The Referees Screwed the Texans on Monday Night (Videos)
What is it about Monday Night Football that brings out the worst in NFL referees? Two weeks ago they missed an unnecessary roughness penalty and messed up the play clock during the Seahawks’ 31-25 win over the Bills. Last night the men in stripes made three more controversial calls during the Raiders’ 27-20 win over the Texans, and they all went against the Texans.
Let’s start with the most controversial call. Early in the first quarter with the game still scoreless, Texans QB Brock Osweiler hit receiver DeAndre Hopkins with a 20-yard pass down the left side that Hopkins proceeded to turn into a 60-yard touchdown. Only it wasn’t a touchdown because one of the linesmen said Hopkins stepped out of bounds.
Take a look:
Hopkins definitely tiptoed along the sideline, but most observers thought Hopkins kept himself inbounds.
Unfortunately, as NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino explains, you cannot challenge this call because once the official signals out of bounds everybody but the guy with the ball stops running:
— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) November 22, 2016
Now, Blandino makes a pretty good argument that the referee made the right call. However, “pretty good” isn’t good enough in this day and age when we have the technology needed to get calls right. Obviously you can’t go back and give the Texans a touchdown after the Raiders stopped defending. But if linesman would let close plays like that go they could review them after the fact and, if need be, take a touchdown away.
But sure, let’s say the refs made the correct call on that one. It still doesn’t get them off the hook for what they did to the Texans in the fourth quarter.
Midway through the final frame, on a crucial third down play, the refs ruled that the Texans’ Lamar Miller did not gain enough yards for a first down, even though it really looks like he did:
The Texans decided not to challenge the ruling on the field and elected to take their chances on fourth down. Needing just inches for a first down, the Texans gave the ball to Akeem Hunt, who dove across the line of scrimmage.
But again, the referees said the Texans came up short. So this time Bill O’Brien challenged.
But the refs still said no.
Apparently they weren’t watching the same game as the rest of us.