Bears' Matt Eberflus disagrees with pass interference calls

Eberflus disagrees with pass interference calls originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Bears players, fans, and pretty much anyone who watched the end of Sunday’s game agrees: there should’ve been a defensive pass interference penalty thrown when Chase Claypool was hugged to the ground before he had an opportunity to catch a deep pass from Justin Fields. After watching the tape on Monday, Matt Eberflus agreed with the rest of the world’s assessment.

“Obviously the whole stadium saw the tug and all that before the ball came in there, so that’s what our opinion is,” Eberflus said. “But again, it was their opinion and they [didn’t throw] the flag… We thought it should’ve been a flag. And that’s the way it is.”

If the non-call was made in a vacuum it would be easier to accept. It was late in the game and refs don’t want to make ticky-tack decisions that have big impacts. Considering the penalty would’ve set the Bears up in field goal range for a potential game-tying field goal, a PI call would’ve been hugely impactful.

But it wasn’t made in a vacuum. The decision not to throw the flag came just after Eddie Jackson had been called for a big pass interference penalty on much less contact.

“Play the ball, try to turn into a receiver, as we’re taught as DBs,” Jackson said after the game. “So as I’m playing the ball, I’m thinking I’m there and I feel the guy hit me, so it’s like I don't know what they’re calling. I thought it was offensive PI, then the ref called it on me. So I turned to him and said, ‘Yo, how is that a flag?’ He said he didn’t see me playing the ball.

“I don’t know what to say. You’re a referee, you’re right on the side, I don’t know how you didn’t see me play the ball. Replay will show you, I didn’t look at the receiver once the whole time. I was playing the ball the whole way in the air, so it’s like, it’s crazy.”

On Monday, Eberflus agreed with Jackson’s assessment that he did well to play the ball.

“Eddie played that really nice,” Eberflus said. “I thought he had a good — I can’t really coach him up any better than that, because he turned back for the ball, he’s got a right to play the ball, and he did play ball. And it was their opinion that that was defensive pass interference and they called it. Again, that’s their opinion.”

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