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They say that no one play determines the outcome of a football game – and that’s probably true. But what about when multiple plays seemingly go against a team unfairly? For that certainly seemed to be the case for Washington on Sunday Night in their 20-12 loss to the New York Giants.

Did Washington play well?

Not particularly.

Did they play well enough to win?

That’s tough to say as well.

But you could certainly easily make the argument that the Commanders deserved a shot in overtime rather than losing outright in regulation.

Consider the Evidence

The first shred of nastiness came on a third-and-goal from the Giants one yard line. Brian Robinson Jr. appeared to get into the end zone and would have made the score 20-18 and leaving Washington needing just a two point conversion to even the score.

Unfortunately the side judge threw a flag and ruled that Terry McLaurin was not lined up on the line of scrimmage.

The only problem with that, is that McLaurin appeared to actually ask the side judge if he was on the line of scrimmage, and the side judge appeared to tell him that he was (by pointing at him). McLaurin even gives the side judge a thumbs up at that point. However, as soon as the ball was hiked to Taylor Heinicke, out came the yellow hanky, and the touchdown was nullified.

What kind of sorcery is that?

AND of course the ball was moved back five yards as well – which made running the ball far less likely.

Last Two Plays

From the six yard line, Heinicke threw two incomplete passes and the game was over.

Once again though, there was controversy.

On the last play for the Commanders, the Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes is all over the back of Curtis Samuel.

Not a little, not even a medium amount – he is quite simply, draped over the back of Samuel like a sheet. The contact is early. The contact is flagrant.

This isn’t a homer’s stance. After the game, NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay stated emphatically that it was pass interference on Holmes. He also stated that he wouldn’t have called the illegal motion penalty on McLaurin that took the points off of the board.

It was a gong show from the officials.

Ron Rivera was clearly upset about it in his post game press conference:

“Don’t ask me about the refereeing, because I can’t answer the question.”

Was it just lousy officiating, or was something more nefarious at play?

That’s a tough question to answer obviously, but fans of the Commanders will definitely feel like they have been shafted by a series of calls.

Consider The Opposition

Does it bear mentioning that Washington were playing the Giants, and that the Giants are owned by the Mara family? A family with very distinct, direct lines to gambling.

After all, current owner John Mara’s grandfather Tim – founded the Giants originally – and was a bookmaker. As a young man, Tim was a runner for the bookies, earning his vig and some tips; but by 18, he’d become a full-fledged bookie himself.

Of course, being a bookie back then was honorable, and in no way significant to the current state of affairs.

You can bet on it.

Categories Posted In | Game Day | Washington Commanders |