I don’t plan on getting particularly worked up over the inadvertent whistle that officials ignored in handing DeAngelo Williams his touchdown. Carolina was driving. The Panthers might very well have scored on that drive anyhow. And weird officiating plays happen in every NFL game, benefiting every team.
That said, officials could at least be honest about the situation and say they mucked it up, instead of claiming that the inadvertent whistle came when Williams had already scored.
As anyone who watched a replay on television could tell you, the whistle clearly came before Williams reached the end zone, when Perry Riley was still in pursuit. “Play through the whistle and all that,” except if you get a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, criticism will rain down from the heavens.
“The line judge blew his whistle,” Referee Carl Cheffers told our Mike Jones in a pool report. “We had a lot of discussion about it. We just felt when the whistle blew, that the player would have already scored a touchdown. So, we tried to piece together if we had to spot — by rule, we would have to put him down when the whistle blew, and we tried to decide where that spot would be, and we felt that spot would be in the end zone….By the time the whistle blew, he had already crossed the goal line. That was our decision.”
Well, it was the wrong decision. If the audio of the play doesn’t convince you, the visual above — showing the official with his arms raised, while Williams is still outside the 10-yard line — should do a pretty fair job.
“I heard a whistle,” Riley told CSN Washington. “I pulled up after I heard the whistle. DeAngelo Williams caught his balance, kept running. I guess a good move by him, ’cause they called it a touchdown.”