November 13, 2016
In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Eagles-Falcons game, Carson Wentz faced a 3rd and 12 in Atlanta territory. With the Eagles trailing by two points, it was a pretty critical play. The rookie threw a bullet deep down the middle of the field in the direction of Jordan Matthews.
And well, this happened:
This is apparently legal. pic.twitter.com/dtfCSSSUsA— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) November 13, 2016
Falcons safety Keanu Neal destroyed Matthews on the play, what should have been an obvious penalty and automatic first down. One problem: The officials didn’t make a call, and the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field rightfully went berserk.
Matthews, whose lip was bleeding from the helmet-to-helmet shot, was not happy after the game.
“Yes, I definitely think it was a penalty,” he said. “My helmet was bent, I had to get a new face mask. I had to change out my face mask and my visor. I don’t know what they saw, but at the end of the day we got the win, so I will take a bloody lip if we get a win.”
Jordan Matthews said he had to get new facemask after hit to helmet.— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) November 13, 2016
Said refs didnt give him explanation: "They didnt see much of the game" pic.twitter.com/FG9gFEGmoV
And later, Matthews even gave a shout-out to a local establishment when taking a dig at the day’s officiating crew.
“I don’t know what they saw out there,” Matthews said. “I don’t know if they were watching the football game, if they were thinking about going to Chickie’s [and Pete’s] later. But yeah, there was a football game going on when I got hit in the face.
The post-game live crew at CSN speculated that Matthews will be fined by the league for those comments, and they’re probably right. I think that is totally unfair, though. If officials blow blatant player-safety calls, the player on the receiving end of the foul (Matthews in this case) should be allowed to complain reasonably to the media. Maybe then the officiating in the NFL will begin to improve.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann