January 10, 2009
Another game, another officiating error in the NFL. On a key third-and-2 with 2:52 remaining in today's divisional playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, the play clock clearly expired well before Joe Flacco received the snap, but no delay of game call came from the officials.
The Ravens converted the first down on a long pass to Todd Heap, and ended up kicking the winning field goal later in the drive.
It's not uncommon for officials to miss the play clock hitting zero, but when they do the ball is snapped nearly immediately afterward. On this play, the ball was snapped 1.35 seconds after the play clock expired (yes, I timed it). That might sound trivial, but it's really, really not. It's a long time. Watch the replay, it's preposterous how long the back judge had to make the call.
This doesn't excuse the Titans for giving up the first down on the third-and-2. Nor is it intended to suggest that the Ravens couldn't have converted on third-and-7 after the penalty. The point is, they should have had to.
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