The NFL admitted that it made an officiating mistake that may have helped the San Diego Chargers. The officiating mistake took place during a kick by Ryan Succop of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (Dec. 29). As reported by CBS Sports on Monday (Dec. 30), the Chargers had seven players on one side of the snapper and should have received a penalty for overloading one side of the ball. The ball would have been moved five yards closer and Succop would have been able to attempt a game-winning 36-yard field goal.
On Monday the NFL issued a statement on the mistake, likely frustrating quite a few Pittsburgh Steelers fans. If Succop makes that kick, the Chiefs win, the Chargers are eliminated, and the Steelers head to the 2014 AFC Playoffs. There is still no guarantee that he would have made the kick from five yards closer, but he has certainly been really good from that range for the chiefs this season.
The NFL officially stated, "This should've been penalized as an illegal formation." It's not often that the league admits to making a mistake of this magnitude, but it might have been tough to spot in the speed of the game. That's not an argument that Steelers fans are accepting, though, as they have taken to message boards all over the internet proclaiming that it was an obvious call that should have been made.
As it stands the San Diego Chargers clinched the second wild card slot and will play the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2014 AFC Playoffs. The Pittsburgh Steelers will simply have to settle for a better selection in the upcoming draft.
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