything with the way we are coaching our players,” said McCarthy on Wednesday.

“Plays like that happen. We were part of the ‘fail Mary,’ which took us out of a home game in the playoffs. The kicker for Minnesota missed two kicks in overtime. That may not have happened. These plays effect, it’s the butterfly effect. There’s a number of other factors involved in these situations,” said Rodgers on Wednesday.

“Kind of similar with what we had with the replacement officials in Seattle back several years past, so the fortunate thing is, we are talking about games here, and I know it’s Week 2 and every game matters,” said Matthews on Wednesday.

That ‘fail Mary’ play at Seattle a few years ago involved replacement refs and the real referees came back right after that.