NFL officials give explanation for missed face mask penalty on Dallas Goedert, Brandon Graham late hit
The Eagles suffered their first loss of the year last night at the hands of the Washington Commanders, 32-21.
Many factors were at fault for the outcome: the Eagles’ inability to stop the run, their sloppiness on offense, and very bizarre calls (or non-calls) from the officials.
Two puzzling decisions stood above the rest: the missed face mask call on Eagles TE Dallas Goedert in the 4th quarter and the game-clinching flag on Brandon Graham’s late hit to a kneeling Taylor Heinicke.
With 9:14 remaining in the final quarter, Jalen Hurts completed a short right pass to Goedert, who ran for some extra yards and was pulled to the ground by his face mask by Washington LB Jamin Davis. On his way to the ground, Goedert had the ball punched out by DT John Ridgeway, resulting in a fumble and eventually three more points for Washington.
The back judge (#93) appeared to have a clear view as the play unfolded, yet didn’t throw a flag. Here was referee Alex Kemp’s response after the game:
Excuse me? You “didn’t see” a face mask?
I’m not sure what the back judge was watching or if he had money on Washington’s moneyline, but there’s no excuse for a highly-trained NFL officiating crew to miss a blatant call like that. Dallas Goedert also suffered a shoulder injury on the play and is expected to miss several weeks.
As for the game-sealing flag, Kemp stated that Brandon Graham hit a defenseless Heinicke after he gave himself up on the play:
So I suppose quarterbacks are now allowed to run around in the backfield for however long and take a knee when there’s oncoming pressure to draw a flag. Well damn, every QB should do that in pivotal moments from now on.
Bad calls aside, the Eagles were lackadaisical against Washington, and the reality is they weren’t going to remain unbeaten all year. As AJ Brown said following the loss, “now all this 17-0 shit is over with.”
We’ll see how the Eagles respond next week in Indianapolis.
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher | USA TODAY Sports