Referee Jerome Boger and the team of referees who worked Saturday’s AFC wild card game between the Bengals and Raiders are not expected to work another NFL postseason game this year. according to ESPN.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Boger’s team isn’t expected to get high marks after a game highlighted by a controversial touchdown late in the first half, one that proved the ultimate difference in a 26-19 victory over Las Vegas. Schefter reports that the NFL normally picks its Super Bowl umpiring team from the divisional rounds, but that teams that score high enough during wild-card weekend can call on the Super Bowl.
The NFL has received some criticism for creating patchwork teams for the postseason, selecting officials from different teams and asking them to work together for the first time when the stakes are higher. Regardless, Boger’s team was heavily criticized for missing a call that ultimately led to a Bengals touchdown that shouldn’t have counted.
The referee error occurred on the two-minute warning of the first half, with the Bengals facing third-and-4 from the Raiders 9-yard line. Quarterback Joe Burrow rolled to the right to avoid pressure, throwing a pass to Tyler Boyd in the end zone just before it went out of bounds. An official inadvertently blew a whistle while the ball was still in the air, apparently causing the Raiders defenders to stop and resulting in an easier score.
After meeting, Boger’s team allowed the call to stand. According to NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson, the reasoning behind the decision was that the team believed the whistle had been blown after Boyd caught the pass in the end zone (replay shows this to be incorrect). . Anderson also added that erroneous whistles are not reviewable under NFL rules.
The NFL rulebook is clear, however, about the rules for erroneous whistles during live plays: “(When) an official erroneously blows the whistle while the ball is still in play, the ball is immediately dead.” righ now”.
The play should have been declared dead, and the umpires presented Cincinnati with one of two options: repeat the down or take the ball where the whistle was blown. Considering Burrow was a yard behind the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball, the Bengals probably would have repeated the attempt.
Regardless, the play stood as advertised, giving Cincinnati a 20-6 lead. Las Vegas was able to score quickly before halftime, cutting the lead to 20-13. Neither team scored another touchdown, exchanging two field goals in the second half as the Bengals earned a controversial 26-19 victory.
The fourth-seeded Bengals await their next opponent and just need to see if the second-seeded Chiefs defeat the seventh-seeded Steelers on “Sunday Night Football.” If the Chiefs win, the Bengals will travel to Nashville to take on the AFC-seeded Titans, who are hoping running back Derrick Henry will return for the first time since Oct. 31, 2021. If the Steelers pull off the upset, Cincinnati travel to face the third-place Bills, fresh off a 47-17 loss over the Patriots.