It was a call that ended the Chicago Bears‘ hopes at a potential game-winning comeback in the fourth quarter of their 35-32 Week 9 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
With 1:35 remaining in the game, on third-and-10 from Chicago’s 42-yard line, Bears quarterback Justin Fields — in the midst of a record-setting performance — heaved a deep ball on the left side of the field to newly acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool.
Claypool, who was playing in his first game with the team, was interfered with by Dolphins cornerback Keion Crossen. The Miami corner had his arms around Claypool long before the ball arrived, which is textbook pass interference. The officials neglected to throw a flag, and naturally, Twitter had a great deal to say about it, with one prominent league analyst calling on the NFL to issue an apology to the Bears.
Analysts & Fans Respond to Blown PI Call on Bears’ Chase Claypool
ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon thinks the league should issue an apology to the Bears for the blown PI call. “So, I presume the NFL will issue the Bears and apology for a completely blown call on an obvious pass interference? That after handing Miami every cheesy call all afternoon,” Wilbon tweeted.
NFL rules analyst Dean Blandino said that while Crossen was facing the ball, he was also clearly interfering with Claypool.
“Yeah, he’s looking for the ball, but he’s got Claypool around the waist and he’s pulling him back, clearly impacting Claypool’s ability to catch the football, so I thought it was a foul,” Blandino said, via the 33rd Team. “If I’m evaluating that play from an officiating perspective, I’m gonna say that’s a call we have to make, we have to get the flag thrown there. They (the Bears) were running the ball up and down the field. They had a good chance to go ahead and score a touchdown.”
Those calls “impact the season — it’s not just a game,” Blandino added. “These calls impact seasons.”
When Fields was asked about the play, he says a rewatch clearly showed the interference. “I wasn’t sure during the play but after I saw it on the billboard, it was definitely PI for sure,” Fields said after the game. “Just missed it. Can’t do anything about it. Just have to move on to the next play.”
Officials in Bears-Dolphins Game Made Earlier Questionable PI Call on Eddie Jackson
Earlier in the fourth quarter, with 11:30 left in the game, Bears safety Eddie Jackson was called for pass interference. Jackson was playing the ball and not the receiver, but officials still threw the flag. After the game, Jackson said he spoke to the referee about it.
“He said he didn’t see me playing the ball,” Jackson said, via Sean Hammond of The Daily Herald. “I mean, I didn’t look at the receiver one time, so I don’t know what he was seeing.”
Here’s a look at the play:
Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy also weighed in on the inconsistent officiating in the Bears-Dolphins game. “It is really crazy how Pass Interference is called so inconsistently. Bears were penalized on a questionable call in the 4th Qtr but didn’t get this one??” Dungy tweeted.
The officials also missed multiple calls that should have gone against Miami, as Adam Hoge of CHGO Sports pointed out, including holding:
And hands to the face:
We’ll see if the league admits the officials got it wrong on the PI no-call with Claypool, because clearly, they did.