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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Browns robbed of win by referees on overturned spot in final two minutes

Browns Raiders referees spot

The Cleveland Browns had a victory ripped away from them by the officials in the final two minutes of their game against the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

The Browns had a 3rd-and-2 at their 17, up 42-34 with 1:41 to go in the game. The Raiders only had one timeout. If the Browns made the first down, they would have been able to kneel out the clock until time expired and win. It looked like that would happen, but a review screwed them.

The Browns handed off to Carlos Hyde, who was hit in the backfield but tried to dive forward for the first down. He appeared to get it too. The officials brought out the measuring sticks, which showed the Browns had made the first down by the nose of the ball.

But the story doesn’t end there.

The officials reviewed the spot of the ball since it was under two minutes.

“I don’t see any way they can change this call on the field,” FOX rules analyst and former NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said on the telecast.

However, the officials decided to overturn their original spot, making it fourth down.

“After reviewing the play, the runner’s elbow was down and the ball was short of the 19-yard line,” the lead official said.

“I wouldn’t have overturned that one,” a stunned Blandino said in response.

That was tough, because nothing on the replays shown by FOX had evidence that was strong enough to overturn the original call on the field.

The Browns ended up punting to the Raiders, who scored and tied the game with a two-point conversion. Oakland went on to win it in overtime 45-42.

Cleveland still had opportunities after the overturned spot to play better and win the game, so they bear responsibility for their loss. But that doesn’t change that the referees took a victory away from them with an overturned call that seemed unnecessary.

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