WASHINGTON — We’ve found the one non-Bengals fan who happens to agree with the pass interference penalty called on Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon in the closing minute of Sunday’s 27-27 tie in London.
On the Redskins’ first offensive play after recovering a Bengals fumble with a minute left in overtime, Kirk Cousins found Garcon on a short pass which went for a 14-yard gain to bring Washington into field goal range at Cincinnati’s 33-yard line. Garcon was flagged for offensive pass interference on the play, for purportedly pushing off Bengals defensive back Adam Jones in creating separation to receive the pass.
Virtually everyone disagreed with the call, which took the Redskins out of field goal range in a game which ended in a tie less than a minute later.
Redskins corner Josh Norman even remarked about the call during his fiery post-game rant lambasting the game’s officials, in which he went out of his way to criticize field judge No. 88, who he said “sucked.”
“The flag at the end of the game where Pierre caught a slant, caught a slant route in five yards. Got separation from the DB. We was in field goal range,” Norman said. “Flag! Coming back! So was that the only first offensive pass interference we had all game? I need to know, because I don’t think Cincy had one of them at all! And if you guys seen the game, there was a lot of that going on.”
Everyone disagreed with the call, except for Chris Russell of 106.7 The Fan.
“Also, Pierre Garcon didn’t run a slant. That’s another problem that I have,” Russell told Chad Dukes, in reference to Norman calling Garcon’s route a slant. “He ran a square-in.”
“But most people believe that that was not a good call on Garcon,” Dukes said.
“Well, that’s fine. I just watched again. It’s a good call,” Russell said. “I mean, I think.”
“Now, Will disagreed,” Russell said, referring to 106.7 The Fan contributor, and former Redskins offensive lineman, Will Montgomery. “Obviously, you disagree. I know Grant [Paulsen] was very upset about it. Many people yelled at me, and screamed at me and said I was drunk and need new eyeglasses and whatever.”
Here’s what Grant Paulsen said, on his own radio program, of the penalty: “There should absolutely not have been a flag called on Pierre Garcon at the end of the game in overtime on that in-breaking route. Did he use his hand a little bit? Yes. Did he push a defender away from him? No. The defender’s lost in his backpedal there, Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones. Sorry about it! That’s not a push-off. And if that’s a push-off, there are push-offs on most downs in the NFL. That was ridiculous.”
“I mean, all I know is I see tight coverage from Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, who is right there,” Russell carried on. “He’s not backpedaling and dropping into a zone like everyone says. Like, he’s not totally backpedaling. He’s right there at the stem, at the top of Pierre Garcon’s square-in route, and Garcon reaches out with his hand — not his elbow, not with his forearm — with his left hand and he shoves Pacman Jones on the right chest, shoulder, creates separation. Now, Jones flops back. Like I said, he sold it well, but [Garcon] absolutely creates separation to make his in-cut.”
Now, let’s see what Montgomery had to say earlier in the day.
“I think that was a complete B.S. call,” Montgomery said. “It was more than clear. Pierre may have put his arm out, but I don’t think that really did much, and the defender was just dropping into zone anyways. But the fact that the arm went up, and the defender kind of went that way, all in one motion, made it look worse than what it was. I don’t always agree with the TV announcers on that one, but I think it was just B.S.”
“This is what I’m confused on,” Russell responded. “Because he gets his hand right on Pacman Jones’ right shoulder and, I mean, he makes contact, and Jones definitely gets jolted a little bit. Now, look. That guy flopped like a 7-2 European center in the NBA. I’ve got no problem agreeing with that — he sold it perfectly — but Pierre makes contact at the top of his route and creates that separation, is my point.”
“But it is a contact sport. But if the defender wants to travel with Garcon, he’s not going to get pushed back as easily,” Montgomery said. “He’s going backwards anyways, and when Garcon extended his arm, he just kind of helped him go where he was going anyways. If Pacman Jones wanted to cover Pierre going across the field, there’s no way he gets pushed like that because he would have fought that pressure more.”
“I would agree with that,” Russell agreed.
“You were going way harder on Twitter,” Dukes insisted. “You were mixing it up with everybody. You were fighting everybody.”
A few fans disagreed…
Dukes suggested that Russell was merely being a contrarian, arguing on Twitter for the sake of arguing: “So he sees what everyone feels about something, and then he’s, ‘I’ve got to take the opposite side of it!’ And then he gets on and he argues himself into a corner, and everyone’s kicking him, and that’s what he wants.”
“That’s not true,” Russell denied. “No. Because everyone’s drunk and ridiculous!”
Russell then guaranteed that Dean Blandino, the NFL’s Senior VP of Officiating, would agree with him: “Dean Blandino’s gonna tell it was a foul!”
(We’ll soon know definitively what Blandino thought of the call, as his weekly “Official Review” segment airs each Tuesday on NFL Network.)
“I mean, by the textbook letter of the law, maybe it was, but the refs need to not have the game go in their hands,” Montgomery added. “That was a little B.S. elbow shove. I probably couldn’t even knock you out of your chair right now if I gave you that elbow shove.”