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#pounditSaturday, October 24, 2020

Jon Gruden penalized for throwing challenge flag just before halftime

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden was widely ridiculed for throwing a challenge flag even though the game situation did not allow him to.

Gruden’s Oakland Raiders allowed a catch at the goal line to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce with 7 seconds left in the first half on Sunday. There were questions about whether Kelce had possession of the ball before rolling out of the end zone, but the call on the field was a touchdown.

The officials felt confident about the call because they allowed Kansas City to line up for the extra point attempt until Gruden stepped in. Still upset that the touchdown was going to stand, Gruden threw a challenge flag even though 1) all scoring plays are automatically reviewed and 2) coaches are not allowed to challenge inside in the final two minutes of a half.

Gruden didn’t want the extra point attempted until he made sure the officials knew he thought it was a bad call. The Raiders coach could be seen mouthing to the officials “look at it again” and “ball hit the ground.”

The penalty for challenging a play inside of two minutes of a half is a lost timeout. Since there were only 7 seconds left in the half anyway, Gruden didn’t mind being penalized a timeout to desperately ask for another review and get his point across.

His efforts didn’t change the ruling, but the Raiders did block the extra point attempt and went into halftime trailing 19-7.

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