Baker Mayfield has legitimate complaint about uncalled pass interference

USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Browns secured a win over the Vikings thanks to an uncalled instance of pass interference in the end zone. On Sunday, the Browns saw multiple missed defensive fouls late in the game, as they both tried to hold their lead against the Chargers and then to recapture it.

Facing second and 10 after the Chargers had scored a touchdown but missed the extra point, the Browns opted to throw. Along the right sideline, receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones tried an out and up near the sticks, and a pump fake from quarterback Baker Mayfield caused Chargers cornerback Michael Davis to bite. But Davis gave Peoples-Jones a hard shove well beyond the five-yard zone, disrupting Peoples-Jones’s route and forcing Mayfield to move to his next read.

He found receiver Rashard Higgins. Mayfield threw it to Higgins. It looked like Chargers safety Derwin James took Higgins down before the ball arrived.

“Might as well just forward the fine letter,” Mayfield told reporters after the game. “We asked the ref on the sideline how the hell he missed that call? I mean, they’re shoving Donovan Peoples-Jones out of bounds and Higgy gets grabbed, so there’s two PIs on one play. They don’t call it?”

Later in the game, with the Browns trailing by five and Mayfield firing a desperation pass on fourth and 10 to the end zone, Davis appears to trip and fall. While doing so, he takes out tight end David Njoku. No flag, again.

A foul on that play would have given the Browns a first down near the end zone and a chance to win the game with a touchdown. On the earlier play, it would have given the Browns a first down and more chances to burn up the remaining time while holding a one-point lead. The Browns got the wrong end of it twice.

The unfortunate lesson to every NFL team is to leave no doubt. To not be in a position to need the officials to, you know, properly do their jobs when assessing whether interference happened.

16 responses to “Baker Mayfield has legitimate complaint about uncalled pass interference

  1. Cities like Cleveland and Buffalo, who do not have years of success never get the calls. It’s just a fact.

  2. The worst part of this is that the calls weren’t even consistent. If the refs had swallowed the whistles, it would have been one thing. But they threw a DPI where the Chargers receiver was wrestling the DB to the ground, and a hold where the Chargers lineman had his hand up under Tretter’s helmet the entire time.

    The first penalty extended a drive on what otherwise would have been a turnover, and eventually led to a TD. The other torpedoed a Browns offensive drive.

  3. I was rooting for the Chargers and it looked like the refs were eating Los Angeles home cooking. There were so many missed calls that hurt the Browns — it looked like they were playing against the refs and the Chargers. There were also some missed/bad calls that went the other way, but not nearly as many. It’s too bad the NFL has opted not to have someone in the league office whose job is to take responsibility for the refs and admit mistakes.

  4. The argument of play better so bad calls don’t determine the outcome has one glaring flaw. The team standing on the other side of you is also REALLY REALLY good. Professionals in fact. They too are also very determined to play better. So, as it is no surprise, many NFL games are close enough to where marginal calls or no calls can significantly impact the outcome of the game.

  5. “Bad calls or missed calls sometimes balance out in the same game, usually within three or four games, and certainly over the course of a season.”
    -Aaron Rodgers

  6. The game is too fast for umpires to get all the calls correct. I don’t know what the answer is , but when the fans can see blatant blown calls on TV ,surely the upstairs booth can see it too……and don’t call me Shirley.

  7. Yes, I feel the calls were generally bad in this game but you can’t let it come down to that. The Browns started with several key players out, then they dropped like flies throughout the game but still had a good chance with 3 minutes to go. That’s when you do everything you can to keep the drive alive to burn out the clock. I didnt have any complaints about Stefanski up until I witnessed that pathetic play calls made in that “drive.” And then to top it off, on a hail mary we have 3 receivers within 5 feet of the ball who stare at each other rather than make a play for the ball. The Browns didn’t have enough fight in them. They better get their act together because that’s the caliber of team they’ll be facing nearly every week for the remainder of the season.

  8. I don’t mind the missed interference calls nearly as much as the non-existent one that was called and gave the Chargers a 1st down and a 30+ yard gain (ultimately leading to a touchdown) on what should have been a turnover on downs. THAT changed the outcome of the game.

  9. I want to see a Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills AFC championship game to earn the right to play in the super bowl. Cleveland moving on to put an epic beat down of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so severe,it effectively puts Tom Brady out to pasture. America needs this!!!

  10. No team can run the ball like Cleveland. NO TEAM. So let’s see how this all plays out in Dec and January when running the ball is imperative.

  11. A few years ago the refs in a Browns Chargers game were so bad they got fired midseason. There’s precedent

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