New England offensive tackle Shelby Jordan said the official who called him for holding at the Redskin 25-yard line with 81 seconds remaining as the Patriots were driving for what would have been the winning field goal against the Redskins yesterday "had no guts."
The Patriots later were deemed guilty on a questionable offensive pass interference call. The latter penalty was refused, giving the Patriots fourth down and forcing kicker John Smith to try a field goal from 53 yards instead of 36. His kick was short, and the Redskins won, 24-22.
Coach Ron Erhardt ran after the officials as they left the field and shouted at them.
Jordan, a 6-foot-7, 260-pound six-year veteran, said, "I didn't say much to the official while the game was still going on, but afterwards I did. I told him it was a bad call, and it took a man with no guts to make a call like that. I also told him he should take a close look at that call when he gets home, because he's going to be very disappointed in himself."
The identity of the official who called the penalty was not immediately available.
The penalty came on a sweep to the right, a play on which Tony Collins, a rookie from East Carolina, had gained many of his 103 yards rushing.
"They tried three different defensive ends over there, and none of them could stop the play all day, so I didn't have to hold anybody," Jordan said. "I just made a simple routine block. I didn't even hit anybody hard, and I kept my hands in."
The infraction was called on first down at the Washington 25 with 1:21 left. The Patriots had begun the drive on their own 19 with 2:33 remaining. They moved to the Redskin 46, then quarterback Steve Grogan completed a 21-yard pass to tight end Don Hasselbeck. The next play was the Collins sweep.
"We had the game won," Grogan said. "We didn't have to throw the ball down there. We were running a simple sweep to run down the clock. Then we would have brought in Smith to kick the short field goal and we win. But then all of a sudden you see a flag, and then another, and then . . . Patriots lose again."
The holding call against Jordan was the first of four straight plays during which things went wrong for New England.
The 10-yard penalty pushed the ball back to the 35. The Patriots set up a seemingly perfect screen pass to Mosi Tatupu after faking a double reverse. Tatupu had two blockers and no defenders in front of him, but Grogan's five-yard pass slipped through Tatupu's fingers.
"I even took a little off the ball because it was wet," Grogan said. "I guess I should have drilled it into his stomach and maybe it would have stuck there. But Mosi was trying. He didn't drop it on purpose. He had to turn a bit for it and he slipped a little."
That made it second down with a minute left, and Grogan threw incomplete to Stanley Morgan. On third down, Morgan appeared to have inside position on Lemar Parrish at the 15, but Grogan's pass went over their heads as they jostled each other for position. Morgan was called for offensive interference.
"He (Parrish) had his hands on me, and I pushed his hands down," said Morgan. "I thought it was interference on him when I saw the flag, but I guess the ref saw it another way."
Grogan, who was sacked three times and took numerous hard hits as he released passes, said he would rather not talk about the officiating.
"You've got to get some breaks to win, but we aren't getting them, making them or anything," he said. "Guys are playing their tails off, but the right things just aren't happening."
New England wide receiver Harold Jackson caught four passes for 83 yards and became only the third player to surpass 10,000 yards in receiving. Jackson has 10,014 yards. The other players that have passed that 10,000 mark are Don Maynard and Lance Alworth.