Gerald McCoy gets revenge after phantom roughing call on Aaron Rodgers hit

Jason Owens

NFL officials have had a rough time this season with roughing-the-passer calls.

Aaron Rodgers was the beneficiary of the latest gaffe on Sunday when a hit kept a Green Bay Packers drive alive in a 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The Packers faced third-and-13 at their own 7-yard line late in the first half when Panthers pass rushers Gerald McCoy and Bruce Irvin collapsed on Rodgers in the end zone.

Gerald McCoy was the latest defender to fall victim to a questionable roughing call. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Gerald McCoy was the latest defender to fall victim to a questionable roughing call. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

This is roughing?

Rodgers got rid of the ball as Irvin hit him before McCoy took Rodgers to the ground. It was a clean hit that coincided with the pass, but officials deemed that McCoy had roughed the Packers quarterback.

Instead of facing fourth-and-13 backed up at their own end zone, the Packers had a first down at their own 22 with 4:16 remaining in the half.

Packers appear to score

They appeared to capitalize on the good fortune when Rodgers found tight end Jimmy Graham in the end zone for what was ruled a touchdown 11 plays later.

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But replay showed that Graham didn’t have both feet down, eventually setting up an all-or-nothing goal line play with two seconds remaining in the half.

No flag on this McCoy hit

That’s when McCoy got his revenge.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur declined to send Mason Crosby out for a chip-shot field goal, instead opting to go for the touchdown with time remaining to run just one play.

Rodgers handed the ball off to Jamaal Williams who was immediately met in the backfield by McCoy and Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler.

End of half. The Panthers held to enter halftime trailing 14-10 after the roughing call could have ended up much worse for Carolina.

Even with the failed touchdown, it was still a swing in Green Bay’s favor. A punt from the Packers’ own end zone would have set the Panthers up for a scoring chance that they didn’t get as Green Bay ran out the clock on the half.

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