Green Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell strongly believes that the penalty called on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson during the last two minutes of Super Bowl LVI was applied incorrectly.
Wilson was flagged for holding while covering Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp on third-and-goal late in the fourth quarter. The penalty gave Kupp and the Rams a new set of downs, and Kupp eventually caught the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford.
In a thread sent on Twitter on Monday morningCampbell said it was “NOT” penalty but was instead “a great play against a really good football player.”
Wilson was covering Kupp over the middle on the play, a difficult assignment for any linebacker. Campbell insinuated that the optics of the matchup – linebacker against All-Pro receiver – might have influenced the call.
Campbell was a first-team All-Pro at linebacker who finished with the top coverage grade among linebackers with at least 300 coverage snaps in 2021. He might be biased towards the linebacker position, but his experience and expertise certainly carry some weight in the discussion of the play and penalty.
More from Campbell: “…we as defensive players have a right to make plays on the ball as well and Wilson made a great play that was stolen away from him by an absolutely atrocious penalty he never once held or tugged on him he was using his 5 yards re route him.”
Replays showed Wilson had his hands on Kupp, but it’s difficult to see any kind of holding on the play. Stafford’s throw was slightly behind Kupp, possibly exaggerating the look of the contact from the official’s point of view from the end zone.
Campbell said that he believes the Bengals would have won the Super Bowl without the “terrible” penalty called on Wilson.
The Bengals led for much of the second half. Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense got the ball back down three points after the Kupp touchdown but were unable to traverse the field and score. Aaron Donald’s pressure on fourth down ended the game.
Mike Pereira of FOX also believed the officials got it wrong on Wilson’s penalty.
“Wilson gets called for defensive holding. It’s just not holding.” @MikePereira reacts to the defensive holding penalty on Bengals LB Logan Wilson late in the 4th Qtr of Super Bowl LVI. pic.twitter.com/u5i2MZ6oQJ
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 14, 2022
Wilson, a second-year linebacker, produced 100 tackles over 13 games for the Bengals in 2021. He has six career interceptions in 25 games.
While disgusted with the call, Campbell also congratulated the Rams on winning the Super Bowl.
The former Falcons and Cardinals linebacker signed with the Packers as a free agent in June of 2021. He put together a standout first season in Green Bay for defensive coordinator Joe Barry. Campbell is one of many free agents for the Packers entering the offseason.