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NFL head of officials on Bucs' 12-men penalty; Carlos Dunlap, Marvin Lewis weigh in

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was correct to challenge the play in which the Bucs had too many men on the field.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said after the Bengals vs. Buccaneers game that the replay official was on top of the 12 men on the field penalty. Blandino believes that the play would have been reviewed regardless of Bengals coach Marvin Lewis throwing the flag.

However, Blandino acknowledges that the officials on the field screwed up on a key play in Sunday’s Bengals-Bucs game while on NFL AM Monday morning.

"We should get that right on the field the first time," Blandino said. "But we got it right eventually on replay."

The Bengals knew the Bucs had too many men on the field even before quarterback Josh McCown threw a 21-yard strike to wide receiver Louis Murphy down to the CIN-20 with 12 seconds left. That probably would have led to the game-winning field goal by Tampa, and they would have stole on from Cincinnati.

"We were trying to match up the personnel and there was one of too many," said Lewis.

Up in the booth, it was Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke who called the penalty out, and Carlos Dunlap was screaming at the official about it on the field.

"They tried to get on the ball quick and they still had 12 men," Dunlap said. "Our sideline was yelling it. I told the first ref I could see."

In the end, Lewis was correct to challenge the play, as the Bucs were seconds away from spiking the ball, meaning that the 12-men play would have been no longer reviewable.