Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis defended defensive end Carl Lawson on Monday for the roughing the passer penalty the rookie received in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-23 win against Indianapolis .
The flag came with 19 seconds left in the first half after referee Jerome Boger ruled that Lawson “used his full body weight” in taking Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the ground.
“Sometimes there can be error made,” Lewis said. “The big point for me, that I made to Jerome as we strolled in at halftime, was that the quarterback was jumping in the air as he was throwing the ball. He was literally leaving his feet, so there’s really no other way to bring him to the ground as you’re tackling him as he’s throwing it and arching up into the air.”
The penalty negated an incomplete pass that would have made it third and 10 at the Cincinnati 37 and instead gave the Colts a first down at the Bengals 22. Brissett hit tight end Jack Doyle for a 7-yard gain on the next play, setting up Adam Vinatieri’s go-ahead, 33-yard field goal at the gun.
“That’s a three-point swing right there, and it’s a huge play in the game,” Lewis said.