The San Francisco 49ers lost Sunday evening following a brutal final drive by the New York Giants. The Giants drove 82 yards on eight plays in 1:24, capping it with a Larry Donnell touchdown reception with 21 seconds remaining.
The final score was helped in part by a pass interference call, but the 49ers defense was struggling to do much of anything the entire drive. The biggest play prior to the touchdown was a 24-yard gain by Shane Vereen on a screen pass. The Giants carved up the 49ers on the short passing game on that final drive, and it is entirely possible they would have figured out a way to score anyway. But they got a little assistance late. It turns out part of that play should have been brought back on a holding penalty.
The 49ers did much of this to themselves, so we can't exactly say it's the ref's fault. But I do find it interesting when refs miss some fairly blatant stuff. In the vide below, you can see center Weston Richburg commit the holding penalty against Keith Reaser. Richburg's block initially looks pretty legit. With a limited view, it seems like he keeps his hands on the inside of Reaser's pads. However, after Vereen gets past him, this changes. Reaser turns to try and go after Vereen, and Richburg grabs hold of him and will not let go. It was really an unnecessary hold by Richburg, as Vereen was already off. There is a ref nearby, from what you see at the start of the screen, but I can only imagine he was looking more at Vereen than the center.
Had the penalty been called, it would have been ten yards from the spot of the foul, which was after the first down. I believe it would have been 1st and however many yards. Given how the 49ers defense was playing, they very well might still blow that drove. Nonetheless, I thought it was interesting to see such a blatant hold.