NEW YORK – The NFL said Sunday night’s officiating crew should have stopped play and eliminated confusion about the down and distance at the end of the New York Giants’ 24-17 victory at Washington.
A 4-yard completion to the Redskins’ Pierre Garcon was spotted short of a first down. Referee Jeff Triplette signaled third down. But the head linesman, with Washington in a hurry-up offense, incorrectly motioned for the crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.
League officiating director Dean Blandino said Monday in a statement that in this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs. This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.
Only the referee can rule and signal a first down. The official nearest to the down markers and chain crew, the head linesman, is required to wait for that first-down signal from the referee before moving the chains. That did not happen at FedEx Field.
After Washington’s incomplete pass on the next play – which many Redskins believed was on first down – the chains were moved back and the down boxes correctly reset to fourth down.
Body at stadium ID’d
Kansas City, Mo., police identified the man who died in Arrowhead Stadium’s parking lot Sunday as 30-year-old Kyle A. Vanwinkle of Smithville, Mo.
Police spokesman Darin Snapp said an examination of Vanwinkle’s body did not show obvious signs of trauma. He said it could be four to six weeks before the cause of death is determined.
Three people taken into custody for questioning were released Monday with no charges filed.
Titans call out errors
Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said the NFL told him officials erred on three plays in the Titans’ 22-14 loss to Indianapolis, including one flag that should not have been thrown at all.
Munchak said officials at the league office told him that an unsportsmanlike conduct flag should not have been thrown for running back Shonn Greene clapping his hands in front of Colts safety LaRon Landry after a run. The Titans did score a touchdown that drive.
Linebacker Moise Fokou was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the end of the first half allowing the Colts to kick a field goal. Munchak says it should have been illegal contact before a pass was thrown.
Also, tight Delanie Walker did catch a pass officials reviewed and upheld as incomplete.
Around the league
Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden is following NFL protocol for a head injury, leaving the Browns without a healthy starter for Sunday’s game at New England. Weeden was injured in Sunday’s loss at home to Jacksonville. Weeden, who threw three touchdown passes, was filling in for the injured Jason Campbell, who is recovering from a concussion. Campbell has not yet been cleared to return to practice.
Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith will remain the starter when New York plays Oakland.