A day of reflection hasn’t changed the Green Bay Packers’ displeasure with Carl Cheffers and his officiating crew in the waning moments of Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The frustration began with confusion following right guard T.J. Lang’s false-start penalty on second-and-goal from the Pittsburgh 1, which resulted in a 5-yard penalty and a 10-second runoff from the play clock.
The Packers planned to run two plays with 10 seconds left in regulation and trailing 38-31, but the offensive line and quarterback Matt Flynn felt the officials disrupted their timing in not immediately allowing them to snap the ball.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy reiterated the issue stemmed from center Evan Dietrich-Smith being told to not snap the ball until the umpire, Undrey Walsh, pointed at him.
On the TV replay, you can see Walsh motion to Dietrich-Smith with 3 seconds remaining in regulation. An NFL spokesperson confirmed NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino is reviewing the matter.
“I wish the officiating mechanics were intact,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s clear to everybody, it doesn’t take 10 seconds to throw a three-step drop. … The center was given an indication to snap the ball and the clock had been running, he was given an indication to snap the ball at 3.
“If you watch the game, obviously we were all up in arms about it after the game, but you go back and watch the video, I think it’s clear exactly what happened.”
Cheffers eventually signaled to Walsh to back up when the play clock was about to resume and provide the signal Dietrich-Smith was waiting for.
The clock didn't appear to start running until Cheffers and his umpire were back in their positions, but several seconds had ticked down before it was given, leading to the Packers' frustration.
“The referee and the umpire need to be on the same page as far as the way the umpire stands over the ball,” McCarthy said. “He backs out, the coordination of the referee starting the clock. Dietrich was informed don’t snap the ball until the umpire pointed at him. The umpire pointed at him at 3 seconds.”
“It just wasn’t coordinated, I’m not trying to get in trouble here or anything, but it doesn’t take 10 seconds to run a 3-step drop pass. I think we all understand that.”