The San Diego Chargers lost to the Houston Texans on Monday night in typical Chargers fashion, blowing a 21-point lead in the second half. While the play of Philip Rivers and company down the stretch was inexcusable, a bad call from the officials may have cost San Diego the win.
On Tuesday, NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino admitted that a referee incorrectly called Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas for an illegal hit on Texans longsnapper Jon Weeks in the third quarter. The penalty erased Houston’s field goal and instead resulted in a first down. Matt Schaub hooked up with Owen Daniels for a 9-yard touchdown on the very next play to cut San Diego’s lead to 28-21.
“No, this was not a correct call. This is not the intent of the rule as it was written,” Blandino explained on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. “The rule is to protect the snapper on a field goal or extra point from a direct forcible blow to the head or neck area, or with the crown/forehead/hairline parts of the helmet to the body. It was not designed to prohibit any contact with the snapper, which is what happened on this play.”
The mistake essentially handed the Texans four points in a game they won 31-28. Blandino went on to say that the play can only be called using the umpire’s judgment.
“It’s a judgment call by the umpire, he’s looking at that, and in his judgment, he felt that it was enough for a foul,” he said. “And in our review today, we felt that it was not.”
Did we flash back to 2012 for the NFL’s opening weekend this year? In addition to the incorrect call from the Texans-Chargers game, the NFL also admitted that it should not have allowed the San Francisco 49ers to replay third down after a brawl broke out because of Clay Matthews’ late hit on Colin Kaepernick. That’s two blown calls that may have affected the outcome of games. And these were not replacement refs. Tisk, tisk.Google+