TAMPA, Fla. — Umpire Jerome Boger said Atlanta Falcons defenseman Grady Jarrett knocked down Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady “unnecessarily” as part of his explanation for roughing passer call at a key third late in the Buccaneers . win Sunday.
The Falcons were down at six with 3 minutes and 3 seconds to go when they seemed to stop the Buccaneers in midfield on Jarrett’s third sack from Brady, but Boger threw a flag allowing the drive to continue and Tampa Bay to coast the clock in their 21-15 victory.
Jarrett had wrapped Brady and then rolled to the ground, taking the quarterback with him.
“What I had was the defenseman grabbed the quarterback while he was still in the pocket and unnecessarily threw him to the ground,” Boger said in a post-game pool report. “On that basis I made my decision.”
Boger said, “No, not necessarily,” when asked if he was instructed to watch for takedowns by quarterbacks like Jarrett’s on Brady following Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury earlier this season.
Brady shrugged when asked about the call and said, “I don’t throw flags,” while Jarrett declined to speak to reporters after the game, a rarity for one of the Falcons’ longest-serving players.
Falcons coach Arthur Smith said he did not speak to officers after the call but was caught by TV cameras on the sidelines with a lively reaction. When asked if he thought it made passers-by rude, Smith dodged the question.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Smith said. “I haven’t seen the film and I have to think about how to train that.”
Tampa Bay right tackle Tristan Wirfs joked about Brady’s age — he’s 45 — but said, “I think if Tom is who he is, he’ll more than not get those calls.”
However, Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said he doesn’t believe the call was made just because the quarterback in question was Brady.
“I saw this one called out. I’ve seen it against Tua since he got it. I saw it in the game in London this morning,” Bowles said. “So I think they’re starting to go against some of the things and fight back, I don’t know. Right now, as they put it, I think a lot of people would have gotten that call. “
Falcons outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who was facing Jarrett and Brady when the sack happened, said, “It looked like football to me. It looked like football. We just played aggressively.”
The passer’s roughing was one of six penalties against Atlanta on Sunday for 55 yards. Tampa Bay was flagged six times for 45 yards.
Earlier on the final drive, Falcons cornerback AJ Terrell was tagged for a defensive holding call on wide receiver Mike Evans, which nullified another third-down stop. Terrell said he contacted Evans on the line.
“It’s something I can’t control with the call, but they only called it in a clutch situation,” Terrell said. “I’m trying to get off the field.”
Bowles said there was agreement on what the game could be called, with league safety in mind.
“League safety is at an all-time high, as it should be,” Bowles said. “Everything close – we understand they’re going into the ball game, they’ll name it.”
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34763681/falcons-lineman-unnecessarily-threw-tom-brady-ground-ref-says Falcons lineman ‘unnecessarily’ threw Tom Brady to ground, ref says