With :07 seconds remaining during Sunday's game, the Redskins, down by seven points and threatening to the tie, were called for a false start. The announcers calling the game, as well as most of the Cincinnati Bengals sideline, believed the game was over. An offensive unit that's penalized without a timeout is penalized with a ten-second runoff. Or so everyone believed.
The head official said that since the game clock was stopped, due to Robert Griffin III's spike on the previous play, there would be no ten-second runoff. That's actually correct. No bones there. During the same announcement with Washington's false start, the head official called unsportsmanlike conduct on Washington, sending the Redskins from the Bengals 34-yard line back to the Washington's side of the field. Griffin cocked and loaded the football deep but the pass was deflected incomplete at the ten-yard line.
According to various reports after the game, it was Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan who earned the 15-yard penalty, essentially putting Washington outside of a hail mary's throw of the endzone. But that's not all. Once the game was over, according to ESPN 980 (via USA Today), "Kyle Shanahan chased replacement officials into the tunnel after the game's bizarre finish, berating them with a series of expletives." Including:
"You have no (expletive) balls, you are a (expletiving, expletive.)"
A few screen prints from the Washington Post.
The officials also incorrectly spoted the football at the Redskins 41-yard line. If you start at the Bengals 34-yard line, include the five-yard false start and 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty, it should have been placed at the 46-yard line, not the 41.
The NFL will be looking into the incident with Kyle Shanahan, NFL.com confirmed on Monday.
Now the officials did get one ten-second runoff rule called incorrectly earlier during the drive. With 1:07 remaining wide receiver Leonard Hankerson was tackled inbounds, where he laid on the field after suffering an injury. Without a timeout the Redskins should have been charged with a ten-second runoff. Per Rule 4, Section 5, Article 4 (f) of the NFL Rulebook (per Jay Morrison of the Dayton Daily News):
"If an excess team timeout is charged against a team in possession of the ball, and time is in when the excess timeout is called, the ball shall not be put in play until the time on the game clock has been reduced by 10 seconds, if the defense so chooses."
What's confusing is that the head official actually announced the ten-second runoff. Then just before play resumed, he changed his mind as if the NFL was a personal playground. On Monday the league spokesman confirmed that there should have been a ten-second runoff applied to this play, leaving :57 in the fourth quarter. Geno Atkins quarterback sack would have ended the game because Griffin wasn't able to spike the football until seven seconds remained.