The NFL told the Commanders that officials should have called defensive pass interference on Washington’s final offensive play in last week’s loss to the Giants, sources say.
The play in question was an incomplete pass into the end zone on fourth-and-6 with 56 seconds left intended for receiver Curtis Samuel, who had Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes’ arms draped around his shoulders. No flag was thrown, and New York kneeled twice to seal a 20-12 triumph.
In a pool report after the game, referee John Hussey said of the no-call, which quickly went viral: “Pass interference is a judgment call. To the officials it didn’t rise to what they felt was a restriction, thus they didn’t call it. That’s basically the bottom line there.”
However, sources say the league acknowledged that it should have been a foul, which would have given Washington another chance for a touchdown and potential tying two-point conversion.
That play was just one of several controversial officiating decisions in the game that went against the Commanders.
Officials flagged wide receiver Jahan Dotson for offensive pass interference in the third quarter, wiping out a two-point conversion to Samuel. Washington settled for a longer extra point try, and Joey Slye missed wide right. Then, two plays before the final incompletion to Samuel, Brian Robinson’s 1-yard touchdown run was wiped out by an illegal formation penalty against receiver Terry McLaurin, who was shown in replays appearing to confirm with the official who threw the flag that he was aligned legally.
The loss dropped Washington to 7-6-1 — a game behind the rival Giants — and into the seventh and final playoff position entering today’s game at San Francisco.