At the end of Sunday night’s game, the Steelers jumped offside on three consecutive Chargers field goals in a desperate attempt to block the game-winning kick. The third time, the Chargers made the kick anyway. But if they hadn’t, the officials could have given them the three points.
That’s the word from former NFL heads of officiating Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira, who both said in a video for FOX that committing repeated penalties in an effort to stop the other team from scoring is a penalty itself that can result in the team being given the score.
“There is something in the rulebook that I don’t know if a lot of people know about: There is a penalty for continually fouling to prevent a score,” Blandino said.
Pereira said in situations like the game last night, the rules allow for the referee to just give the team the points.
“If you deem that they intentionally did this, intentionally fouled on successive plays . . . the referee could in fact award a score,” Pereira said. “Successive penalties intentionally committed to try to prevent a score, you can go ahead and award a score.”
Blandino said he would have supported the referee warning the Steelers after the second offside penalty that if they did it again, the Chargers would be given the points.
“The rulebook is clear. You give a warning and after the warning you give a score. I would have strongly considered it after the second one, but certainly the third one,” Blandino said.
That result would have been among the strangest endings in NFL history: A team winning a game not because it kicked a game-winning field goal, but because the other team’s penalties prevented it from kicking a game-winning field goal.