Well, we already have a candidate for the worst call of the entire NFL season... and we are only in Week 1. The referees have been pretty rough in the LA Chargers Week 1 matchup against the Washington Football Team and they screwed the Bolts over with a horrendous call.
The Chargers were driving and had first and goal in the red zone. Storm Norton, who was put in the game in that drive for a hurt Bryan Bulaga, had a terrible rep against Montez Sweat, allowing him to hit Justin Herbert in the back.
This resulted in what appeared to be an incomplete pass. Instead, the referees dropped the bombshell that the call on the field was a fumble through the back of the endzone and a touchback for Washington. It was reviewed and somehow stood!?
The referees butchered this and it could cost the LA Chargers the game. This is not a fumble.
CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore hopped on the broadcast and confirmed what every Charger fan was thinking: that play had all the makings of being an incomplete pass and not a fumble. He said that he would have called it incomplete.
Herbert's arm is very obviously moving forward in this clip. There are definitely plays like this where it could go either way and in that instance it makes sense to go with the call on the field. This is not one of those instances. There is absolutely no way someone can look at this with a straight face and call it a fumble.
So why did the call stand? The referees are not going to have anything against the Chargers but this could have been a case of not wanting to go against the original crowd. It is sad that this could even be a possibility, but it obviously is a factor.
And to make things better the referees missed an obvious false start on a fourth and one run by Washington on the ensuing drive. Luckily, Washington could not score a touchdown and instead missed a field goal.
The NFL referees need to be better. Bang-bang calls and penalties are one thing. To not overrule this call? That is horrendous.