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Washington’s Week 15 loss to the Giants ended in controversy as it appeared that the officials missed a blatant pass interference penalty on the Commanders’ final offensive play. Now, the league is acknowledging the mistake. The NFL told the team this week that officials should have flagged New York corner Darnay Holmes for defensive pass interference on wideout Curtis Samuel in the end zone, according to NFL Media. Holmes had his arms draped around Samuel on a fourth-and-6 attempt with 56 seconds remaining in regulation. The ball fell incomplete and no flag was thrown. At that point, the Giants kneeled twice and moved on to the 20-12 victory. Had the penalty been called, the Commanders would have had another opportunity to try and tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
In the pool report, referee John Hussey said of the non-call: “Pass interference is a judgment call. To the officials it didn’t rise to what they felt was a restriction, thus they didn’t call it. That’s basically the bottom line there.”
That missed call was one of a handful of questionable decisions by officials in this game. On the same play that defensive pass interference wasn’t called, Giants edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux appeared to catch some hands to the face. Not just on his facemask, but through the bars and into his eyes. He was unable to continue on the play and immediately went to a knee. Had both been flagged, penalties would have offset and the Commanders would have been able to run another offensive play.Earlier, rookie receiver Jahan Dotson was called for offensive pass interference in the third quarter that erased a two-point conversion by Washington. Just two plays before that missed DPI call, Terry McLaurin was flagged for illegal formation, despite video replay seemingly showing the veteran pass-catcher confirming with the official that called in for the infraction that he was lined up legally.
While the admission that DPI should have been called is justifying for Washington, it still doesn’t make up for the loss that sent them to 7-6-1 and now has them clinging to the No. 7 seed in the NFC.