Two weeks ago, referee Bill Leavy’s crew committed multiple errors in the determination and enforcement of penalties after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was mugged out of bounds by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
Today, Leavy and company made an another mistake that Leavy was forced to acknowledge after the game.
It happened in the second quarter of Minnesota’s loss to Cleveland, when the Browns muffed a punt, the Vikings recovered it and advanced it for a touchdown, the ruling on the field was that the Vikings couldn’t advance a muff, and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier threw the red challenge flag.
In response, Leavy’s crew threw the yellow penalty flag, because Frazier has no ability to challenge any aspect of a play involving a turnover. But Leavy’s crew shouldn’t have flagged Frazier.
“A timeout should have been charged instead of a 15-yard penalty,” Leavy said after the game, via the Associated Press.
If the Vikings had no timeouts, a penalty would have been appropriate.The Vikings still got the ball, but possession was moved from the Cleveland 26 back to the Cleveland 41. The drive ended in a field goal.
It doesn’t mean the Vikings would have scored a touchdown if they had started the drive at the Cleveland 26, or that the score would have been 31-31 at the end of regulation instead of 31-27.
But it does mean that Leavy’s crew has had a very rough start to the season.