In a weekend in which the 49ers-Packers and Bengals-Ravens games had many questionable calls and non-calls, and after a Sunday in which Seattle head coach Pete Carroll was granted a magical 4th timeout, perhaps the biggest officiating error was that the Raiders were owed one last play and the official ended the game. The Chargers special teams were the first to touch the ball, downing it inside the five.
Former head of officiating Mike Pereira explains, from his Twitter:
“Actually, the raiders should get an extra play. The kickers were the first to touch. Raiders should get an untamed down from the 5 yard line”
“Nobody seems to care but the Raiders should get one extra play. Stranger things have happened!”
“Going to bed. Rule 4, section 8, article 2, note, period may be extended for a first touching violation. That is what that was. Good night.”
Would the Raiders have tried a trick play or Hail Mary? Probably. Would it have succeeded? Unlikely. That said, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning and Tyler Palko have all completed Hail Mary’s – admittedly from shorter distances – but it would have been nice for Carson Palmer or Terrelle Pryor to have received a try. Maybe there would have been pass interference, setting up one final shot at the end zone. The San Diego Chargers beat the Raiders 22-14.
I enjoyed this first weekend of football and I have zero problem with the refs themselves. They are looking teachable and well-trained and they had mostly slightly superior performances to what you see in arena football (where a lot of these guys have been working). Unfortunately, in the NFL, you get fewer possessions to make up for officiating mistakes. This last one should be what brings the NFL back to the negotiating table (angering one of the largest fan bases in the sport), but it – just like a Hail Mary completion – it probably won’t happen.
The blame rests with Goodell and maybe, to an extent, the negotiators on the other side.
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