Clay Matthews speaks on his roughing the passer penalties

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews seems to be the target of what the NFL’s new roughing the passer penalty looks like. Matthews said after the Green Bay Packers’ 31-17 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday that the NFL is going “soft” with their protection of quarterbacks.

Clay Matthews was called for a roughing the passer penalty for the third week in a row. He incurred one roughing the passer penalty against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, a high-profile penalty for the infraction in Week 2, and the latest came against Washington.

The first penalty was for a late hit, but the latter two were for plays that in the past would have been deemed clean. However, the new rules say that you cannot slam a quarterback into the ground and that you cannot lay on them with your body weight. Clay Matthews violated the body weight part of the rule with his hit on Alex Smith.

The rule is a terrible one because they are preventing defensive players from being able to do their job effectively. Please tell me how else Clay Matthews should have tackled Smith in a way that would have not allowed the QB room to break the tackle?

The rule was applied properly, but most football fans and many players hate it. For evidence of that, look no further than Twitter:

The NFL may have to address the rule going forward.

Clay Matthews

Nicholas Norman is the founder of Distinct Athlete and one of the preeminent figures in the digital sports industry. Using his extensive background in sports media, he has built Distinct Athlete into one of the largest, most successful independently-owned sports blogs in the country. Nicholas Norman has worked in sports media for over 8 years, beginning with his time as a student at Troy University. His background includes six years working at the Forward Times Newspaper. Nicholas Norman founded DistinctAthlete.com in Jan. 2012.