There are controversial missed calls and then there are controversial incorrect calls, and the Las Vegas Raiders were on the wrong end of the latter Saturday during their AFC Wild Card Game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
And while it wouldn’t be fair to say the Bengals advanced in the postseason following their 26-19 victory strictly due to that one call, it is undeniable that Cincinnati benefitted from an inexcusable officiating error.
Raiders head coach Rich Bisaccia, however, wouldn’t offer much on the Jerome Boger-led officiating crew. Bisaccia said he did not have a conversation with Boger about that specific play.
“No, I don’t think they really could have, I didn’t really talk to him about it at that particular time and there was some other things that went on in the game that we had conversations about, but we didn’t talk about that one,” Bisaccia said, per the team.
The interim coach didn’t have anything bad to say about the crew. Las Vegas was penalized seven times for 46 yards to go along with it.
“No, no, no, I think that’s a good crew. I think there’s a lot of things that went on in the game, both ways. So things went both ways,” Bisaccia added. “I have enough problems with my job, can’t do the officiating too.”
Bisaccia’s take was a bit more admirable seeing as though everyone besides Boger knew the incorrect call was made.
It came as an official clearly blew his whistle with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow rolling to his right before the signal-caller threw a touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Boyd. The official’s whistle, whether erroneous or not, should have stopped the play and instead led to a replay of down. It says so clearly in the NFL rule book.
“They can’t have a touchdown on that play, by rule,” NBC’s rules expert Terry McAulay said on the broadcast, as shared by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Burrow’s touchdown throw, which came on third-and-four from the Las Vegas 10-yard line, was ruled the call on the field with replay unable to overturn the whistle. It helped Cincinnati take a 20-6 lead with two minutes left in the half.
If, and it’s a rather big if, the Bengals failed to convert that, Cincinnati may have been forced to settle for a field goal — a four-point difference on the score board in a game that was decided by seven.