Both teams fought valiantly for 60 minutes before the Bengals were able to come away with a 26-19 win, ending three decades of playoff misery.
Unfortunately, the game was marred by highly questionable officiating throughout the contest, highlighted by the phantom whistle during touchdown throw from Joe Burrow to Tyler Boyd, though the officials essentially chose to ignore it and allowed the score to stand.
And we can’t forget about the horrific roughing the passer call on the Raiders’ final offensive possession, while there were several other questionable calls over the course of the game on both sides.
Now, it’s going to cost that officiating crew.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, referee Jerome Boger and the crew that worked Saturday’s game, “are not expected to officiate again this postseason after their problematic performance Saturday highlighted by a controversial whistle.”
Given how much the NFL tries to shield its officials even when they struggle mightily, it really says something that they’ve already decided this crew won’t officiate another postseason game.
To be fair to the officials, these guys normally are part of a specific crew that work together throughout the season, just like the teams they officiate.
For whatever reason, the NFL allowed different refs from different crew to be mixed and matched for this playoff game. So the league bear some responsibility for this situation.
“One league source did not express surprise at Boger’s performance; others around the league have commented on it during various points of the season, and the NFL has received mixed reviews for mixing its officiating crews in postseason games, taking officials from different crews and assigning them to work together,” Schefter wrote.
Thankfully, the Bengals are still moving on.