I’m not saying the Redskins deserved to beat the Bengals on Sunday; they gave up 38 points, and had plenty of chances to produce on offense, and were generally mediocre in most phases of the game.
Still, here was a key moment of the game that was largely ignored by the CBS broadcast. After Washington scored 17 unanswered points spanning the second and third quarters, the Bengals got the ball back and fumbled on their second play from scrimmage. Josh Wilson recovered the fumble, but was ruled down. Then the game continued merrily along, the Redskins went 3-and-out, and Cincinnati wound up scoring the game’s next 14 points.
Except, as a whole bunch of Redskins fans immediately began pointing out online, it wasn’t exactly clear why Wilson was ruled down.
Above, please find an admittedly blurry side view of the play. You can clearly see nine Bengals who are not close to touching Wilson, who is in that little pile of burgundy at the top of the screen. A 10th Bengal, QB Andy Dalton, is out of view to the left; you can see his shadow by the 40-yard line.
That means the only Cincinnati player who could plausibly have downed Wilson before he got up and ran into the end zone was the ball carrier, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Did the law firm down Wilson? Watch the video here. See images below.
Here is Wilson poucing on the ball. He’s the Redskins player mostly out of view, with his knees on the ground. It’s not the best view, but Green-Ellis’s left arm sure seems to be pinned under the arm of a different Redskins player, which would have kept him from touching Wilson when they were nearest together. You can see the legs of the other Cincinnati players; they’re not involved.
I mean, these aren’t great images. I’ll admit that. But judging by the angle of Wilson’s body as he rose to his feet, I would sure liked to see 10 replays from different angles. Because it seems improbable that Green-Ellis’s left arm would be in any position to touch Wilson here.
And then Wilson popped to his feet, still with no other Bengals anywhere in view.
And then he started running toward the end zone as the refs said nah, don’t bother.
Now, clearly I don’t have indisputable visual evidence here. I’m not sure such evidence exists online. But I really would have liked those multiple replays from different angles. Because a 31-24 lead and 24 unanswered points would have sure felt different than a 24-24 tie and a punt.