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Silver Minings: NFL SVP of Officiating says inadvertent whistle wasn’t inadvertent

Controversial call was the right one says Walt Anderson

Syndication: The Enquirer
Tyler Boyd
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Las Vegas Raiders season ended with a 26-19 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night but, in typical 2021-22 Raiders’ fashion, the defeat came with some controversy.

On a third and four towards the end of the first half, Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow scrambled out to his right and ended up throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd. However, there was a whistle blown that was heard through the telecast while the ball was in the air.

That should have resulted in a replay of the third-down attempt and taken the touchdown off the board, but the officials huddled together after the play and the points stood. While said ruling has stirred up some drama surrounding the outcome of what was a one-possession game, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson stood behind the officals’ call in an interview with PFWA’s Paul Dehner.

PD: “Can you talk us through the conversations that were had on the inadvertent whistle on Cincinnatti’s touchdown in the second quarter?

WA: “We confirmed with the referee and his crew on that play, they determined that they had a whistle, but that the whistle for them on the field was blown after the ball was caught.

PD: “So they didn’t think that the whistle was blown while the ball was in the air?”

WA: “That is correct. They did not feel the whistle was blown before the receiver caught the ball.”

PD: “Where did the whistle come from?”

WA: “It was one of the officials on the field that blew the whistle.”

PD: “Do you know if it was the back judge, or exactly who it was?”

WA: “No. The ruling on the field was a touchdown. But we still have to confirm any reviewable aspect of the play. So we did confirm that the pass was thrown before the quarterback stepped out of bounds. We also determined that the pass was caught in the end zone by the receiver, who was not out of bounds.”

I don’t think anyone is disputing that the pass wasn’t caught in bounds or that Burrow was in bounds when he let it go, but to me, it’s pretty clear the whistle sounds before the play is over. Who knows, maybe Tre’von Moehrig loses Boyd in coverage anyway and it’s still a touchdown, but denying that the whistle was blown prematurely seems like a flat-out lie.

The video of the play is below, so you be the judge.

It’s also worth noting that Gene Steratore — of index card fame — said the play had an inadvertent whistle and should have been re-played.

In other Raiders links:

  • 5 things we learned: check out Williamson’s takeaways from yesterdays’ playoff game.
  • TDL Instant reaction: Silver and Black Pride writers Marcus Johnson and yours truly (Matt Holder) gave their initial thoughts about the Raiders’ season and their future.
  • Derek Carr’s future with Raiders likely tied to head coach hire: “Las Vegas and Carr have a mutual decision to make this offseason, and sources say the choice of the head coach will be a factor,” per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
  • Players make their case for Bisaccia’s return: “If it was up to me, I think everyone in the world knows my decision. I love Rich,” said Maxx Crosby. “I’m biased obviously, but he’s a great coach. He came in and got us to ten wins. We came on the road, on a short week, and gave Cincinnati everything they could handle. It just shows Rich is a great leader.