The Green Bay Packers 27-19 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night was certainly a surprise to many. Prior to the game, not a single NBC analyst picked Green Bay to win. But the Packers never trailed in the game and won in convincing fashion.
Unfortunately, the stellar play of stars like Jordan Love and Christian Watson was overshadowed by some questionable calls and non-calls by the officiating crew. Fans from both teams came away dissatisfied with how the referees treated their team.
For Kansas City fans, an apparent non-call on Carrington Valentine who was draped across the back of former Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a source of contention.
There was no penalty for pass interference on this late play between Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Carrington Valentine. pic.twitter.com/FFh6BjWx1N
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 4, 2023
For Packers fans, it was a personal foul on Jonathan Owens, whose hit inbounds of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who scrambled for a first down, was equally egregious.
Jonathan Owens was flagged for a late hit on Patrick Mahomes on this play. pic.twitter.com/rpTBgajBAW
— ESPN (@espn) December 4, 2023
Some Packers fans viewed the non-call on the apparent pass interference by Valentine as a makeup call for the Owens call.
Green Bay Packers Left Tackle David Bakhtiari Had Strong Words Regarding Jonathan Owens’ Penalty on Patrick Mahomes
The penalty on Owens, to be frank, should not have been called. Mahomes established himself as a runner, was well-past the line of scrimmage, and had both of his feet inbounds. Furthermore, Owens did not lead with his head or attempt to spear him. It was a hard hit, no doubt; but it was legal.
David Bakhtiari, of course, was not with the team as he rehabilitates his injured knee. He was, however, watching the game, and he took serious issue with the call:
Established himself as a runner. Didn’t give himself up. Was in bounds. That’s so bad. Bullshit.
— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) December 4, 2023
For all the reasons mentioned above, Bakhtiari is not wrong. In a press conference on Monday, head coach Matt LaFleur also voiced his disagreement with the call, stating that he and his coaching staff will continue to teach players to hit the way Owens did in that situation.
Matt LaFleur says Patrick Mahomes was “fair game” when Jonathan Owens hit him inbounds on final drive last night, drawing a penalty: “If they’re in the field of play, you’ve got to hit the guy. So I think JO did his job on that play. We’re going to keep coaching it the same way.”
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) December 4, 2023
As stated, it is unfortunate that the referees are even a story after the great play of several Packers players on Sunday night. Hopefully the NFL does something about the horrendous officiating in this game, and in other games around the league this season (they won’t).