Referee Jerome Boger and his crew have been benched for the remainder of the postseason. The crew came under heavy scrutiny during the AFC wild-card game between the Raiders and Bengals and now they are not expected to officiate again this postseason.
Boger and his crew ruled that a whistle occurred after Cincinnati’s Tyler Boyd caught a touchdown from Joe Burrow — although replays appeared to show otherwise. That was a game changing play and call on their part. Boyd’s touchdown gave Cincinnati a 20-6 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first half. The Raiders ended up losing by seven.
“One league source did not express surprise at Boger’s performance; others around the league have commented on it during various points of the season, and the NFL has received mixed reviews for mixing its officiating crews in postseason games, taking officials from different crews and assigning them to work together.”
NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson said after the game that Boger and his crew “did not feel that the whistle was blown before the receiver caught the ball.”
“We confirmed with the referee and the crew that on that play — they got together and talked — they determined that they had a whistle, but that the whistle for them on the field was blown after the receiver caught the ball,” Anderson said, according to a pool report.
Anderson completely dodged the question about which official blew the whistle.
The Raiders appeared to have been thrown off by the inadvertent whistle blown during a key first-half play that resulted in a touchdown for the Bengals. By rule, an inadvertent whistle means that the play does not count and that the down should be replayed. That did not happen.
Mistakes in the regular season are one thing, but this cannot happen in the playoffs. Good on the NFL for taking this crew out of the postseason.