The San Francisco 49ers can thank Vernon Davis – and also the game officials – for a key touchdown reception against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
And Jim Harbaugh should be very appreciative for the officials too, after his gaffe almost cost San Francisco in a big way.
The officials during Sunday’s playoff game missed an obvious call that helped the 49ers. San Francisco faced first-and-goal on Carolina’s 1-yard line, but the 49ers had 12 players in the huddle. Instead of being penalized, San Francisco was allowed to run the play, which Mike Pereira, former vice-president of officiating, said was the incorrect call.
The 12 man in the offensive huddle should have been a dead ball foul on SF. It would have been 1st and goal from the 6 -- not the 1.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 12, 2014
The officials helped out San Francisco on second down by calling a very close replay review in its favor.
Davis was scrambling toward the back of the end zone and quarterback Colin Kaepernick fired a touchdown pass to his tight end. The officials ruled Davis was out-of-bounds, which prompted 49ers coach John Harbaugh to run onto the field, screaming in protest.
As a result, Harbaugh was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After a review of the play, Davis was awarded a touchdown, and instead of facing third-and-goal at the 16 because of Harbaugh’s penalty, the infraction was enforced on the kickoff after the score. Had the call on the field stood, it would have been a critical error on Harbaugh. Instead, it didn't matter much.
It is safe to say that Carolina has probably joined the growing list of people unhappy with NFL officiating this season.
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