Even with the Raiders were plagued with penalties and many other deficiencies, it looked as if the Raiders were making a late run at a comeback against the Chargers on Sunday with just under 4:46 remaining.
Down 26-13, undrafted free agent Matt McGloin found an open Rod Streater at about the two-yard line with the young receiver seemingly tumbling into the end zone for an apparent touchdown. But much to the Raiders’ chagrin, the ball popped out in the end zone and the back judge ruled the play incomplete. The play was challenged but ultimately upheld by the referee crew.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen thought that Streater held on to the ball and had possession while over the goal line, which he believed should have resulted in a touchdown, though he knows it ultimately boils down to the refs’ call.
“I know what the rule is. It looked to me that after he completed the catch, the ball got pulled out in the end zone. I thought it was similar to the two-point conversion, when I was in New Orleans against the Indianapolis Colts, that was called a two-point conversion, but, they make the call.”
The rule is that you have to maintain possession all the way through the ground. I thought he maintained possession all the way through the ground and then the ball was pulled out after he had gone to the ground,” Allen continued.
McGloin and Streater were both under the same impression that they had a touchdown completion as a result of the play, but that the refs make the ultimate call no matter what the players think.
“I thought I had a couple of feet down and I made a football move to get into the end zone,” Streater said. “I thought it was a touchdown, but the refs are the refs, and they thought it wasn’t, so you got to go with them.”
McGloin was also surprised with the call but was proud of how his team kept fighting after the frustrating call.
“It’s a difficult call to make and obviously we’re going to say ‘we thought he got in,’ but you’ve got to move on from that play,” McGloin said. “Obviously it wasn’t touchdown so I thought I was proud of we kept competing there in the end and tried to score there in the end and give us an opportunity to win there.”
Former vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira, chimed in on Twitter, stating that it “clearly” was not a completion.
Clearly incomplete in SD/OAK game
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 23, 2013
Though it may not be as “clear” to Raiders fans as it is to Pereira, it was clear that the call was a major hinderance to the Raiders’ comeback.
The play occurred with 4:46 remaining in the fourth quarter and would have brought the score to 26-20, a one-score game with time left for the Raiders to come back. Instead, the Raiders’ drive continued to run the clock down as they ultimately failed to get in the end zone when McGloin’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete with just 59 seconds on the clock. From there, Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers was able to take a knee and run the clock out.