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Had Referees Stopped Clock to Sort Out Their Mess, Giants’ Tom Coughlin Wouldn’t Have Been Happy

December 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

The NFL released a statement on Monday saying referees made a bad mistake when they failed to stop the clock and sort out their self-imposed mess on Sunday night after the chains moved, indicating a first down, despite other officials ruling it a first down on the field.

“In this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs,” the statement read in part. “This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.”

The result was mass confusion followed by blame when Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan claimed that he was not only verbally informed it was a first down, but called plays based on that information. Ultimately, the mistake had little impact on the outcome of the game as New York Giants safety Will Hill stripped wide receiver Pierre Garcon only two plays later, securing the win for Big Blue.

However, questions have lingered, including several posed to head coach Tom Coughlin. Most notably: "how would you have reacted if the clock was stopped?"

“Let’s face it, they don’t have any timeouts,” Coughlin said. “The clock is moving. It should have been straightened out in the first place, but it wasn’t. There’s a lot of things going on out there and the referee allowed that the game would continue to play and then made the correction and we would have been upset had the clock been stopped. Sure, we would have, not that it would have made a difference, but we would have been.”

And the reason the clock wasn't stopped? Because lead official, Jeff Triplette, said it would have offered an unfair advantage to the Redskins.

The NFL, of course, disagrees.

If only the Giants received that sort of respect and support from the league when blown calls go against them. Alas, we dream.

Photo credit: The Brit_2 / / CC BY-NC-ND


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Tags: Football, Mike Shanahan, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Washington, Washington Redskins, Will Hill

21 Responses to “Had Referees Stopped Clock to Sort Out Their Mess, Giants’ Tom Coughlin Wouldn’t Have Been Happy”

  1.  Chad Eldred says:

    Coughlin wouldn’t have been happy. Oh dear.

    I actually side with Washington on this one. I understand the premise behind the measurement being a clock stoppage or in essence a timeout, but any team should be entitled to knowing what down it is. If the situation was reversed, we would all want the mess sorted out.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Didn’t matter. They’d have still been throwing and Hill might have still taken the ball from Garcon. The Redskins would have a much better case if their best receiver didn’t let himself get manhandled by our rising star at safety.

    I’m still waiting for things to even out after we had that playoff game in San Francisco stolen from us by the zebras and the league apologized the next day. I think we’re owed about 100 calls to offset that one.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      Agree, but officials not having their sh!t together has been a theme the last several seasons. I’m more concerned with accurate and consistent rule enforcement than the actual rules.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Yeah, officiating has been awful. The NFL is too cheap to use full-time employees (probably because they don’t want a strong union) so this will be the case for years to come.

        As it happens, Triplett is one of the better referees.

    •  The Real LT says:

      @FF55yrs: Epic screw over in San Fan…

  3.  Kettles78 says:

    I would of been pissed had that happened to the Giants. Glad it didn’t

  4.  skechy says:

    I really cant believe its such a big deal. Garcon got a huge bail out from the refs. They screwed up pretty big but once garcon catches that ball its a moot point, he then gets it ripped away as if hes a 4 year old playing with adults. If he dropped that ball or RG3 had to throw it away or something. Fact is the catch was made they had the first down its only because hill makes a great play everyone focuses on the refs screw up. In my opinion it takes alot away from rolles play (on third down) and hills play (on forth) which would normally be praised by the NBC crew and media if the refs don’t screw up.

  5.  jfunk says:

    It sounds to me like the whole thing boils down to one official making a huge error right?

    Wasn’t the guy on the Redskins’ sideline (who told Shanahan he didn’t need a measurement because it was 1st down) the one who told the chain gang to move?

    So this guy took it upon himself to declare a first down and move the chains despite the head referee standing on the ball declaring 3rd down.

    I’m not sure how this situation could have been prevented at the time when it all boils down to one guy’s huge screw up. How would the head ref know that the guy on the side disregarded/missed his 3rd down signal? The guy on the side thought he had it right, so he had no reason to suspect anything needed to be sorted.

  6.  BigBlueGiant says:

    FF55, you’re right. It didn’t matter. They were throwing the ball regardless. They were in the no huddle. RG3 hit Fred Davis and it woulda been a HUGE gain had Antrel Rolle not knocked the snot out of Davis prying the ball free for the incompletion. IMO, that was the play of the game.

  7.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Goat, Ebron was clocked at 4.57 before the year started. He’s an inch taller, and 5lb less than Davis. I’m not knocking Vernon Davis, but i really think you’re underestimating Ebron’s athletic ability. He has the same freakish, athletic build as Davis does. Wait till the combine, the kid will soar up the draft boards.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Who thinks Ebron isn’t good? Didn’t GOAT go to Maryland? He probably knows all about him so I doubt he’s a doubter. That kid looks to me like he has the goods.

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        Goat seems to think he’s too small (6’4″ 245) and not athletic enough. Crazy, because i’ve watched him play this year and he’s impressed me every time i see him on the field. Combine pending he might be our guy if we’re picking 13-15.

        Here’s a LONG recap….

        GOAT56 says:
        December 3, 2013 at 11:49 AM


        Vernon Davis ran a 4.38 at the combine at 250. So, yes I’m saying Ebron isn’t close to him as a FREAK athlete because he’s not. Ebron is very talented but more like A healthy Winslow or Aaron Hernandez both who were excellent players.

        GOAT56 says:
        December 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM


        BigBlueGiant says:
        December 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM
        GOAT- Ebron can CERTAINLY fit in our system now. And next year, I honestly don’t think that Gilbride will be here. I think that Mara and Reese will want changes and the offense given the “talent” it has, has been extremely poor.

        Ebron is not only the best TE available. He has NFL SUPERSTAR written all over him. Come April his stock will Soar and he will be a top 15 pick.

        Oh, as for Evans…. He might not be a speedster, but he’s big, Athletic and can make plays. He reminds me a bit of Plax. Tall, Lanky, runs great Routes. and gets good separation. Given that Eli throws high, he’s a nice target for him. Look what Alshon Jeffries has done for Chicago’s offense. He fits the same mold as Evans. Not a speedster but, runs great routes, has great hands and is tall and Lanky. We need a big tall, Physical WR. We all saw what ELI did with Plax.

        i like the Watkins kid if we’re looking for some great speed. And him and Marquis Lee will be around, unless we win out. Which I dont think is happening.

        So figure we’ll pick in the 9-13 slots.

        GOAT56 says:
        December 2, 2013 at 4:56 PM
        He’s small. He’s more like a souped up WR. I like him as a player he just doesn’t fit with what we do. He’s just slightly bigger than Beckum. I agree Beckum wasn’t him as a player but part of the reason why Beckum or even Myers fits is they are not our style of TE. Just like Aaron Hernedez wouldn’t fit here football wise. Ebron is a lot like Aaron Hernedez.

        I think a better solution is you sign a vet like we have the past two years who’s a better fit like Bennett was.

        I don’t think Evans is Jefferies. Jefferies played with no QB in a system that wasn’t throwing the ball all over the place and put up great college numbers. I saw him get totally wiped out against LSU and Mizz.

        Watkins and Lee are better WR prospects than we had last year so I think they both could be gone. We are currently 14 and could move further down. A 2-2 record puts us in the same place. There are a glut of teams with a 5-7 record.

        BigBlueGiant says:
        December 2, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Ebron is an inch taller than Vernon Davis, and weighs 5 lbs less than him. they’ll bulk him up.

        He’s athletic as they come for a TE, and can be that Hybrid TE/ Hback we are looking for.

        AND if Gilrbide should be fired ( which i think there’s a good chance he might be), in a new system, who knows what we’ll be looking for offensively. I’ll tell you one thing, anyone controlling the plays called in will be more creative and find use for some of our guys more than Gilbride has.
        GOAT56 says:
        December 2, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        Davis is extremely strong and a FREAK. I went Maryland so I knew about him long ago. Most TEs at 250 can’t block the way Davis does, they are just not strong enough.

        Even if Gillbride is fired I prefer a real sized TE that’s extremely athletic like Gronk or Graham. Davis does they same things but only because he’s one of the biggest freaks of an athlete in the whole NFL.

        You can have you beefs with Gillbride but with the way the OL and Eli have played this year he’s done the best he could. The end of last year you have legit beef. But with those factors and the RBs we had to play with much of this year I don’t think Gillbride did a bad job. He completely changed the way he called pass plays to adjust to our personnel.
        BigBlueGiant says:
        December 2, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        so let me get this straight. You watch ACC football and have come away unimpressed with Eric Ebron?

        I went to the UM and watch a ton of ACC football ( well, they were big east when I was there), but still, i’ve watched this kid Ebron, block, catch, make great plays all over the field this year. He’s actually one of the guys that i’ve kept my eyes on throughout the past two years. He’s legit and NFL ready.

        He’ll put on 15 lbs of muscle and become an absolute beast.
        BigBlueGiant says:
        December 2, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        also, Ebron is a freakish athlete as well. His stock is going to soar after the combine.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          I am definitely on your side of that debate. I wouldn’t mind at all if we grabbed him and signed Manningham then drafted a WR in a later round. We desperately need good tight ends in this offense and Ebron fits the bill.

  8.  JimStoll says:

    it did make a difference in the game
    had the 1st down play not been called a first down it would have been second and 1
    who knows what the skins call from there
    the 4th and 1 may never have happened
    and it sure looked like Perry’s defense was getting ready to do their patented last drive fold ala Dallas the week before
    its also a shame that such a call happened in the last drive in the last seconds of the game where the direct correlation between call and outcome can more directly be drawn
    its all very sad

    how come I’m not sad?

  9.  Nosh.0 says:

    Monumental screw up by the refs. Skins probably lose anyway but that can’t happen in this league. Lucky for the NFL this wasn’t a playoff game or one with playoff implications. That’s the only reason why this hasn’t been made into a bigger deal.

  10.  Nosh.0 says:

    Since we’ve been talking about draft prospects the last few days, you should all check some of these guys out. Intriguing prospects to say the least.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      LOL. They’re talking to my son about a possible movie after the one they’ll do with Apatow. Some of their stuff is great, some awful, but that’s the deal with sketch comedy.

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