Did the Redskins get lucky on Sunday?
With roughly ten minutes left in the fourth quarter against the Browns, the Redskins were clinging to a 24-20 lead. The Redskins had trailed for much of the first half, before taking a 17-14 lead before the Browns kicked a field goal to retie the game at 17-17 heading into halftime.
The Browns took a 20-17 lead on a field goal, but the Redskins responded with ten play, 91-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard Chris Thompson touchdown catch, resulting in a 24-20 lead.
Then something funny happened.
After running back Isaiah Crowell broke off back-t-back runs of 17 and 8 yards respectively, Duke Johnson filled in on Second-and-2. Johnson was hit and the ball came lose. The referees awarded the fumble recovery to the Redskins, who would find the end zone again in under two minutes, giving them a 31-20 lead.
But did the Redskins deserve to recover the fumble?
Last week the bogus taunting penalty. This week the phantom fumble. Johnson never lost the ball. How does this happen?? pic.twitter.com/Uo8JZ39Wu0— Jay Crawford (@JaycrawfordCLE) October 2, 2016
This photo certainly shows the Browns have possession of the ball while Redskins players are still fighting in the pile.
So, on that fourth-quarter fumble... if he's got the ball here... what are they wrestling over under there? pic.twitter.com/ApKNv9oNkO— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) October 3, 2016
It was a hotly debated call on Twitter, but did the refs make the right call?
The NFL reportedly reviewed the play on Monday morning and there was no evidence that a Browns player recovered the ball from the pile.
#Browns debated Duke Johnson fumble was reviewed today. There is no evidence of a CLE player recovering it in the pile. Just out of the pile— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2016
Having possession of the ball out of the pile does not mean one recovered possession of the ball.
Here is the official response from the NFL, via Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot: "The on-field ruling was a fumble, recovered by Washington. It was confirmed as a fumble in instant replay without the need to stop the game. As to the recovery, several different angles were looked at, but with nothing definitive shown, there was no need to stp the game because the on-field ruling that awarded possession to Washington would have stood."
Johnson unquestionably fumbled the ball, but did the Redskins recover it?
It's hard to tell, and sometimes even the refs can't get it right.
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