Jerome Boger's crew didn't just blow whistles during Sunday's Patriots-Chiefs game. They were also busy blowing calls — several of them.
The two most significant calls nullified what should have been Patriots touchdowns, both in the second half.
And even though quick whistles after a Travis Kelce took away a potential scoop-and-score away from Stephon Gilmore, the play you'll see over and over again as the latest example of bad NFL officiating was N'Keal Harry's touchdown-that-wasn't.
With the Patriots trailing 23-13 early in the fourth quarter, the rookie wideout caught a Tom Brady pass, broke a couple of tackles and leaped toward the pylon. But even though numerous replays showed he was in bounds, which you can clearly see in this photo below, he was ruled out of bounds at the three-yard line.
And with New England out of challenges, the call stood. So why did the officials get the call wrong and not call it a touchdown? Referee Jerome Bogar tried to explain to pool reporter Mike Reiss after the game.
"What led to it was the covering official on the wing was blocked out by defenders. The downfield official who was on the goal line and looking back toward the field of play had that he stepped out at the three-yard line. So, they got together and conferred on that. The final ruling was that he was out of bounds at the three-yard line."
But considering all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, Reiss asked Boger if there was any thought to rule the play a touchdown and let replay sort it out.
"Not really. Those two officials who were covering it, they look at it in real time. This case was unique in that the guy who would have ruled touchdown had him short. So maybe if that ruling official on the goal line had a touchdown, we could have gotten into that, but he thought that that guy stepped out of bounds. The goal line wasn't in the play."
While the Patriots chose their words carefully after the game, the reaction to Boger's crew's calls — and the explanation afterwards — didn't go over well on Twitter.
Jerome Boger clinched never working an important game again https://t.co/3i3LhCd9o6— Scott Zolak (@scottzolak) December 9, 2019
Seeing replay over & over of blown Harry TD...official less than 10ft away. No obstructions, nothing else to look at. Doesn’t happen unusually quickly, nothing like that. Should be concerning to @NFLOfficiating. Your employees just aren’t good enuff to get it right, spoiled game— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) December 9, 2019
I know I'm a broken record when it comes to officiating ... but Boger and his crew were overmatched in that game. Missed calls all over the place ... Harry TD not able to be challenged because of previous incompetence. Just awful— Paul Perillo (@pfwpaul) December 9, 2019
Jerome Boger officiated a Super Bowl in a season in which he ranked as literally the worst official in the league.— Erik Frenz (@ErikFrenz) December 8, 2019
Even Boger's mic has had enough of him.— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) December 8, 2019
Not sure one #NFL crew could've possibly have had a worse 25 min stretch like Boger and company just had. Plenty of game left for it to get even worse but this crew might be in play for a suspension. Total incompetence.— Kevin Sheehan (@kevinsheehanDC) December 9, 2019
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