NFL officiating has been a significant issue for some time now, and now we have a game where we can say with certainty that a specific play flipped the outcome of the final score. The NFL acknowledged the officiating crew made a mistake in the penultimate play of the Jacksonville Jaguars 22-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
The Jaguars were set up with a 4th and 4 at the Ravens 49 yard line. Quarterback Blake Bortles was sacked for a six yard loss as time expired, but Elvis Dumervil was called for a face mask penalty. A game can't end on a defensive penalty, and so the Jaguars got an untimed 1st and 10 at the ravens 35. Jason Myers kicked a game-winning field goal.
The problem occurred on the sack. An NFL spokesperson acknowledged the Jaguars were not set on that play, which meant a false start should have been called. The game-clock was running, and so the false start penalty would have required a 10-second runoff, which would have ended the game.
The Jaguars improved to 3-6 with the win, while the Baltimore Ravens dropped to 2-7. Neither team is going to the playoffs, but this game will have draft implications. Both teams are in the hunt for the top pick. Additionally, the strength of schedule tiebreaker will decide teams that are tied in the standings at the end of the season. The 49ers SOS now gets a Ravens loss, when it should have gotten a Ravens win. One win does not seem like a huge deal, but depending on how close teams are, that could swing a draft spot or two.