At this point, one feels as if it would be easier to create the following headline macro: “Officials miss [OBVIOUS PENALTY] on [CRUCIAL PLAY THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED BACK BUT WASN’T.” That’s the state of officiating in today’s NFL, and it happened again with 1:03 left in the first quarter of the wild-card game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.
On the play in question, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones hit receiver Isaiah Hodgins for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The only problem was that left tackle Andrew Thomas clearly and obviously left the formation early — by more than the nanosecond you’d think might be excusable.
This wasn’t a close call — Thomas moved both of his feet before the ball was snapped, and this play should have been called back with a five-yard false start penalty. But given the laissez–faire nature of officiating in the NFL right now, the crew led by Adrian Hill missed it, so the Giants got a touchdown they shouldn’t have.
The only good news for the Vikings is that they’ll probably get a ridiculous makeup call at some point in the game. Several coaches and executives, and members of the NFL’s Competition Committee, have expressed serious concerns about the sloppiness of officiating this season, but it’s not as if anything’s going to change on the field.