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Referees Admit Mistake on Late Drive of Washington Redskins-New York Giants Game

December 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 AM
By Dan Benton

Following a four-yard pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III to wide receiver Pierre Garcon just after the two-minute warning, the Washington Redskins thought they had a first down. After all, the chains did move, indicating they had picked it up. But despite that, officials on the field clearly signaled third-down.

It was a mix-up that will be discussed and debated endlessly — one that head coach Mike Shanahan believes may have cost his team the game.

"You're not going to call a quick hitch on 4th-and inches," Shanahan said. "So, obviously, that's going to affect our play call."

Following the game, referee Jeff Triplette acknowledged the mistake.

"We signaled third down on the field," Triplette said. "The stakes were moved incorrectly. After that play, we said it was still third down. We had signaled third down prior to the play starting. The stakes just got moved incorrectly."

But that's where this odd situation gets murkier. Shanahan claims he was physically told they had picked up the first down after requesting a measurement, and with the chains moving, it was safe to assume they had. But following the game, Triplette would not directly address Shanahan's claims.

"I don't know what happened, Triplette said. "I just know that we had signaled third down on the play at the sideline."

Garcon later added that the entire team assumed it was a first down because the chains had moved. As such, the Redskins' coaching staff and offense operated as such. Ultimately however, it wasn't a first-down and a subsequent drop (Fred Davis) and fumble (Garcon) would end Washington's comeback attempt.

Could it have cost the Redskins the game? Theoretically, yes. But given the vast number of bad calls the Giants have been on the negative end of recently, it's hard to have any sympathy for Washington. After all, several questionable calls hurt New York last week against the Cowboys — some, arguably, costing them the game.

Photo credit: The Brit_2 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Tags: Football, Mike Shanahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Robert Griffin III, Washington, Washington Redskins

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31 Responses to “Referees Admit Mistake on Late Drive of Washington Redskins-New York Giants Game”

  1. Dan BentonDan Benton says:

    Does no one else find it ironic that the same fans who **** ENDLESSLY about rookies never playing/making an impact, are the same ones rooting for the Giants to lose so they can draft 5-7 positions higher for a rookie who will (they feel will) cause a complete 180 for this team?

    Of that the same fans who are rooting for the Giants to quit are the first to slam them for being “quitters?”

    Brilliant minds around these parts I’ll tell ya.

    •  William says:

      TC wont play rookies unless he has absolutely no choice. TC was going back to Deihl at RT despite him being terrible until he broke his hand forcing Pugh into the lineup. Any thought of playoffs next year rests in free agency which is all about the “cap” and who we cut or renegotiate. Rookie draft picks playing for a TC NYG team?????? Mantra people:
      Biz as usual,nothing to see hear.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      What fan don’t realize is that the 8th pick isn’t a given to be better than the 18th pick. The draft is an educated guess and not a given at all. Winning is more important than some think. Recovering to let’s say go 8-8 this season would be a big deal. Eli has never had a losing season as a full year starter. We still have a hail mary chance of winning the division. I’m happy we showed some heart after coming out flat.

      • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

        Exactly. You don’t bomb. There is still just as much chance the Giants win it all this year as their first-round pick being a serious game-changer next year. The latter odds, as you note, remain almost the same 10 picks later anyway. So why not try to win now? All Giants fans should know that winning in the NFL isn’t easy, so why give up before you’re eliminated for what MIGHT be a year later? Seems dumb to me.

      •  Krow says:

        Right. The draft is a crap shoot to a large degree. Plenty of high picks bust. There’s no guarantee.

    •  Fusionhead says:

      LMAO. So true. It comes down to this: These types of people love negativity. It’s all they have because they are miserable to begin with. Shrug. Sucks to be them.

  2.  William says:

    No doubt that the Beatty performance last night and other games (Carolina) is very worrisome. If he is going to be just Deihl in his prime at LT he needs to take a major pay-cut. The reality is its going to be at least a 2 year fix on the o-line.

    On defense I’m amazed at the level of play with Beason in the middle. He is a risky sign and looks to be playing himself into a bigger contract than we might want to pay. But, who knew that the PF style defense was so reliant on a middle LB, certainly not JR.

    One of the big keys last night especially late was field position, with the idea that we actually had some. The key to that was special teams in Weatherford who reversed some terrible field positions with 2 big punts and the sacks by Tuck forcing 3 n outs.
    Again, it shows up the problem with the PF defensive style. The bend, bend, bend defense flops the field over n over again. He only rushes 4 guys and does’t even bother to mask it and unless you get a super human effort (like Tucks or JPP 2 years ago) you dont get sacks nor do you get 3 n outs. How often are you going to face a still developing QB like RG3 who is inaccurate and gives up sacks by running?? Combine that with what is really atrocious special team play in the return games both punt and kick return we find ourselves constantly looking at 80 yard drives with a weak o-line. Its a terrible combo based on poor coaching scheme in the big picture. The PF style of defense is bad enough in my opinion but if your going to be stuck with it then you need some special team talent to remedy the field position loss and you better have an o-line designed to grind out long drives. We come up zero on all accounts.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    Much like the team last night I was still caught in the disappointment of the Dallas loss until the second quarter. Only Beason and Rolle seemed ready to play from the start. But I thought the team showed great resolve in finding some energy and completely dominating the Redskins after the 14-0 hole.

    Mind me if I repeat some common thoughts because I really haven’t been keeping up.

    With Philly and Dallas both winning our chances got longer but there’s still a pulse. This team in the last 7 games has recaptured the fight we saw in 2011. It’s a shame we probably dug overselves too deep of a hole because the team is getting better. Especially the defense. If we can rush the passer this defense is a top 10 and maybe top 5 unit.

    Beatty who I have defended many times had a very poor game. And has had too many poor games this year. But I don’t think it’s he can’t do the job, he’s just having a poor year. I don’t think drafting a LT is a good idea at all. Look at how the #1 in this year’s draft wasn’t even moved to LT when KC’s LT got injured. By the way Fisher was drafted as a LT. With the spread offenses I don’t think LTs are the givens they once were. I think Beatty still has good ability as a pass protector he just hasn’t played well. And it seems to be some mental mistakes.

    I’m glad Cordle got injured because I believe that Boothe could possibly be a 1-2 year stop gap option as a center if we cut ties with Bass. Cordle I don’t believe is big enough. It was no accident we ran the ball well with Boothe at center.

    We really have a ton of big questions with our free agents. Guys like Tuck, Beason and Brown are all big questions. I would bring back Tuck and cut Kiwi. Kiwi has played well this year but he’s not a difference maker. Tuck hasn’t been most of the time either but he can be. I just rather have Tuck and I don’t think it makes sense to pay both with Moore ready for way more snaps next year. Oh by the way don’t forget Moore is 20 so him having a nothing rookie year is not a big deal. Beason is just a matter of money and I think he is kept. Brown has been good and we need RB help with Wilson’s future in some doubt. But you only pay Brown 3 mil per year at max. He’s injury prone and RBs can be found.

    Also I’m glad we get a real chance to see what Brewer can do. Maybe he can start next year or at least now be a quality backup.

    It was good to see Hosley back. He made a real difference. If we can go into next year with Prince, Holsey and Thomas and then add a top 3 round CB then have James and/or McBride that’s not bad. I like Webster more than most but we can only keep him or Thomas in my view because we have to get younger at CB. Thomas is younger and has been more durable this year.

    Looking at the resources we need to spend in other places keeping Nicks is starting to seem unlikely. Much like Pitt I don’t see us as a team that’s going to pay 2 WRs big money. We are likely going to rely on Cruz and Randle then draft a top 3 round pick and sign a reasonable vet. Actually maybe bringing MM back makes sense. Given how we recovered I doubt we have any coaching changes other than QB coach. So having a vet with experience in this system like MM and ability makes a lot of sense.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      after last night, the giants really need to sign Linval, Beason, Brown, and Tuck. A lot of people here have been floating around the thought of asking Rolle to restructure, but how do you do that? The kid’s been THE BEST player on the defensive side of the ball. And we’ll ask him to take a pay cut? Beason and Rolle ( ironically both from the U), have 100% been the difference makers out there this season for the defense.

      As for Nicks, I think the Giants might let him walk. He’ll ask for too much and let him be some other teams problem. He seems like he’s playing scared or something. I dont buy that he’s still hurt, i think he’s just playing NOT to get hurt. Draft a WR early on, there will be some good playmakers available in the 10-13 where we will likely be picking.

  4.  Krow says:

    I hold no playoff illusions, but I do enjoy wins … especially Division ones against last years braggart champs.

  5.  Nosh.0 says:

    I personally have no problem with fans wanting us to lose. I’m a die hard Mets fan and have been rooting for them to lose every game since 2010, in hopes for higher draft picks and to force our owners to sell. It’s the long view over the short view.

    I however don’t root for the Giants to lose because A) I only get 16 football games a year and B) We’re still mathematically alive.

    But mostly it’s because I don’t believe a non QB can have that great of an overall impact on the team. If for example we did not have a QB and Andrew Luck was coming out this year, then I’d be rooting for us to lose every game and land the #1 pick. But that’s not the case so I’ll be rooting for W’s.

    But I don’t begrudge fans that want to see us lose our final 4 games in order to see changes to the team.

  6.  Kettles78 says:

    As I have been called a “Homer” over and over for refusing to place all the blame on Tom Coughlin yet my critics of Jerry Reese (at times), Gilbride, and Fewell at times are just more homerism. I don’t think “tanking” is the best thing to do and I also don’t feel getting a new regime in place. It is funny though that the same people who criticize JR’s draft picks want a top 10 pick like that is a lock. Who out of the top 10 picks this or last year has had the biggest impact outside of QBs? I can’t think of anyone glaring but that is just an honest question of maybe somebody I am not thinking of

  7.  Nosh.0 says:

    Lot of talk about Coughlin so I’ll add my 2 cents.

    I’m very bi-polar when it comes to my view of TC. At times I think he’s one of the best coaches in the NFL and other times I think this team desperately needs a change.

    After the Carolina and KC games I basically was yelling for Tom to be replaced at years end. It looked like the team had quit on him. But I have to say I’m impressed at how we have rallied back after starting 0-6.

    The question you really have to ask is, is there a better coach that’s available? If Bellicheck or John Fox were sitting out there then yes I’d want TC replaced by one of those 2 guys. But I don’t think there is a definite upgrade on the coaching market right now. I’m a big Gruden fan, but if he is married to the West coast offense then that would be a disaster here.

    Personally I give TC one more year at it.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      There are good coaches out there. And good coaches get fired at the years end every year.

      I can see Gilrbide or Fewell going before TC at years end, and i think with the way the offense has stuggled, Gilrbide might be canned.

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    I’m always rooting for the Giants to win. That was the case when they had zero chance to play at a .500 level in the Bad Old Days and was the case when things were good. You cannot really, deep down, root for your team to lose. Even those who say they do, probably don’t when the game is on the line. Did any of them not get happy when Will Hill took that ball away last night? I seriously doubt it.

    My feelings about Coughlin are simple: I think he has been a terrific coach who deserves great respect. I think he has his blind spots like every other coach. I don’t like his choices of coordinators, especially on the defensive side. I think he should be allowed to come back if he wishes next season even if the Giants lose every remaining game. And I will be angry if Mara gives him an extension. If the players love him so much (and I believe they do) then being a “lame duck” will mean nothing. He will not “lack authority”. That is a description that may apply to many, but not to Tom Coughlin. So I wouldn’t worry about that, but if I were Mara I would insist that TC earn any future contract by winning next season, getting into the playoffs, and cutting out the ridiculous inconsistencies that his teams have been prone to throughout his reign in New York. Tom hasn’t “earned” the right to an extension at this point and giving him one is a terrible idea.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      LIke i said above, I see TC coming back but I dont see all their other coaches coming back. I think the way the defense has played, Fewell stays and Gilbride and Quinn get fired.

  9.  Nosh.0 says:

    I’m also now 100% convinced that the Offensive Line sabotaged the season.

    Beatty has been a disaster at LT this year, no other way to look at it. Boothe should be depth and nothing more. Guy whiffs way to much.
    And DD has been washed up for over a year now.

    The OL as a unit is good for 4-8 drive killing, momentum swinging, possibly game changing breakdowns a game. Simply can’t win like that. Not against the better teams in the league. And the QB is developing happy feet because of it.

    Priority #1, 2, and 3 this offseason is fixing the OL.

    - Snee, DD, and Bass have to be gone.

    - Sign the best FA center. This OL needs a QB and a leader. A veteran presence will greatly help out this unit and Center is the position to do it at.

    - Then the 2 guard sports can be filled by Brewer, Mosley, Pugh, a FA, or a high draft pick. Boothe can not be a starter on this OL heading into 2014.

    Fix the OL and give this coaching staff one more season. If they fail again then we’ll know for sure it’s time for a change.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Been saying that since Week 3. The offensive line is absolutely critical to success in the NFL. There’s nothing wrong with Eli that an extra second and a decent run game wouldn’t have cured.

      The defense was awful but Beason’s arrival changed that in a hurry (if Reese doesn’t sign Beason for a 2-4 year deal he should be tarred and feathered).

      That horrid O-line has been the team’s downfall this season (with an assist from a damaged Hakeem Nicks and an injured David Wilson).

  10.  fanfor55years says:

    As for the draft, if you don’t understand yet that it’s a crapshoot then I don’t know what to say. History should make it clear that the difference of 5-7 slots in the draft order won’t make a huge difference unless you are in need of a quarterback or a cornerback, and even then it may not matter.

    The Giants DO need a cornerback, but don’t need a quarterback. And given their other needs, as long as they won’t be drafting in the dreaded 25-32 slots this coming April, they should get at least two really good players out of the draft. There are always excellent prospects in those top 50-55 players and we’ll get two of them.

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