While everything replacement referee-related seemed to go smoothly in the opener between the Cowboys and Giants on Wednesday and in the early session of games on Sunday, the replacement officials were noticeably bad in the second half of games on Sunday. There were plenty of missed calls in the 49ers-Packers game, and the most embarrassing moment came in the Seahawks-Cardinals game when the refs gave Seattle an extra timeout.
On a 2nd and 10 from the Cardinals 13, Doug Baldwin dove for a pass in the end zone and landed on the ball after nearly making a touchdown catch. He appeared to have the wind knocked out of him and he laid on the ground for a minute. The Seahawks had one timeout left at that point, and it was used as an injury timeout since the game was inside the two-minute warning. After the injury timeout, the Seahawks were out of timeouts. Except the refs somehow gave them one, perhaps incorrectly ruling that they should not have been charged with a timeout because there was an incomplete pass on the previous play.
Here is the exact rule that applies based on the NFL’s rulebook (PDF):
Thanks to the extra timeout they had, the Seahawks elected to run the ball on 1st and goal from the 6. They called a timeout after Marshawn Lynch gained two yards, and the Cardinals (and their fans) began complaining that Seattle was given an extra timeout.
Referee Bruce Hermansen explained why they gave the Seahawks an extra timeout.
“Seattle did have a timeout to use,” he incorrectly explained. “Their third timeout was a result of an incomplete pass followed by an injury. The clock was not running. They were not charged without that timeout. This is their third and final timeout.”
The Seahawks coaches knew they were handed an extra timeout by the refs and could be seen smirking on the sidelines:
But the timeout didn’t help them. They threw three straight incompletions and lost the game 20-16. And guess what? Braylon Edwards let a pass go through his hands in the end zone on their final offensive play. Some things never change.
That wasn’t the only thing the replacement refs did on Sunday that drew attention. A few players blasted them for missed calls during games.Google+