The Washington Redskins were the victims of a major gaffe by the officiating crew and chain gang on Sunday night that may have cost them a win over the New York Giants. A miscommunication led to the chain gang showing first down on the down box and a referee signaling that it was third down. The Redskins wound up running a deep pass on 3rd and 1, likely because they were led to believe it was first down.
Bad calls are simply part of the game, right? According to Redskins receiver Santana Moss, they have become an epidemic this season.
“It’s probably been worse this whole year as a total, not just this team,” Moss said of the league’s officiating on Wednesday, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “But I’ve watched a lot of football this year. It’s been the worst that I’ve ever seen.”
In particular, Moss said he has seen too much ambiguity pertaining to what constitutes a legal catch.
“You’ve got guys that’s catching balls and they take two steps and they get tackled,” he said. “The ball come out after they hit the ground. It’s no good. And you have another guy do it the next week, he gets the catch. Come on. Somebody has to change that rule.
“I hate the calls now where you see guys — and this is mostly receivers I’m looking at — catching a ball and you fall out of bounds, and you have a [defensive back], now … you’re out of bounds and the guy is still swiping at the ball. And now the guy hits the ball and it bobbles in your hand but you still have the ball on you — no catch. Someone has to change that.”
There have been plenty of bad calls around the league this year, but it seems like that happens every season. That’s all part of the human element of the game, and instant replay has been miraculous in correcting a lot of it. Moss could be right, but he’s obviously biased after what happened on Sunday. It’s hard to blame him for that.