Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has spoken on the controversial roughing the passer penalty issued out by Jerome Boger to seal the deal for Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday.
Not to say the worst roughing the passer penalty of all time cost the Atlanta Falcons the game, but Grady Jarrett was disgustingly robbed of a monumental moment by Jerome Boger, well, because Tom Brady plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…
For as anonymous of a team as the Falcons have been for the last half decade or so, this controversial penalty had NFL fans everywhere furious. It may have had to do more with Brady getting an incredibly favorable call. However, this was a game between a pair of division rivals looking to claim first place all by themselves atop the NFC South. Atlanta almost had it on Sunday.
Along with left tackle Jake Matthews, Jarrett is one of the longest tenured players on the Falcons. He has fully embraced his increased media role as the Falcons’ go-to interviewee on 680 The Fan now that Matt Ryan plays for the Indianapolis Colts. Jarrett grew up in nearby Conyers, starred at Clemson and plays for the same NFL franchise his father Jessie Tuggle became a local hero with.
Here is what Jarrett had to say about the roughing the passer penalty two days after the fact.
“I’m not saying that lost us the game,” said Jarrett on 680 The Fan on Tuesday morning. “I’m saying all we wanted was an opportunity that we as a whole team, staff and organization earned in that moment, you know. That’s unfortunate that it had to go down like that.”
Jarrett did not speak with the media after Atlanta’s heartbreaking loss in Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Falcons DT Grady Jarrett speaks about controversial roughing the passer penalty
It may have taken a minute to get it out of him, but Jarrett’s take on the matter is 100 percent correct. No, the roughing the passer penalty doled out by Boger like it was Halloween candy for the kids did not cost the Falcons the game; it cost them the opportunity to go and win it. Atlanta battled back from a 21-0 deficit to make it a one-score game. Tampa Bay would have had to punt.
Down 21-15, Atlanta stood a great possibility of doing something it never has before: Beat Brady. While he did not play Atlanta regularly while with the New England Patriots, Brady is in his third and final season with the Buccaneers, one of the Falcons’ three biannual division rivals. The Buccaneers are well aware of how good of a job Arthur Smith is doing in Flowery Branch of late.
Ultimately, Dirty Bird Nation should be proud with how Jarrett answered this question. Brady’s teams have given him nightmares for years, or ever since Super Bowl 51… A more reactionary individual would have been especially bitter on local radio, even two days after the fact. Jarrett’s response is a testament to his leadership and where this Falcons team is heading under Smith.
At 2-3, the Falcons have been in all five games and the rest of the NFL world has taken notice.