Referee says Chris Jones landed on Derek Carr with full body weight, drawing the flag

The referee at the center of a controversial call says he followed the rule.

Referee Carl Cheffers stated he went by the rule when he made the eye-popping roughing the passer call in Monday night’s Chiefs v Raiders contests. Kansas City has just scored to draw them within ten at 17-7, when on the ensuing Las Vegas offensive posssesion, Chiefs defensive tackle strip-sacked quarterback Derek Carr, landing on top of him as he secured the football. This great play would have set the Chiefs up with an opportunity to further cut into the Raiders lead, but Cheffers and whistle weren’t having it, as he immediately tossed the flag.

In a pool report after the game, Cheffers said that he observed Jones landing on Carr with his full body weight while the quarterback was in the pocket.

“[Carr] gets full protection of all aspects of what we give the quarterback in a passing posture. 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…[Carr] gets passing protection until he can defend himself,” Cheffers said. “Just as if he had thrown the ball, he still gets protection. … That extends until he’s no longer in control of the ball.”

NFL referee Carl Cheffers in a post game pool report

Needless to say the Chiefs, particularly head coach Andy Reid were incensed at the call, with the Reid giving Cheffers a piece his mind twice- once right after the call and again as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms at halftime.

Jones said he braced himself with the arm that wasn’t holding the ball, as to avoid falling on Carr with all his weight.

This was the second seemingly egregiously atroicious roughing the passer in as many days on nationally televised contests. The day before, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett also caught a roughing the passer penalty for what appeared to be a run-of-the-mill sack of Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Instead of forcing a punt that would have given the Falcons, down 21-15, an opportunity to potentially win, the penalty gave Tampa a first down, allowing them to run the clock out.

How should I tackle people? How should I not roll on him? I’m trying my best. I’m 325 pounds, OK? What do you want me to do? I’m going full speed trying to get the quarterback…

They have put such an emphasis on roughing the passer penalties that we’ve got to be able to review it in the booth,” Jones said. “That’s the next step. … Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Now it’s getting absurd. Now it’s costing teams games.

I actually stripped the ball and gravity kind of took me to the ground. That’s a roughing the passer call at a critical situation in the game. It’s third down, and we’re down 10 points. … A lot of these roughing the passer calls would be called back [after video review].

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