A missed facemask penalty cost the Rams a potential touchdown Monday night vs. the Cardinals.
With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and LA facing a third-and goal from the Arizona 7, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked by Cardinals defensive Jordan Phillips. Replays showed that Phillips grabbed onto Stafford’s face mask during the play. No penalty was called.
In slow motion, viewers could see that Phillips held onto Stafford’s facemask while pulling him to the ground.
The sack was for a loss of 8 yards, so the Rams had to settle for a field goal instead of possibly scoring a touchdown. Los Angeles led 27-20 at the time of the penalty; an additional touchdown mostly likely would have sealed the victory over the NFC West leader. The Rams instead went ahead 30-20 on the field goal. They ended up winning the game 30-23.
Missed facemask penalties cannot be challenged in the NFL, so the officials could not take a closer look at the play.
The NFL rulebook states that a facemask penalty should be called “for twisting, turning, pushing, pulling, or controlling the mask.” If the penalty would have been called, it would have resulted in an automatic first down for the Rams at the Cardinals’ 3.
ESPN announcers Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick all agreed on-air that there should have been a penalty called. Fans agreed on Twitter, and many were outraged about the missed call.
A few of the responses:
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