The NFL has admitted that a penalty on Washington that helped set up Green Bay’s first touchdown on Sunday should not have been called.
The penalty, for 12 men on the field, gave Green Bay a first down on third-and-4. But John Keim of ESPN reports that when Washington asked the league office about the play this week, the NFL admitted that officials should have called a penalty on Green Bay.
On the play in question, Aaron Rodgers hurried the Packers to the line while Washington’s defense was substituting, and the officials flagged Washington because a player didn’t get off the field before the ball was snapped. But Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was not set before the snap, meaning he should have been flagged, and it should have remained third down. Instead the penalty gave the Packers a first down.
As it turned out, the Packers marched down the field and scored their first touchdown of the game on that drive. If they had faced a third-and-9, they may have had to punt. It was a costly call for Washington, and a bad call that helped Green Bay.