‘Absurd:’ Controversial Call on Rams’ Jalen Ramsey Sparks Reactions

Jalen Ramsey

Getty Jalen Ramsey and D.K. Metcalf exchange words in the fourth quarter on January 8, 2023.

As epic of a game Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams played in Seattle after snatching two interceptions, unfortunately his breakout day wasn’t the central focus of the Week 18 finale.

Instead, it was this controversial roughing the passer call on Geno Smith late in the fourth quarter of the 19-16 overtime loss:

The national reactions immediately sprouted on Twitter with those questioning the call. ESPN NFL insider Field Yates used the word “absurd” to describe the officiating call.

“Geno Smith just ran right into Jalen Ramsey who was on the sideline and Ramsey got called for a roughing the passer. Absurd,” Yates tweeted in response to that play.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus was another who questioned the call made by the officials.

“Jalen Ramsey with a penalty for standing there,” Palazzolo shared.

Doug Farrar of USA Today was another who questioned the decision made to throw the yellow laundry.

“I have no idea what Jalen Ramsey was supposed to do there. Step aside and let Geno score?” Farrar asked.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated zeroed in on Ramsey committing a “flop” after the marker was drawn.

“Rams CB Jalen Ramsey with an EPIC flop after committing a personal foul. Heads up play to try to get the 15 yards back. Didn’t work though,” Breer posted. “And one of the TV guys with the call of the year to describe it: “SHOUTOUT WORLD CUP.” Just a great Week 18 moment all the way around.”

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk pointed out that if Smith were a running back, no flag would’ve been drawn.

“Jalen Ramsey stood there and Geno Smith purposely ran into him. Geno is a runner there, not a quarterback. They would never, ever call that hit a penalty if it’s a running back,” Smith shared.

Ramsey Hit Milestone For First Time in Rams Career

Ramsey ended his game with five solo tackles, a team-high three pass deflections and the interceptions.

But for the first time as a member of the “Rams House,” Ramsey delivered his first career two-interception game after 61 career starts with the franchise. Furthermore, it’s only the second time in his career that Ramsey delivered a multiple takeaway game — the last one coming on November 18, 2018 against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

How did Ramsey get his picks? He set the tone early on the game’s first play though this Smith pass by not getting fooled by his play action attempt:

Plus, that Ramsey pick came in front of Seahawks All-Pro D.K. Metcalf — the same Metcalf who beat Ramsey for the game-winning touchdown in their last meeting with 36 seconds left. And Ramsey wasn’t fooled by Metcalf’s release in this clip:

Ramsey wasn’t through. Interception No. 2 came with his rival Metcalf in the vicinity:

Outside of the picks, Ramsey made a hustle move on this touchdown saving stop near the goal line:

Host of “The Coach McVay Show” J.B. Long sent this message to the Ramsey doubters.

Geno Smith Sounds Off on His Performance

On Smith’s end, he put the Seahawks in a position where they end up finishing above .500 at 9-8 — in what was originally predicted to be a rebuild year with the team releasing Bobby Wagner and trading away longtime franchise QB Russell Wilson.

Smith, though, gave a blunt admission of his own performance against Ramsey and the Rams.

“Probably my worst game of the year,” Smith said via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News-Tribune.

Smith did respond to being asked about the Ramsey hit.

“I just got the wind knocked out of me for a second,” Smith explained. “I was running down the sideline and kind of moving a little bit…and I really couldn’t avoid Jalen right there. He dipped his shoulder and hit me in the right spot. He got the wind knocked out of me. But thank God I was able to get up and continued to play.”

Ramsey was not available to comment on the play as a Rams team spokesperson informed the media that he had taken off to be with injured teammate Russ Yeast in the hospital, who was revealed to have a pulmonary contusion and had to leave the game.

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