The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Big Story

December 30, 2013

NFL: Officials erred on play that could have put Steelers in playoffs

SAN DIEGO — The NFL says referees erred in not penalizing the San Diego Chargers for an illegal formation on a missed 41-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Succop of the Kansas City Chiefs with four seconds left in regulation on Sunday.

Succop was wide right on the kick, and the Chargers went on to win 27-24 in overtime to claim the AFC’s final playoff spot.

The NFL says in a statement released Monday that had the penalty been assessed by referee Bill Leavy’s crew and the ball moved up 5 yards, it would have allowed the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.

San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper.  The rule says no more than six players can be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper.

If the Chiefs had won Sunday’s game, the Chargers would have been eliminated and the final playoff spot would have gone to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he noticed the Chargers were lined up incorrectly before the field goal attempt.

“What transpired yesterday was unfortunate for our hopes moving forward, we’ll have to find a way to accept that and move forward,” he said. “I’m not going to lose any sleep over something that happened in a stadium that we weren’t even in.”

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP–NFL

 

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