Earlier this month, NFL.com writer Adam Rank said the Chargers are the clear favorite in the AFC West, even though the Chiefs have won the division three straight seasons.
Rank said Chargers fans don’t need to worry about this Chiefs in the upcoming season in part because LA won 29-28 at Arrowhead Stadium last December. But at the NFL Media Summit, the NFL essentially admitted it made a huge mistake that helped the Chargers win that game.
Let’s turn the clock back to that game on Dec. 13.
The Chiefs led 28-21, but the Chargers had the ball at the Kansas City 10-yard line with 13 seconds to play. It was third down and Los Angeles was out of timeouts when quarterback Philip Rivers threw a pass to Mike Williams that fell incomplete in the end zone.
A flag was thrown and pass interference was called giving the Chargers the ball at the 1-yard line with 8 seconds to play. Rivers threw a TD pass to Williams, converted a two-point try* and Los Angeles won.
*That was maybe the worst defensive play for the Chiefs in 2018
But Alberto Riveron, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Officiating, used that play Tuesday as a way to explain the new pass-interference review rule. And he showed the officials got it wrong last December.
Michael Girardi of the NFL Network shared a clip of the play and said Riveron explained that a review would have changed the call to offensive pass interference as well.
In the clip, the Chiefs’ Kendall Fuller, who was flagged for the penalty, was clearly upset with the official’s call and his teammates were saying Williams should have been penalized.
That would have given the Chargers the ball at the 10 again having to make a third-and-goal play with 8 seconds left. They could have scored a touchdown, but it’s hard to argue that it wouldn’t have been a much more difficult chore.