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November 05, 2012

NFL: Panthers were awarded TD in error

DeAngelo Williams' first touchdown since Week Four should have been a 13-yard gain for a first down, the league said Monday.

In a statement, the league said a line judge's early whistle should have signaled the play dead at the Washington 17-yard line rather than being ignored and allowing Williams the 30-yard touchdown.

"By rule, Carolina should have been given a choice of putting the ball in play where Williams was ruled to have stepped out of bounds -- 1-and-10 from the Washington 17-yard line -- or replaying the down -- 1-and-10 from the Washington 30," the league wrote in a statement.

Redskins linebacker Perry Riley is shown on replays within reach of Williams after the inadvertent whistle, and according to the Washington Post, he said he could have pushed Williams out of bounds had he continued to play after the whistle. After the game, referee Carl Cheffers said the touchdown was granted because Williams was in the end zone at the time of the whistle. 

But replays show line judge Thomas Symonette blew the whistle before Williams was even at the 15-yard line. The touchdown gave Carolina its first lead of the game at 7-3 with :25 remaining in the first quarter.

-- Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on November 5, 2012 at 04:11 PM | Permalink


So why didn't he push him out of bounds? Dwill didn't stop running. I would personally like to know the rule of how a delay of game can be called when there is 1 ref standing between the center and guard and another ref standing directly behind the center? How about we just call it a wash?

Posted by: Swizzle52 | Nov 5, 2012 4:24:55 PM

D Will is shifty

Posted by: Fired Line Judge | Nov 5, 2012 4:27:41 PM

Well, since the replay also showed that Williams never stepped out of bounds and no whistle should've been blown, I don't think Panthers fans should lose any sleep over the guilt of this one. And the Redskins player says he could have stopped him from scoring too, the Dickens you say! Who would've guessed he'd say that!

Posted by: Jones | Nov 5, 2012 4:27:50 PM

After the Dallas game and the no whistle time out, I guess we were due a whislte error that allowed a TD.

Posted by: JakeMcFootball | Nov 5, 2012 4:33:51 PM

Ok so we still won 14-13.....who cares

Posted by: Rick | Nov 5, 2012 4:35:40 PM

Those are the breaks and about time we got a good one. No Washington defender had any shot at getting 34 when the whistle blew, they were all out of place and beaten.

Posted by: Jellybean | Nov 5, 2012 4:39:59 PM

This is utter nonsense. Williams did not step out of bounds and the whistle was a moron move by another moron ref.

Posted by: fleiter | Nov 5, 2012 4:48:03 PM

It's all on the Skins for not pushing him on out of bounds regardless of hearing a whistle. No guarantee it was a ref. Even the announcers at first thought it could have been someone in the stands with a whistle.

Posted by: tiredofcontroversy2012 | Nov 5, 2012 4:55:51 PM

Hmmm....and we were complaining about the replacement refs. These regular ones aren't that much better, are they? Keep your whistle quiet till you know that he stepped out, or let the defense decide to challenge the play, that's what we have the challenges for. And if he had scored, the booth would have looked at it anyway and called for a review if it was needed.

Posted by: DaveT | Nov 5, 2012 5:04:13 PM

Yes, play should have been called dead but no friggin way was the defender going to knock DW out of bounds.

What was even a worse call was when CAM was trying to snap the ball before play clock ran out but the ref was standing directly behind the center preventing the snap..Cam pointed this out to ref BEFORE the play clock hit zero & the dumb ref still called a delay of game penalty. How the heck can any ref be that dumb & why didnt rivera at least talk to the ref?? I mean sheez.....the ref was literally preventing us from snapping the ball & cam was yelling at him BEFORE the clock wound down, but ref did nothing other then call a penalty on us that never should have been called....how the heck can Cam snap the ball with the ref standing there? I realize refs are human & make mistakes, but that was worse then a pop warner ref/blown call...CAM WAS YELLING AT HIM BEFORE THE CLOCK RAN DOWN STANDING 2 feet behind the ref...Was the ref deaf or just brain dead? & sorry, but RIVERA STILL NEEDS TO GO & GO NOW SO WE CAN GET A NEW COACH IN NOW & BE READY FOR A PLAYOFF RUN NEXT YEAR. Waiting til end of year to bring in new coach ruins next year as well & if RIVERA isnt fired NOW or at end of year, fans should revolt & send a message to JR that we wont come to the games. RIVERA IS NOT A GOOD COACH. PERIOD!! GET RID OF HIM NOW...WAITING MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!!!

Posted by: Who cares | Nov 5, 2012 5:11:22 PM

I think the moral of this story is these greedy refs are no better than the replacements. The replacements just had this huge magnifying glass on everything they did and outside of the horrific GB game weren't really that much worse. Not saying they were good at all, but neither are these greedy holdout refs that are now making 10 grand a game as a second job.

Posted by: Fast Freddie | Nov 5, 2012 5:22:05 PM

The TD was ruled correctly, the whistle was blown in error. The officials in this game SUCKED! Why did he blow the whistle to begin with? My half blind grandfather sitting on his couch 300 miles away could see he didn't even come close to stepping out, but this ref is standing right there! That's a routine play, guys run the sidelines all day everyday so once again, why did he blow the whistle? AND, why did we get called for delay of game when the ref is dry humping our center and Cam can't even get under him to snap the ball? I think it's safe to say we won't be seeing this crew reffing playoff games, they were turrible.

Posted by: Shane P | Nov 5, 2012 6:10:33 PM

Okay, enough of the uninformed grousing about the delay of game, Shane P and Who cares. This is from the former NFL head of officials. The officials conducted themselves correctly according to the rules.

In the WSH/CAR game at 4:22 of 3rd quarter CAR substituted late & defense gets right to match up. If play clock expires it’s delay. — Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 4, 2012

Posted by: Tony B | Nov 5, 2012 6:58:07 PM

Just like Dallas was awarded Time Out in error!

Posted by: joe cool | Nov 5, 2012 7:00:34 PM

Uninformed, that's adorable but seriously I watched the game, did you? And I just watched the play on dvr just to be sure, their players were on the field in plenty of time so I guess we were just waiting for them to tie their shoes?

Posted by: Shane P | Nov 5, 2012 7:07:27 PM

put a bounty on peyton manning.

to quote Suh, "get the cart."

Posted by: big gulps | Nov 5, 2012 8:42:13 PM

if this is the league's rule interpretation,then it ought to be changed. you don't take a bad call and make it worse by penalizing the team that kept playing. the league should just have said the ref blew it (no pun intended); the refs are employees of the league not the teams

Posted by: fan | Nov 5, 2012 9:25:29 PM

Yea, I actually not only watched the game (in person), but also just watched the play on my DVR. As you appearantly do not understand the rule, if the offense substitutes (they did), then the defense must be allowed by rule to also substitute. The umpire is actually supposed to straddle the ball until the the referee signals the ready for play. As you indicate that you viewed the play twice, I am sure that you saw the referee signal for play to commence and the umpire then backs away from center. You can respond with all the silliness you prefer, but it does not change the FACT that the officials conducted themselves properly. Perhaps you should learn the rules prior to commenting. Just so you know, I have been watching pro football since the mid-sixties, so I am quite versed in the game. If that is not enough for you, I hope this will do from NFL.com:

Article 10
If a substitution is made by the offense, the offense shall not be permitted to snap the ball until the defense has been permitted to respond with its substitutions. While in the process of a substitution (or simulated substitution), the offense is prohibited from rushing quickly to the line of scrimmage and snapping the ball in an obvious attempt to cause a defensive foul (i.e., too many men on the field). If, in the judgment of the officials, this occurs, the following procedure will apply:
(a) The Umpire will stand over the ball until the Referee deems that the defense has had a reasonable time to complete its substitutions.

Posted by: Tony B | Nov 6, 2012 12:06:45 AM

Teams should be able to challenge bad calls. How is it the Panthers fault the ref anticipated something that never happened?

Just like the Dallas game and the the time out and two bad calls to give the game to Dallas(par for the course) AGAIN!

The NFL refs are obviously hanging out with their NBA referee friends.

Posted by: Ripp | Nov 6, 2012 9:23:09 AM

God bless Greg Olsen and his family. Welcome home TJ. Get well soon!!!

Posted by: BofA Fan | Nov 6, 2012 10:39:21 AM

Hey old guy that's been watching since the sixties...what you forgot to mention is that little statement that says that if he prevents the snap of the ball and the play clock is about to expire, the play clock will be reset. Nice try though. The point is, the ref should have never blown the whistle and the play could have been reviewed. Why is there no outcry over the subpar performance of the full time refs in several cases in this game??? Bring back the replacements!!!!

Posted by: ZB | Nov 6, 2012 11:10:31 AM

this is a call i don't see how you miss. the guy is standing right there......and is looking down a line green on one side white on the other. blow the whistle when his foot steps on the white.

and it doesn't make sense for them to spot it at the 17 on their error when dude was inside the 10 before the guy eased up. he would of been around the 8. funny to me how our guys didn't stop.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 6, 2012 1:39:08 PM

Tony B - yes, you quoted the rule correctly, and the umpire was fine until he signaled ready for play. Then, HE WENT TO THE WRONG SPOT. The umpire is not supposed to stand 2 STEPS DIRECTLY BEHIND THE CENTER! That's what Cam was yelling about, and Cheffers (referee) should have stopped play, told the idiot umpire to get in his right spot, then whistled in play. But, just like with the Williams TD, his decision indicates the officiating crew looking right was more important than proper enforcement of the rules.

As for the TD itself, I was arguing with a Skins fan on profootballtalk.com who said it was a FACT that Riley would have knocked Williams out of bounds if the whistle didn't blow. I said no, that's your opinion. A properly placed stiff-arm right to the throat would have cleared the path for an easy jog into the end zone. Even if they did just give us the ball on the 17, there is no way to prove the Skins wouldn't have stopped us from scoring a few plays later. And that was in the first quarter - plenty of time for the Skins to make plays and score points, but our defense didn't allow them to do so. Panthers win, no "the refs stole it from us!" nonsense allowed.

Posted by: J | Nov 6, 2012 1:44:23 PM

The error wasn't the ball wasn't place at the point of the whistle but that the whistle was blown at all. There is a distinct line between going out of bounds and close. Obviously it wasn't even close. From the way I saw it. No one was gonna catch him anyhow.

Posted by: davethepanther | Nov 7, 2012 5:20:04 AM

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