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Pass interference may be the most dissected rule in the NFL. It's the only penalty that theoretically can cover 99 yards, and it can alter the complexion of a game in an instant.

In the St. Louis at Washington game, officials were faced with a decision regarding contact in the end zone midway through the second quarter. To the dismay of Redskins fans, there was no flag, but by all accounts there should have been, if not for interference then at least for illegal contact or holding.

On the play in question, Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El was trying to get open in the front right portion of the end zone as quarterback Jason Campbell was scrambling out of pressure. Campbell threw the ball well over Randle El's head, but before the pass, Rams cornerback Ron Bartell clearly was clutching Randle El's jersey in the end zone.

After the play, officials conferred and ruled there was no pass interference because the ball was uncatchable.

Okay, anyone watching the game would agree Randle El had no chance of catching the pass. What's puzzling is why officials didn't throw a flag for defensive holding or illegal contact.

First, Bartell made contact with Randle El well beyond the five-yard buffer zone off the line of scrimmage. Second, Bartell held Randle El in the end zone moments later. Seems officials missed the call in more ways than one.

By Gene Wang  |  September 21, 2009; 2:38 AM ET  | Category:  Refs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Officials Stay Cool Even When Players Don't | Next: Not Grasping Missed Facemask Calls

Comments

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Always seems like the refs go against the Skins. And was it really roughing the QB on the fumble recovery? Did Moss really fumble?

Odds would dictate 50% but I think the Skins only get about 10% of the "breaks".

Posted by: fearturtle44 | September 21, 2009 1:23 PM

Or how bout the egregious facemask on Moss that precipitated the fumble...

Posted by: toneye | September 21, 2009 2:02 PM

you're right,..the only reason the ball was overthrown was because the defender was all over EL and cambell was making sure the ball wasn't intercepted!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | September 21, 2009 4:34 PM

Waaahhh!!! All the whining! Is the only way that the Redskins can win a football game is if the other team is penalized repeatedly???

Let's bring out the lawyers onto the field every time a penalty flag is thrown. This stupid game isn't about playing football, it's about referees and owners creating rules to turn it into some sort of bizarre legal wrangle.

Bottom line: The Redskins won by two points, and barely at that. They have no game, their owner is a sycophantic, narcissistic capitalist "entrepreneur-boy", and he moved the franchise out of DC to save a few bucks. Piss on him and the Redskins. They're nothing but a commodity you can buy a ticket to go watch. Give your money to Dan Snyder then.

Posted by: swatkins1 | September 21, 2009 6:01 PM

Swatkins- how did Daniel Snyder move the team out of DC to save a few bucks? You realize that the skins moved to MD in 1997, and that he didn't own the team until 1999, right?

Posted by: RMS11 | September 21, 2009 6:33 PM

What a bunch of whiners! For crying out loud, you won the game, even though you played extremely poorly. Grow up.

Posted by: alamo2 | September 23, 2009 10:02 AM

I have never liked that rule, that a pass was uncatchable. This calls for the refs to see into the future. Would it have been catchable had the QB not seen his receiver being held. How many times have QB's thrown the ball away because their receiver was held or subject to illegal contact? I don't like the rule even when the team I pull for benefits from such a call.

Posted by: chopin224 | September 23, 2009 12:58 PM

To Many bad calls by the refs lately.I would like to see action taken against these refs that cannot seem to see a play right in front of them.
I know everybody can make a mistake, but some of these calls are just plain not paying attention.
When a player makes a mistake he is pointed out and his number called on TV. Maybe if the refs had the same thing done to them for screw-ups they would be more careful

Posted by: myword1 | September 30, 2009 4:20 PM

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