After giving up a touchdown on a bad call by replacement referees last September out west (see photo below), the Packers lost another touchdown out west Sunday to real referees (photo above). They may not get as much sympathy this time for the bad call after Clay Matthews’ late hit on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (photo above).
The NFL finally got rid of replacement refs last September because they gave the Green Bay Packers when they basically took the ball out of hands of a Packers defender on the last play of the game to give the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 win.
Sunday officials and Fox commentators had to admit the real referees made a mistake that cost the Packers four points in the first half in another game out west. As shown in the first photo, Matthews clearly hit Kaepernick out-of-bounds on his third-and-goal scramble.
But after that, the referees got a little confused. The 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley took exception to the late hit, particularly since Matthews had talked about hitting Kaepernick during the week. He was the first in as players of both teams started to mix it up on the sideline. The referees flagged Staley in addition to Matthews. So far so good.
However, the referees then disallowed the 3rd down play for offsetting penalties, letting San Francisco score a touchdown on the replay of third down instead of kicking a field goal on what should have been fourth down.
This would have been the correct call if Matthews had hit Kaepernick high or committed some other penalty while he was still in bounds with the play live, then the penalty would have occurred DURING the play, but because it occurred a split second after the play ended (as soon as Kaepernick ended out of bounds), it became 4th down before the penalties on both teams and it should have been fourth down at the spot.
There are no calls to bring back the replacement referees despite the mistake.