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NFL admits Washington was wrongly penalized for 12 on the field

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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.

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84 Responses to “NFL admits Washington was wrongly penalized for 12 on the field”
  1. mataug says: Jan 13, 2016 5:41 PM

    serious question – can you have offsetting penalty in this case ? 12 men v illegal procedure ?

  2. stevent92 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:42 PM

    Packers are used to this kind of help.

    “Facemask” against Detroit to extend the game 1 play, for example.

    Their offense is almost entirely long pass interference penalties where the ball is never caught.

    They can rarely win without those calls.

  3. karmathaitch says: Jan 13, 2016 5:42 PM

    Logical was right! hahaa

  4. cincy85 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:44 PM

    What about all the no calls on Pittsburg? Oh that’s right the nfl wants Pittsburg in the playoffs

  5. cincy85 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:45 PM

    I think they should sell tickets to be an official because average joes on their couch can call a game better then these clowns in stripes

  6. Jax4 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:46 PM

    Thats it….Get both teams back to FedEx Friday afternoon and restart the game from this point…lol.

  7. enkay85 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:47 PM

    It’s easy to look at this and wonder if the penalty had been called would that have sputtered their first TD drive, kept the momentum on the side of the Skins, and change the whole complexion of the game? As a Skins fan, odds are: no. Packers won – in my opinion primarily because the secondary has been so banged up (1 starter played in their usual spot Sunday and multiple 3rd stringers were in for the injured 2nd stringers) so the Skins couldnt press man coverage and blitz.

  8. jjfootball says: Jan 13, 2016 5:49 PM

    Maybe Green Bay had more money to offer the NFL !

  9. joestemme says: Jan 13, 2016 5:49 PM

    Time for the league to look at the 12 man on the field penalty when teams are using the hurry up.

    If a Defense player is running off the field and is beyond the Field Numbers, then it shouldn’t be a penalty.

    It’s becoming a cheap bush league move to get 5 free yards (or a no INT possibility free play). A player 2 steps from out of bounds 35 yards from the line of scrimmage isn’t a factor in the play.

  10. TheWizard says: Jan 13, 2016 5:55 PM

    Their offense is almost entirely long pass interference penalties where the ball is never caught

    Unfortunately that’s what the deep passing game League-wide has become.

    Every long ball, caught or not, you have receivers and DB’s looking at the officials motioning for a flag.

    It’s pathetic.

  11. gsomatt says: Jan 13, 2016 5:57 PM

    meh.

    Redskins played the way the played during the season. Packers took it to playoff mode.

    Results would have ended up the same.

  12. ben444 says: Jan 13, 2016 5:59 PM

    They should leave it like it is but if you don’t get off the field you should take part in the play. Use the 12th man to your advantage. Maybe we will a D tackle not make it off the field play deep safety or something.

    Go Pack GO!

  13. skinsfolife says: Jan 13, 2016 6:00 PM

    GB was also not set for a second on the 4th quarter penalty that was called with 12:07 left but sour grapes are sour grapes.

  14. shlort says: Jan 13, 2016 6:00 PM

    We should wait until Wednesday each week to officiate games. That way we can see every angle in super slow motion. It is much easier for the officials to see everything live than it is for everyone else who has to sift through every angle of every play at every speed available.

  15. floratiotime says: Jan 13, 2016 6:00 PM

    I think every team in the league has some sort of crazy scenario about how they were screwed out of winning the Superbowl.

  16. shoeflypie says: Jan 13, 2016 6:00 PM

    Based on this, the tomfoolery in the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game, and countless other screw-ups in officiating this year, it is time that fans refuse to attend games until full-time, properly paid officials are in place. Stupid actions like this affect far more games than supposed low-air footballs ever have. Goodell has to go. He has made a farce of the word “Integrity”; I am not even sure what word means anymore related to sports.

  17. liverpoolred04 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:02 PM

    God forbid someone flags Aaron Rodgers.

  18. romosmicrodongs says: Jan 13, 2016 6:02 PM

    Skins fan, Packers beat us fair and square. It was a bad call but that doesn’t help us stop the run. Good game by the pack

    Cmon jarran reed!!! First round

    Httr

  19. Michael David Smith says: Jan 13, 2016 6:03 PM

    It’s a little unclear whether the officials would have called the Packers for a pre-snap illegal procedure and stopped the play before it started, or called the Packers for illegal motion and allowed the play to go on and then called offsetting penalties. Either way, it should have been a third down for the Packers, not a first down.

  20. Rolo Tomassi says: Jan 13, 2016 6:05 PM

    Green Bay Packers have been doing this cheap stuff for decades. Wait until next week vs the Cardinals. The fixer Clete Blakeman is referee. Ah haha nothing will stop the Packers momentum hahaha

  21. patsfan1820 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:09 PM

    Refs won’t be able to help the Packers against the Cardinals they have a much better defense and offense than the Redskins. I see the Cardinals stomping on them again.

  22. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 13, 2016 6:09 PM

    Imagine that, the Packers getting a break from the officials. Crazy world.

  23. packmanfan says: Jan 13, 2016 6:09 PM

    And yet, as always, refs and the NFL will not be held up to the same standards as players are with suspensions and fines.

  24. packmanfan says: Jan 13, 2016 6:10 PM

    I guess the officials are still trying to make it up to them for the Fail Mary.

  25. nokoolaid4thiscowboy says: Jan 13, 2016 6:12 PM

    So far, these playoffs have made a case for addressing the problem with officials.
    We need full timers that must pass a physical test as well to ensure they can get around the field.

  26. kickinpuppies says: Jan 13, 2016 6:12 PM

    The packers TE was 1/10 of a second from being set while the Redskins defender was running off the field like a chicken with his head cut off. I can see how they may have missed the call.

  27. TheWizard says: Jan 13, 2016 6:23 PM

    The packers TE was 1/10 of a second from being set

    I believe they’re supposed to be set for a full second prior to the snap. So it really wasn’t close.

  28. lambeaudungbarn says: Jan 13, 2016 6:24 PM

    While watching that game it was very clear that the refs were calling a one sided game, or WEREN’T calling fouls on one team..
    We all now the League makes more money when Green Bay in in the Playoffs and Super Bowl.
    But when it get’s clear from my living Room something’s wrong!
    Now if they Win Against the Panthers, after a Ref even said the Panthers QB wasn’t going to get calls Rodgers or Brady Would….

  29. 4sacroc says: Jan 13, 2016 6:25 PM

    If MeSean Jackson would have score a TD, instead of showboating, the game might have been different.

    That guy’s a clown.

  30. headwoundharry says: Jan 13, 2016 6:27 PM

    Total game changer.

  31. longtimefanh8tr says: Jan 13, 2016 6:32 PM

    Yep, I watched the game and that was the reason the Packers won.

  32. 1pavikingfan says: Jan 13, 2016 6:33 PM

    GB still would have won I believe – they looked much better this week than previous weeks. Should be a good game vs the Cards.

  33. usdcoyotesfan says: Jan 13, 2016 6:33 PM

    Everybody acts like the face mask was the only bad call in the Packers-Lions Hail Mary game. You people sure don’t want to talk about the uncalled pass interference on the 3rd to last play that should’ve put the Packers in field goal range.

  34. gopack12go says: Jan 13, 2016 6:38 PM

    Teddy We Trust say: “Imagine that, the Packers getting a break from the officials. Crazy world.”

    Imagine that. A Viking trolling the Packers again BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY HAVE LEFT OF THE SEASON!! YOU LIKE THAT?

  35. tsi431 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:40 PM

    The title of this article is incorrect. They were correctly penalized for having 12 men on the field.

    I am sure the NFL could of also found 10-15 holding penalties on this same play, 4-5 illegal contacts against the WR, a few pass interferences as well all on the same play.

  36. mmack66 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:41 PM

    Was Dean out getting a sandwich on that play?

    I thought that was the kind of stuff he was supposed to use the bat phone for.

  37. goodellsucks43 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:49 PM

    Mark Rypien and the 1991 Redskins would have overcome the bad officiating and won the game. The 2015 Redskins just weren’t good enough.

  38. ferraridriver says: Jan 13, 2016 6:53 PM

    I can’t, with certainty, say the Packers will not win the Super Bowl; but, I can, with a great deal of confidence, say neither the Redskins, nor the Vikings will.

    Enough complaining about a five yard penalty that was or was not called.

  39. shaggytoodle says: Jan 13, 2016 6:56 PM

    joestemme says:
    Jan 13, 2016 5:49 PM
    Time for the league to look at the 12 man on the field penalty when teams are using the hurry up.

    If a Defense player is running off the field and is beyond the Field Numbers, then it shouldn’t be a penalty.
    _______

    I disagree, if a guy is outside of the numbers he can still disrupt a wr ability to run a route that shouldn’t be allowed.

    It also isn’t right to hamper uptempo teams… you know which teams don’t get into those situations? The well disciplined ones.

  40. leef2020 says: Jan 13, 2016 6:58 PM

    Just too many ‘apologies’ or ‘we got these wrong’ each week that certainly have impacted the final outcome of many games this and previous years.

    It seems to me that a penalty like this where there is indeed ‘counting’ going on by a referee in a quick time window should be subject to automatic booth review before it is enforced, unless conceded by the guilty team.

    I (and 80% of the population) could fix the NFL’s officiating problems in a week.

  41. amaf21 says: Jan 13, 2016 7:01 PM

    Bad call but it didn’t cost the REDSKINS the game.

  42. trozenfundra says: Jan 13, 2016 7:02 PM

    Can all you conspiracy theorists just go away? EVERY single team has been the victim/recipient of bad calls/no calls. To believe the fix is in instead of just realizing that these are the actions of a group of non-infallible men that may or may not be incompetent is ridiculous.

  43. joestemme says: Jan 13, 2016 7:07 PM

    But, Shaggydoogle –

    I specifically noted that said player must be both outisde the numbers AND clearly running off the field.

    If you wish, you can add that he must be on the ‘wrong’ side of the line of scrimmage for a D player and is making a good faith effort to get off the field. (and don’t say the latter is a judgement call – there are dozens every game)

  44. trozenfundra says: Jan 13, 2016 7:10 PM

    joestemme says:
    Jan 13, 2016 5:49 PM
    Time for the league to look at the 12 man on the field penalty when teams are using the hurry up.
    _____________________
    While the Packers use the hurry up to catch the D with 12 men effectively and get a free 5 yards, it’s ultimate goal is to prevent substitutions. When the O is in hurry up the way the Packers run it, DC’s will be reluctant to change packages or spell tired players. That doesn’t seem like a cheap or unethical tactic to me.

  45. billbrasky72 says: Jan 13, 2016 7:15 PM

    A penalty called that favored the Packers? Shocking!….said nobody ever.

  46. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jan 13, 2016 7:22 PM

    It’s a fix and all about big money, big markets. Green Bay has what, 12 million people? There you go.

  47. alliwantisluv says: Jan 13, 2016 7:22 PM

    Wonderful that the league criticizes it’s own officiating. Give fan lots to talk about. All of which accomplishes absolutely nothing. Are these guys in Congress???

  48. hthejp says: Jan 13, 2016 7:24 PM

    cincy85 says:
    Jan 13, 2016 5:44 PM
    What about all the no calls on Pittsburg? Oh that’s right the nfl wants Pittsburg in the playoffs

    ———

    What about all the no calls on Cincinnati? Oh that’s right, Cincinnati imploded, had a total meltdown, displayed a total lack of discipline, and gave away a game that they should have won.

  49. mark1021 says: Jan 13, 2016 7:25 PM

    IF IF IF…………

    If the Viking kicker hadn’t choked on a chip shot FG, they would still be in the playoffs.

    If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its butt on the ground.

    Bad calls happen to every team. Get over it and get over the idiotic conspiracy theories about certain teams getting special treatment from the refs.

  50. nicofthenorthstar says: Jan 13, 2016 7:28 PM

    In other words, the refs called the game exactly as the league instructed.

  51. fartweasel says: Jan 13, 2016 7:36 PM

    Watch a packer game. They are masters at extending drives with such calls. When they don’t get those gifts from the refs, they lose. The first thing they learn in training camp is how to whine for a favorable calls.

    It would almost be funny if it weren’t true.

  52. mike83ri says: Jan 13, 2016 7:38 PM

    Isn’t 12 men supposed to be when the snap is immenent? Or is that only if the defense has 12 men lined up to play defense? Wouldn’t that then be a pre-snap penalty, or at worst, offsetting?

    Just another example of a convoluted rulebook that needs to be simplified if the NFL is serious about expanding globally.

  53. joparks2012 says: Jan 13, 2016 7:41 PM

    ferraridriver says:
    Jan 13, 2016 6:53 PM

    I can’t, with certainty, say the Packers will not win the Super Bowl; but, I can, with a great deal of confidence, say neither the Redskins, nor the Vikings will.

    Enough complaining about a five yard penalty that was or was not called.
    __________________

    Wow, such nuggets of insight. Most Skins fans aren’t seriously saying this would have made a difference in who won or lost. The better team won.

    In regard to complaining about calls made or missed on the field, we are still hearing about the “Fail Mary” from your fan base and that happened 40 months ago so before dispensing advice on getting over bad calls, have your Packer fans follow it first. Skins fans will forget about this missed call by tomorrow because honestly, it didn’t make a difference.

  54. purpleguy says: Jan 13, 2016 7:44 PM

    Like it would have made a difference. You gotta hand it to Rodgers — he’s great at catching those D-linemen lollygagging off the field. I’m surprised more teams don’t do it.

  55. Same Ol' 1 and Done Vikes says: Jan 13, 2016 7:45 PM

    While the Packers use the hurry up to catch the D with 12 men effectively and get a free 5 yards, it’s ultimate goal is to prevent substitutions.
    ————–
    Don’t even bother to try to explain it. You are talking to fans that don’t have a QB who is in command enough to pull that off or the fan of a defense who has gotten burned by it.

    At the end of the day, every fan wishes their QB could mast er that. But few are capable.

  56. pack15forever says: Jan 13, 2016 7:55 PM

    Is there ever a week in the NFL when the officials don’t screw up?

  57. whatjusthapped says: Jan 13, 2016 7:59 PM

    Ya, this is nothing more than Exhibit #956 for conspiracy theorists that the NFL favors the Green Bay Packers.

    What exactly is a conspiracy theorist? Well, they live in Minneapolis and know nothing of football but its not their fault, they only get to watch the Vikings play. Lack of success in the playoffs cause they to conjure up wild accusations blinded by overwrought jealousy. Apparently the only cure is to claim off season paper championships every spring.

  58. 33vikes says: Jan 13, 2016 8:03 PM

    Packer Offense
    1. Draw dudes offsides
    2. Snap the ball when a DL is 1 step away from the sideline.
    3. Pass Interference penalties.

    Pure offensive wizardry.

  59. trick321 says: Jan 13, 2016 8:14 PM

    Roger Goodell has more David Stern in him than most people have probably realized.

  60. getyourownname says: Jan 13, 2016 8:20 PM

    Ok, but the refs also failed to call personal foul on Washington for continuing offensive ownership.

  61. scoocha says: Jan 13, 2016 8:26 PM

    I am not a Packer fan but I like the team and Rodgers, but man I have seen them get so much help from refs in every game I’ve seen this year. Fake penalties against Detroit brought on their luckback and I knew they would beat the Redskins once Gene Steratore was assigned to the game. Sad but true.

  62. jeydrade says: Jan 13, 2016 8:28 PM

    Refs miss calls every single game. There hasn’t been one game that has ever been officiated perfectly. You can’t sit there and tell me they get every single holding call in that mashed up mess in the middle. Get real.

    Do refs make bad calls? We see it all the time. Do they miss some? Without question.

    It’s all conjecture.

  63. powersnatch0102 says: Jan 13, 2016 8:30 PM

    That bad call totally changed the momentum of the game. Another example of the refs helping along the pitiful packer fan base. No amount of referee help will prevent the beating you will face at the hands of the cards this weekend. Go Cards Go!

  64. streetyson says: Jan 13, 2016 8:47 PM

    P.s. And if Green Bay weren’t all set, you could argue that the snap was not legitimate and thus the Skins should not have been flagged for too many men at that point in time.

  65. coolzog says: Jan 13, 2016 8:55 PM

    Wow, you mean the Packers have calls seem to mostly go their way? No, that never happens…

  66. boogerhut says: Jan 13, 2016 8:56 PM

    Redskins coach was signaling timeout right by the 12th man. How did the ref see the player but miss the timeout signal?

  67. swineherd says: Jan 13, 2016 8:57 PM

    That was a bad call. Bad calls happen and generally work out pretty even over the course of time. The Packers won, good for them.
    Redskins on the rise, Packers on decline.
    HTTR

  68. steelersfanfromtheseventies says: Jan 13, 2016 9:09 PM

    Figures a cincy fan would chime in on a packers thread.

  69. packersonlywin says: Jan 13, 2016 9:12 PM

    Haters will blame refs calls all day, but c’mon, give the Packers a little credit. They went into a hostile environment on the road (and against a rather good team) and came away with a convincing victory! If you ask me, MM took over the play calling at just the right time and this team is looking primed to make a long run in the playoffs. Cheers all! GoPackers! Pimps up! Vikes down!

  70. wrap2tyt says: Jan 13, 2016 9:34 PM

    I saw a few plays where AR had the snap when the REF’s were still out of position, once when the back judge was between him and the ball…

  71. coachkilla6 says: Jan 13, 2016 9:44 PM

    The very next play was a 34 yd pass to James Jones. Wouldn’t have mattered if it was 3rd and 9.

    Get over it.

  72. northernpackfan says: Jan 13, 2016 9:46 PM

    33vikes says:
    Jan 13, 2016 8:03 PM
    Packer Offense
    1. Draw dudes offsides
    2. Snap the ball when a DL is 1 step away from the sideline.
    3. Pass Interference penalties.

    Pure offensive wizardry.
    ———————————————————–
    So you are saying every Green Bay win is due to the complete ineptitude of the opposing defenses? Including the Vikings 10 losses this decade?

    It’s like some posters don’t think about what they are typing before the hit “submit”.

    If your defense can’t stay onside, can’t substitute in a timely fashion, and can’t defend the pass without mugging receivers, maybe they are better suited for Pop Warner leagues.

  73. wafflestomp says: Jan 13, 2016 10:04 PM

    Viking fans have got to be the whiniest in the entire NFL.
    This penalty didn’t even effect the outcome of this game, let alone your own game.

    Is it honestly the 54 years of mediocre/bad football that has twisted and turned you into the sad, bitter fan base you’ve become, or is it something in the water.

    Either way you have my sympathy.

  74. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jan 13, 2016 10:41 PM

    Shouldn’t you Vike fans get started on your 14th annual offseason championship?

  75. saint9904 says: Jan 14, 2016 8:14 AM

    Even if they would have flagged the TE for Greenbay the penalties would offset so it would still have been 3rd and 4. Also, this was at the early in the game so if Washington is trying to say they lost because of this…..that’s weak!!!!

    FYI I am not a fan of either team.

  76. packergator says: Jan 14, 2016 9:09 AM

    Right, because THAT was the difference in the game.

  77. packergator says: Jan 14, 2016 9:12 AM

    33vikes says:
    Jan 13, 2016 8:03 PM

    Packer Offense
    1. Draw dudes offsides
    2. Snap the ball when a DL is 1 step away from the sideline.
    3. Pass Interference penalties.

    Pure offensive wizardry.
    __________________________________

    If it works, who gives a damn? At least GB’s kicker can make 27-yard FGs.

  78. sgtcook1959 says: Jan 14, 2016 10:53 AM

    Oh my! Stop the presses. The NFL is telling us that their refs are human beings and make mistakes. Unthinkable. I’ve been watching football since the early 60’s and by gosh, I have seen bad calls, no calls, week after week. The only difference between then and now, is that the league has so convoluted the rules today, that not even the league knows what a catch is anymore. Sure, the speed of the game might be faster, the players big and more athletic, but its still football and it still entails the same x’s and o’s of yesterday. There is one other significant change to today’s game that separates it from yesterday and that is the number of camera’s that cover the game in high definition.

  79. 1222tmiller says: Jan 14, 2016 12:05 PM

    Not that the refs lost the game for the Redskins, but they made it easy for Green Bay. There was a clear holding by a Green Bay Tight End. With all the ticky-tacky calls on Reed, this was frustrating. That was on a long run from scrimmage. And then late in the game, on a broken play, Garcon was trying to run a second route and was clearly held, let alone had contact. Nothing new for Redskins fans and about half of our games have been very lopsided against the Redskins on bad or questionable ref calls.

  80. thesmartestmanever says: Jan 14, 2016 12:34 PM

    I think most Redskins fans would agree that we are satisfied with the overall product that walked off that field last week. Outside of securing the left guard spot, our offense is set for 2016. On defense Hatcher is retiring and Para is gonna get cut. I think we make Murphy a DE like he played in college and draft another one, the add depth to our secondary. We are in position to go back to back NFC EAST champs. Good game Packers, hope to do it again this time next year. HTTR!

  81. cowboys2016 says: Jan 14, 2016 12:42 PM

    This still does not mean anything. Green Bay was just a better team than Washington. Let’s not give Logical to much credit. Beside the Redskins won the division by default. They have not beaten a playoff caliber team this past season.

  82. feleciasite says: Jan 14, 2016 12:55 PM

    I’ve been watching football all my life and every time i watch a game the refs call a bad penalty. Sometimes it’s for your team and sometimes it’s against your team. This bad call in no way helped the Packers win over the Redskins.

  83. defscottyb says: Jan 14, 2016 2:54 PM

    My Skins weren’t good enough anyway with their 2nd string QB playing over RG3.

  84. wildbill1952 says: Jan 14, 2016 3:40 PM

    Every NFL game has bad calls. What you don’t want to see are potentially game-changing bad calls, where the call gives one team momentum by extending a drive or by stopping a drive. The same goes for non-calls (see the Dallas non-call of pass interference that cost Detroit the game – before the Dez non-catch against Green bay).

    There is a ref whose job is nothing but to watch the OL on the snap, to make sure all players on the OL were set, and that there was no movement prior to the snap. That should have been an easy call against GB. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Part time refs in a full time game means it’s cheaper for the owners, but more costly for the fans, no matter who gets the calls.

    If a bad call hasn’t cost your favorite team at least one game in a season, you either don’t have a favorite team or your favorite team is the 72 Dolphins. Maybe it’s time to make these guys full time, and spend the year studying.

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