NFL worst calls: The Ja’Marr Chase touchdown that wasn’t
Sometimes, officials make bad calls. When a bad call is made, it’s up to either the officiating crew to correct said move with an automatic booth review, or on the coaching staff to challenge the play.
Ja’Marr Chase should’ve been awarded an extra touchdown on Sunday afternoon. With it, we’d be having a much different conversation about the Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, Cincy lost to the Steelers, 23-20, in overtime. Same old Bengals? Not so fast.
Chase clearly crossed the plane of the goal line, but was ruled short. Zac Taylor didn’t challenge the play, and the Bengals were stopped from the one-inch line the next three plays, thus turning the ball over on downs. It was an instrumental moment in Pittsburgh’s upset.
After the game, Taylor’s excuse for not challenging was a bad one:
"“Part of it was that that’s the hardest place for us to see in the entire field is that spot,” Taylor said, per Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t think there was a chance there was a touchdown there initially. So, we got on the ball to run it in quickly. It’s hard with all the craziness in that moment, all the communication to get that ‘Stop, stop. Let’s evaluate this.’ We just couldn’t get it done fast enough by the time we’d seen a replay and realized ‘Oh shoot, he might have gotten in there.’ We’ve just got to learn from those. It’s a fine line — when you get the ball on the inch, you just want to punch it in real quick. In hindsight, maybe he was in and we could have given ourselves a chance.”"
Did the refs make a poor decision? Absolutely. Should Taylor have challenged the play, making my job tougher in the process? Yes.
Official grade for the week: B. Not a bad start for officiating crews around the league. Don’t worry, it’ll only get worse from here.