Check the circle and count the hashes. Something clearly does not add up.

Clear Evidence Washington Redskins Were Given 5 Downs

If you were watching the Washington Redskins play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this afternoon, you were likely very confused during the Redskins final drive of the game.

Down 17-10, the Redskins began driving. Once they got into the red zone, Donovan McNabb hit Santana Moss for a first down. Moss extended to the 12-yard line, meaning the Redskins would have the possibility of getting another first down by reaching the 2-yard line.

That is, of course, unless you can’t count to 10.

On first down, McNabb hit Anthony Armstrong on a deep slant for nine yards. On second and one, McNabb and his receiver missed on a fade. On third down, Ryan Torain lost a few yards on a run. On fourth down, Fred Davis dropped a perfectly-thrown McNabb pass in the endzone.

But on fifth down, McNabb hit Moss in the endzone for the touchdown.

No type-o. I really mean fifth down.

The problem was that the officials had the first down marker nine yards away. So when Armstrong caught the slant on first down, the Redskins were awarded with a new set of downs. However, because FOX correctly had the first down marker at the 2-yard line, anyone watching was unbelievably confused.

The picture quality isn’t great, but it’s there. Circled is the clear disparity between where the marker should have been and where it was placed. And if you count from the blue line that marks the line of scrimmage to the orange stick, it’s clearly only nine yards.

But here’s the thing that really bugs me: Those chains are a measured-out 10 yards. If they’re taut, they will be 10 yards apart. So how in the world did the guys holding the sticks manage to miss by exactly one yard? How did they miss the excess chain? How did no one realize this mistake?

I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but they were at FedEx field.

Fortunately for the league, the whole thing became moot once the Redskins special teams blew the extra point and lost 17-16. But had the Redskins tied the game and won in overtime, it would have had devastating effects on the Bucs playoff chances and the league would have some Ricky Ricardo-style serious ‘splainin to do.

This is going to go down as one of the biggest blunders no one will remember.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Anthony Armstrong Donovan McNabb Football News NFC NFC East NFC South NFL Santana Moss Tampa Bay Buccaneers Washington Redskins Washington Redskins 5 Downs

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  • David Conkle

    When is the NFL going to realize that most viewers have HDTV with DVR capabilities that allow slowmotion replay or frame by frame with magnification and can easily do our own review of calls made on the field. On this referee blown call there is irrefutable video evidence that the referees got it wrong. Why is everyone in the media covering up the truth? This is more bullshit from the Never Fuck-up League!

    • Scott

      Agree. I watched this over and over again on my HD DVR. The ball was clearly spotted 1 full yard short of the line of gain needed for the 1st down. The refs blew it. What bothers me more is why didn’t any of the Buc coaches in the box upstairs notice what we all saw on TV.

      • mtds

        They may have noticed it, but since it was within the final 2 minutes of the game there was nothing they could do to stop it. Booth didn’t initiate a review before the Redskins next play, even thought the ‘Skins took a time out after that play. It’s embarassing all around for the entire officiating team.

      • Bartolomeo Vanzetti

        They did. It is rigged. NFL is a business.

  • polabonez

    The Vegas line was 1. The whole thing was a scam to hit the line. There is your conspiracy theory.

  • dick cheney

    unofficial line crew is unofficial. notice how there is only one yardage marker on that part of the field? that means that the marker on that side is unofficial, since it is not attached by a 10-yard chain to another marker. the ref on that side just guesses where the first down line is.
    didn’t matter anyway except for vegas nerds. and since I always laugh when karma hits them, it’s even better.

    • Scott

      Karma or no karma, they still got 5 plays. Forget about the sticks. They started on the 12 with a 1st down and never got the ball to the 2 yard line. …..Until the 5th play when they scored.