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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Game-changing roughing calls have Vikings shaking their heads

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers’ 29-29 tie on Sunday had as many game-changing moments as Wisconsin has types of cheese. Two of them involved roughing calls that are being emphasized more this year by the NFL and both flags left the Vikings and Packers scratching their heads.

With under two minutes remaining in the second quarter, linebacker Eric Kendricks was flagged after hitting Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. The penalty came on an incompletion that would have set up second-and-10 at the Green Bay 38. Instead the Packers were set up with first-and-10 at the Minnesota 47 and ultimately ended the drive with a field goal to go up 10 points at halftime.

“The one on Eric it didn’t look like he puffed him up or anything,” Zimmer said. “I don’t know…I think that’s why scoring is way up too, because of the things that they’re calling. But.. it’s an offensive league.”

In the fourth quarter, it appeared the Packers put the dagger in the Vikings’ chances when quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a deep interception, but the play was negated by a penalty on Clay Matthews. Down 29-21, Cousins then led his team to a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion.

“They’re making it really difficult on defenders,” Zimmer said. “You have to hit them in a certain spot and then you hit them and they start to go backwards and your momentum is going to carry you. I’ve even seen guys as they start going to the ground they put their hands out and they still call it.”

Players have tried to quell their frustrations publicly, while also indicating that the application of the rules has not been effective.

“I think it’s a conversation going on in every locker room around the league right now,” Smith said. “I think we know what they’re calling right now. It’s really hard to do. Both teams it happened to and I know it happens across the league too. It’s really hard, especially with how good these quarterbacks are. You just gotta try to keep a foot on the ground or roll to the side. It’s a lot harder to do in real life than it is to talk about.”

“There’s not a lot of consequences for offenses anymore,” Smith added.

The NFL has created a “strike zone” where quarterbacks can be hit, but hitting them in the body seems to result in defenders’ body weight coming down on the QB.

“Now it does, actually, which is kind of ironic,” Smith said. “You’re going to be more body on body. It’s a catch-22 almost. I don’t know.”

“If they see you coming, they dip the strike zone and then you hit them in the head,” defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said. “Just gotta be aware of it.”

Richardson was flagged for hitting 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1.

“I know the feeling,” Richardson said. “I told [Kendricks] to shake it off, I know the feeling. Just be expecting [a fine] Thursday.”

The post Game-changing roughing calls have Vikings shaking their heads appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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