Mike Pereira, the former NFL Vice President of Officiating, provides excellent insight on rules and calls during the course of games for Fox.
So I sought his insight Sunday during the halftime break of the afternoon game.
Let's start with the roughing the passer call on Bears defensive end Julius Peppers with 5:35 remaining. On the play, Peppers was coming at Aaron Rodgers from the blindside, and he appeared to dive, shoulder-first, at the Green Bay Packers quarterback before he released his incomplete pass to receiver Greg Jennings. After making contact, Peppers helmet did hit Rodgers' helmet.
"I don't think any of us really like it. But that is today's game," Pereira told me. "I'm not saying I like the way the rule is being interpreted. Anything high is subject to a foul, and the league doesn't care if the official is wrong.
"They're trying to change the culture in the NFL. You can't get mad at officials when they're doing what they're being told. That's the nature of the game today, and we might as well quit getting frustrated about it."
Pereira also said that offensive pass interference is a point of emphasis.
"The officiating has been working a long time to officiate offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference evenly. So to get that way, you have to put an emphasis on offensive pass interference. If you go back a decade, there weren't that many called at all," Pereira said, noting that Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin was one of the players most often blamed for getting away with it.
Pereira saw all three called on Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery, and he didn't have any problem with flags being tossed.
"As I look at the three, I thought they were all correctly called. If you got the proper angles, that you would actually see that there were three push offs," he said. "There was no mystery to me. There was no phantom call. They appeared to be offensive pass interference."
But Pereira also added that Packers cornerback Sam Shields should have been penalized for defensive pass interference on fourth down.
"Shields grabs the jersey. That should have been defensive pass interference," Pereira said.