The Las Vegas Raiders had a chance to send Saturday’s wild card game into overtime; however, they fell short. Funny enough, what really stood out about this game was the putrid officiating. That will no doubt spoil the memory of this game.
While no one’s making excuses for the Raiders, a lot of the damage done in their loss versus the Cincinnati Bengals was self-inflicted. On top of this, the referees were not doing them any favors either. While many will look back at this season and acknowledge that the Raiders overcame a lot, exiting early in the playoffs stings nonetheless.
The ten-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Tyler Boyd in the second quarter changed the game, and more importantly, it ended up being the difference in that contest. In what can only be described as a botched call, the Bengals’ signal-caller rolled out to his right and nailed the pass to Boyd right before he stepped out of bounds. However, the issue came up when there was apparent confusion on the field regarding a blown whistle. Even though Boyd himself didn’t immediately celebrate following his catch, obviously something happened. Even the broadcasters acknowledged the whistle, which could be clearly heard mid-play. Talk about good fortune going in the Bengals’ direction.
If you look up the NFL rulebook, go to Rule 7, Section 2, and you’ll clearly see that it states, “when an official sounds his whistle erroneously while the ball is still in play, the ball becomes dead immediately.” Then, it continues by stating, “If the ball is a loose ball resulting from a legal forward pass, a free kick, a fair-catch kick, or a scrimmage kick, the ball is returned to the previous spot, and the down is replayed.”
Giving the Bengals a touchdown on what was obviously a dead play hurt the Raiders. However, the team had plenty of time to turn things around and simply came up short. Needless to say, maybe Jerome Boger’s officiating crew should stay away from the rest of these playoffs.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron