An NFL official now admits the referees missed a penalty in the final moments of regulation in the San Diego Chargers win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to NFL.com and NBCSports, the refs did not call a penalty on the Chargers for having seven men on one side of the snapper.
“This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense,” NFL officials said in a statement.
If the penalty had been called, Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop would have had a second chance to make the kick five yards closer to the goal line.
If that had happened, the Chargers would not have clinched the playoff spot. Instead, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be prepping for their next post-season game.
Read the complete statement below:
With 0:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, Kansas City faced a fourth-and-12 from the San Diego 23. The Chiefs attempted a 41-yard field that was no good.
On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper. This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense.
Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b) (1) of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that “No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.”
The penalty for illegal formation by the defense is a loss of five yards. This is not subject to instant replay review. Had the penalty been assessed, it would have resulted in a fourth-and-seven from the San Diego 18 with 0:04 remaining, enabling the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.