Though the Chargers may still indeed upset the Chiefs in Kansas City, a victory would entail overcoming a bad call that wiped out a big gain in the second half.
With the Chargers trailing 21-17 and driving, quarterback Philip Rivers connected with tight end Ladarius Green for a 35-yard gain, down to the Kansas City 22.
But it all came back because Chargers offensive lineman Jeromy Clary, an ineligible receiver, was illegally downfield.
But there was a problem with the call. Clary moved downfield while at all times legally blocking an opponent. Under Rule 8, Section 3, Article 1, Item 1(a), that’s not a penalty.
Specifically, an ineligible player “is not illegally downfield if, after initiating contact with an opponent within one yard of the line of scrimmage during his initial charge . . . he moves more than one yard beyond the line while legally blocking or being blocked by an opponent.”
As a result, it shouldn’t have been called.
If the Chargers still win, it won’t be quite as glaring. Still, the officials who threw a flag that shouldn’t have been thrown will hear about it.