This article is not to make any kind of excuses for the way the Raiders lost to the Bengals last week. They dug their own graves on this one. But since this week, there has been no discussion around the football world of the mess the officials made of this game, I thought it worth digging up and given one more look.
The Raiders were down 27-10 early in the fourth quarter completely by their own making. But just a few minutes before that, they had begun to show some life. It looked like the game might actually get interesting. Any chance of that interest was lost very quickly. Unless you find horrible officiating to be interesting.
The Raiders had moved into Bengals territory and were pretty much already in Janikowski field goal range. It looked for a moment they would be poised to score until a phantom clipping penalty on Mike Brisiel was called.
You can see why it was a phantom clipping because it didn't happen. It wasn't even a judgment call. It was simply a terrible call. Though Brisiel may have dove at Maualuga, he whiffed and didn't touch him. Some have thought perhaps the call was supposed to be on Stefen Wisniewski instead. But his block was not a clipping either. He put a shoulder into the hip of a defender which is perfectly legal. No, this call, from what I can tell was a bad angle by the flag happy official who threw the flag.
It not only brought back a screen pass for a first down in scoring position, but it pushed the Raiders back to first and 20, well out of field goal range. When the Raiders tried to make up the difference, this is what happened.
It is uncertain whether Barnes didn't know the snap count, couldn't hear the snap count, or just had visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. But the play was dead before it began. And all started by the bad clipping call.
The Raiders punted to the Bengals and on third down, the most controversial play of the week happened.
This GIF allows the viewer to watch the play over and over. The moment the frame stops the first time, is when the whistle blew. It was called an inadvertent whistle. But because of its timing, it should have at very least been an unrecovered forced fumble which would have had the Bengals in fourth down.
If the play were called correctly, the Bengals could have challenged whether it was a fumble. It is hard to tell whether Mohammed Sanu had possession. If the call was overturned, it would be an incomplete pass. And therefore, the same result-- Bengals fourth down and punt.
Instead, in a moment of complete nonsense, they were given the option to replay the down. Even though, the Bengals did everything wrong. They get a mulligan. They OF COURSE chose to replay the down. They had never heard of such a thing either, but they'll take it!
The Raiders had a legitimate gripe that they had recovered the ball and returned it for a touchdown. That is what actually happened. This infuriated many Raider defenders who are already pretty on edge about the losing streak.
One of the more emotional defenders on this team is Lamarr Houston. The Bengals were called for the false start but Houston was so amped up, he finished the play anyway and took down Andy Dalton. This didn't sit well with Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth who came after Houston. This is what happened next.
When the fight erupted, Tommy Kelly came onto the field from the sideline and joined in. He and Lamarr Houston were both ejected as well as Whitworth.
The next play the Bengals threw deep for a 48 yard catch which set up the Bengals for another touchdown and put the stamp on the blowout. From a Raiders touchdown, to two ejected players and a Bengals touchdown. All because of yet another example of ineptitude from these officials.
Those two terrible calls were a 17 point swing. Which so happens was the Raiders' deficit before the first bad call was made.
This post is sponsored by Jack in the Box.