The defining play of the San Francisco 49ers 33-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football no doubt is the illegal contact penalty called on Richard Sherman. The 49ers defensive line managed a sack on Aaron Rodgers and a possible stop.
Then at the last second.
Sherman effectively turnstiles Adams and takes him off his route. The illegal contact on the 3rd down stop continues the game-winning drive https://t.co/yYof8VxLXw— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) October 16, 2018
Illegal contact. Five yards. First down.
A lot of people are saying it was a phantom call. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t. There was illegal contact by Sherman, plain and simple. Just watch the above video if you want your proof. Should it have been called? Well according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert it was. Flags have tripled as it’s a point of emphasis for 2018.
OK. Fine. Then why did the refs wait until after the sack to throw the flag? The contact came after the sack it seems like. Or maybe it came during? Seems a bit late to me.
But more perplexing, if it’s a point of emphasis, why wait until the final minutes of the fourth quarter to make your point? You can’t tell me that no one, especially a 49ers defense that gets an abundance of penalties per game didn’t do that very illegal act Monday Night. Kind of makes you wonder why there wasn’t any other flags for it throughout the game.
But I’m grasping at straws here. The illegal contact did in fact happen. If you want to get on the refs, get on them for the two Aaron Rodgers intentional groundings that went by the wayside, or the third one the officials had to have a committee on to figure out (There’s 29 other quarterbacks where the flag would be thrown with no democracy involved). Get on them for the blatant holding that allowed Rodgers a 30-yard scramble. Or the forward progress non-fumble (now that was garbage). Or the interception that wasn’t reviewed.
Heck, even get on them for the K’Waun WIlliams missed pass interference call. Michael Crabtree says, “hi.”
Richard Sherman had some words on the call as well:
“Regardless of however I might feel about it. I have to find a way to win that play without getting a flag. They gave him a shot to win the game.”
When asked if he agreed with it Sherman answered with this:
“It doesn’t matter if I agree with the call, it’s football. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the call. They called it, I got to find a way to do better.”
The inconsistency in officiating was maddening Monday, despite a “correct” call in the final minutes. That may have been the right call, but it may have been the wrong time to call it.