The Washington Commanders were on the receiving end of a brutal roughing the passer call against the New England Patriots on Sunday, and it had the NFL world befuddled.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones took the snap and dropped back to pass. Before he could get the ball out in time, Commanders defensive end K.J. Henry came around the edge and got Jones for what he thought was the first sack of his career.
Henry, however, was penalized for roughing the passer.
“I don’t see the call,” FOX commentator Jonathan Vilma said as the broadcast showed the replay of the controversial play. “Mac Jones has the ball in his hands, and he takes him down for a sack.”
The NFL world kept an eye on the games on Sunday and it was shocked by the call.
“KJ Henry of Washington just got a personal foul for just playing football. Unbelievable. He tackles Mac Jones – while Mac has the ball – and causes the fumble. Normal tackle. I’m watching this game with former Patriot @devinmccourty & he agrees this is a terrible call. Unreal,” NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry wrote on X.
“This is the worst roughing call I’ve ever seen. Negated a sack-fumble for rookie KJ Henry. Would have been his first career sack,” 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen wrote. “Do better, @NFL. This is a joke.”
NFL insider Albert Breer added, “So they fine Pat Ricard more than $21K for a simple lead block last week, then flag KJ Henry for this here. And all so they have a shiny ‘We care about player safety’ object to point to as they schedule more short weeks and put down more turf fields.”
The play occurred with 11:12 remaining in the third quarter. The Patriots ended the drive with a field goal to go up 17-10.
New England entered the game 2-6 in desperate need of a victory to right the ship. The Commanders were in the same boat at 3-5 after losing to the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles by a touchdown in consecutive weeks.