According to Mike Shanahan, incorrectly moving the chains and telling him that a play just inside the two-minute warning had resulted in a first down wasn’t the only mistake the officials made during the Redskins’ last offensive possession. He said they missed a facemask violation on their last offensive play and that could have contributed to the result of the play.
On fourth down and one, Robert Griffin III threw a short pass to Pierre Garçon to pick up the first down. Cornerback Jayron Hosley came up to make the tackle and safety Will Hill pulled the ball out of Garçon’s hands. It was the Giants’ ball and they killed the clock.
Shanahan said that a look at the film revealed the penalty. “Pierre is the strongest guy on our team and nobody really rips the ball out of his hands, so that was quite unusual, and if you take a look at the end zone copy one of the defensive backs [Hosley] has his hands on his facemask bringing it down,” he said. “That was probably the only reason why the DB did get it away from Pierre because I haven’t seen anybody do that to him thus far.”
A screen grab of the play does appear to show Hosely with left hand on Garçon’s facemask.
In a look at the replay you can see it better, go to about the 40 second mark to see the best angle on it.
Had the penalty been called the Redskins would have maintained possession and would have had a first down at around the New York 35 yard line.
Shanahan said that NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino called him regarding the snafu over the chains two plays prior to the pass to Garçon. “[He] just went over the scenario,” he said. “Obviously they made a mistake and you live with it.”
The mistake may have been much easier to live with if Fred Davis had caught a pass deep down the middle on the play immediately following the incorrect moving of the chains or if Garçon had been able to hold on to the ball after making the fourth-down catch, facemask penalty or no.
In a statement, Blandino said that referee Jeff Triplette should have stopped play to have the chains corrected and to inform each coach of the mistake.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 43
—NFL free agency starts 51
—First Sunday of 2017 season 236
The coordinator search and more
—Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.
—John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.
—I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.
—I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal.
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As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced.
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