How Commanders Reacted to Controversial Roughing Penalty Against Patriots…

In a game that saw the New England Patriots facing off against the Washington Commanders, with the Commanders emerging victorious with a score of 20-17 at Gillette Stadium, there was one particular call that left the Commanders organization dissatisfied.

During the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 14-10 and 11:18 remaining, Commanders’ rookie defensive end, K.J. Henry, achieved what he believed to be his first sack of Patriots’ quarterback Mac Jones.

However, instead of a sack, Henry was penalized for roughing the passer, leading to a 15-yard penalty against the Commanders.

After the win, Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera expressed his frustration without providing further details. He simply stated, “It was full body weight,” with his hands on his hips.

Referee Adrian Hill later clarified the call to Professional Football Writer Association’s Nicki Jhabvala, saying, “I was the calling official, and the call was roughing the passer due to full body weight. The ruling on the field was that the defender came down with forceful contact, chest-to-chest, without performing one of those actions to shift most of the body weight away, like a gator roll or a clear move to the side when making contact. He came down directly with that force on the player, hence the category of full body weight.”

Commanders quarterback Sam Howell disagreed with Hill’s interpretation of the play, stating, “K.J. came up with a sack. I don’t know what you guys thought about the penalty or something like that, but we didn’t think it was a great call.”

Had the play been ruled a sack, the Commanders might have forced the Patriots to punt, but instead, the penalty extended the Patriots’ drive. Although the Patriots couldn’t advance much, Chad Ryland kicked a 43-yard field goal, giving them a 17-10 lead.

The Commanders made a comeback, with Howell connecting with Jahan Dotson for a 33-yard touchdown on the next possession, and Joey Slye sealed the victory with a 30-yard field goal.

With this win, Washington improved to a 4-5 record for the season and ended a two-game losing streak against New England. The Patriots had previously defeated the Commanders in 2015 and 2019, but Washington now holds a 7-5 all-time record against New England.

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