When Defensive Pass Interference Helped Green Bay The Most
In Sunday’s game, tight end Jared Cook drew a 30-yard defensive pass interference call as the Packers were driving late in the second quarter. The drive ended with a miraculous Rodgers toss to receiver Davante Adams, but the penalty drawn by Cook was what set up the score.
The massive yardage on the pass interference call led me to investigate the top three times the Packers benefitted from a defensive pass interference call in 2015. Using data from NFLPenalties.com, let’s count them down:
3. Justin Bethel on James Jones
Yards Gained by Penalty: 47
Result of Drive: Turnover on Downs
How it Happened: Late in the Packers thumping at the hands of the Cardinals, Green Bay was playing for pride. With the third quarter winding down, Rodgers and the Packers trailed 38-8. Nothing had worked all day. Green Bay was driving with the ball after surrendering their second defensive touchdown to the Cardinals of the day. Rodgers scrambled in the pocket around his own 30 yard line and went deep for the hoodie-clad James Jones, who drew a 47 yard defensive pass interference on Justin Bethel. It hardly put a damper on Bethel’s day, however, as he had earlier intercepted Rodgers in the end zone as the Packers were driving late in the second quarter.
2. Terrance Newman on Jeff Janis
Yards Gained by Penalty: 50
Result of Drive: Touchdown
How it Happened: The legend of Jeff Janis has humble beginnings. Janis was drafted by the Packers in the bowels of the seventh round, but endeared himself with fans because of his 4.42 speed and miraculous Hail Mary catches. Before those catches against the Cardinals, we can trace Janis’ ascension in Packers fans hearts to this bomb thrown by Aaron Rodgers against the Vikings. A streaking Janis required corner Terrance Newman to practically tackle Janis as the ball arrived. With the Packers leading 9-6 with time running out in the first half, the penalty gave Green Bay 50 yards. The drive was punctuated with a Rodgers to Randall Cobb touchdown strike.
1. Richard Sherman on Ty Montgomery
Yards Gained by Penalty: 52
Result of Drive: Field Goal
How it Happened: There are many things that make Aaron Rodgers special, but his ability to draw the defense offsides throughout a game may be his most valuable. Before this snap, Rodgers drew defensive tackle Michael Bennett offsides. As a result, the quarterback looked deep and took a chance on a throw against talented corner Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. Rookie Ty Montgomery had Sherman and Thomas beat, and as the pass closed in Sherman draped himself over Montgomery to stop the pass. It was the most yards the Packers gained off of a penalty all season, and helped Green Bay put a field goal on the board before halftime en route to a 27-17 victory.