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NFL statement regarding Chiefs-Chargers game

[Editor's note:  The NFL has issued a statement acknowledging an officiating error at the end of regulation in Sunday's game between the Chiefs and Chargers, during an attempt by the Chiefs to win the game with a field goal.  The Chargers eventually won in overtime.  If the Chiefs had prevailed, the Steelers would have qualified for the playoffs.  The full text of the statement appears below.]

With 0:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, Kansas City faced a fourth-and-12 from the San Diego 23.  The Chiefs attempted a 41-yard field that was no good.

On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper.  This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense.

Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b) (1) of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that “No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.”

The penalty for illegal formation by the defense is a loss of five yards.  This is not subject to instant replay review.  Had the penalty been assessed, it would have resulted in a fourth-and-seven from the San Diego 18 with 0:04 remaining, enabling the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.

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21 Responses to “NFL statement regarding Chiefs-Chargers game”
  1. flamethrower101 says: Dec 30, 2013 10:56 AM

    And yet the NFL will do nothing about its officials because for some reason it believes the call would not have affected the outcome. Way to go, NFL. You’re now officially worse than MLB.

  2. guppies66 says: Dec 30, 2013 10:59 AM

    I feel bad for the Steelers. That’s a terrible way to miss out on the playoffs.

  3. SJ says: Dec 30, 2013 11:03 AM

    The Chargers were on the opposite end of game deciding ref errors against the Texans and Redskins. This makes up for it.

  4. dietrich43 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:03 AM

    Hope they keep this mind if/when they assess a draft pick penalty for the Tomlin Sideline Two-step.

  5. brobroski says: Dec 30, 2013 11:03 AM

    All around bad year for NFL referees.

  6. dlightner13 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:04 AM

    Well there is nothing that can be done.. once a game is called its called.. bad officiating all yr long

  7. jtpears22 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:05 AM

    Starting 0-4 is also a terrible way to miss out on the playoffs.

  8. RexCanCoach says: Dec 30, 2013 11:07 AM

    …and a very Merry Christmas to all, and to all Steeler fans good night!

    PS – don’t forget to watch the Bengals, rulers of AFC Norris division in the pa pa pa pa-layoffs!!!!

  9. shotdoc56 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:25 AM

    Bengals should be happy, they may actually win a playoff game against the Chargers. Would have been nice to watch the Steelers knock them out of the playoffs.

  10. larryll62 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:25 AM

    Y’all just don’t get it. The Steelers should not have lost eight games, that is true, but referees are supposed to call the game, and San Diego likely should have lost that game. That is the truth.

  11. saneman66 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:37 AM

    Actually as bad as that call was on a technical basis, refs have missed those kind of calls in the past. What pisses me off is that fumble return call. Now a ref can make a mistake in real time on forward progress, but the logic involved in that made no sense and what made it unjust was how Leavy hustled the next snap without giving kC a chance to challenge the spot after initially denying them the chance to challenge the fumble. You just cant make such mistakes on replay type decisions.

  12. saneman66 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:41 AM

    I will say this, SD did get robbed by the refs in a prior game (was it Denver or Texans) on the FG attempt where SD was flagged. So maybe in the overall scheme of the universe, this was not a major injustice. I remember SD getting jobbed by refs on a couple of MNF games.

    But man, let me just say it doesn’t make it any easier to accept how SD won this game. They had every advantage going into this game, some of it fair, some of it lucky, some of it unfiar – home field, winning OT coin tosss, Reid resting his regulars and 3 iffy to outright incorrect calls/noncalls by refs on the final 3 drives of the game and yet SD barely squeaks in.

    But I hear ya SD fans. to be fair, I have to acknowledge that your team has gotten its fair share of being jobbed by the refs in the past.

  13. jhinton11 says: Dec 30, 2013 12:04 PM

    The truly sad thing is that the league will not do anything about these egregious errors that are impacting the outcomes and the integrity of the game. Officials need to be fined or the plays need to be revisited like I saw a few years ago with an incident in an NBA game. This has to stop.

  14. chawk12thman says: Dec 30, 2013 1:32 PM

    KC wanted to miss and lose the game. They eliminated the Steelers and put in a team that they know can’t compete with them. Leaving 1/2 the team on the inactive list told us all who was going to win. KC just didn’t know how bad SD really was and almost lost out on eliminating the hot Steelers by winning.

  15. falcons88 says: Dec 30, 2013 5:07 PM

    Tell the Steelers they should have showed up against the Titans Dolphins and Raiders and maybe a stupid illegal formation call shouldn’t even be a discussion.

  16. hmcfmf says: Dec 30, 2013 5:55 PM

    Here’s a concepts….Don’t put yourself in position where a refs call makes the difference between a win or loss….I’m just say’n

  17. northsidesteel says: Dec 30, 2013 6:45 PM

    The Steelers lost the keystone of their offensive line when Pouncey went down in the first quarter of week 1. It took them half the season to right the ship and start playing decent football. To blame their missing the playoffs on a football game being played 3 time zones away is irresponsible. Good for the Chargers to and the rest of the playoff field. They did their job.

  18. Kolo Jezdec says: Dec 30, 2013 8:01 PM

    The play that bothers me is one that saneman brings up. The 4th down fake punt play in OT. There are no challenges in OT, so that play screamed out for a booth review. Maybe the refs got the play right, maybe not. But why the hurry by the refs to get the next play off? At least check the spot, if nothing else. It appeared that the ball carrier’s helmet came off as well. If so, the play was over, but when? Just take a few minutes to review the play.

  19. PatricParamedic says: Dec 31, 2013 12:11 AM

    I happen to be a medic who has worked for the Chargers in the past, and, I’m very glad they have made the Playoffs.

    But how any ref standing in the defensive backfield when there is literally no play going on, and NOT see that weird defensive line-up . . . is beyond me.

    The penalty should have been called.

    Now let’s all enjoy the Playoffs.

  20. dguild says: Dec 31, 2013 6:51 AM

    I realize the guy during the NBC broadcast only counted 7 on the right side of the snap, but even the NFL doesn’t bother to actually watch the footage before commenting on this? There was obviously 8.

  21. nelly837 says: Dec 31, 2013 2:08 PM

    Why doesn’t the NFL and Goodell step up and admit they need the ability to challenge ANY call during a game if it has playoff considerations or it is actually a playoff game. If both the blown calls happened in a playoff game how do you explain to the team that gets beat that we screwed up and you should have won. I think ANY NFL referee should be automatically fired and banned from officiating anymore NFL games if they blow a call that costs a team a playoff game or a playoff spot.

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