Was Justin Herbert’s forward progress stopped on controversial play?
The Los Angeles Chargers were on the wrong end of a controversial call late in their game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and it cost them a chance at a touchdown.
The Chargers were trailing 17-14 and had the ball at the Dallas 7-yard line with just over five minutes remaining. Justin Herbert dropped back to pass and ended up being chased way into the backfield by several Cowboys defenders. It looked like he was able to throw the ball away, which would have resulted in a 3rd-and-goal from the 7. Instead, an official ruled that Herbert’s forward progress was stopped. The result was an 18-yard loss.
Here’s the play:
This was actually called a sack on Justin Herbert…if this is Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady there’s a 0% chance that is called in this situation pic.twitter.com/6kk3C3ngna
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) September 19, 2021
Instead of 3rd-and-goal from the 7, the Chargers wound up with 3rd-and-goal from the 25. They were forced to play it safe and take the field goal to tie the game at 17-17.
Herbert’s forward progress was certainly stopped, but even CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore agreed that the play should not have been blown dead. Herbert was still trying to make a play, and no defender had him in the grasp. We’ve seen similar plays where the whistle hasn’t been blown, so you can understand why the Chargers were upset.
The play actually was not the only one in Week 2 where a controversial call was made regarding forward progress.