It looks like the refs may have missed a huge, potentially outcome-altering call in the Eagles' loss to the Titans, according to Dean Blandino, former vice president of officiating of the NFL and current Fox rules analyst.
The play in question was the strip sack of Carson Wentz that occurred one minute into the fourth quarter of a seven-point game.
Bend, baby! Bend! #TitanUp@HaroldLandry with the strip sack. 😎 pic.twitter.com/lfDQMHhCDH— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 30, 2018
Upon first look, it appears that Harold Landry comes in and cleanly separates Wentz from the ball, but the closeup shows a much different story.
Not only did the officials pick up a flag on a late hit on a Wentz slide, they also did not call this shot to the head on Harold Landry's strip sack. I personally don't love the QB protection rules, but this is obvious, based on what they normally call. pic.twitter.com/rvYswEES9V— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 3, 2018
It appears that Landry actually nails Wentz in the face, helping the ball jar loose, allowing the Titans to recover and take over in Eagles territory.
With the turnover, the Titans went on to hit a 33-yard field goal en route to tying the game and winning in OT. If a call had been made on the play, the Eagles would have retained possession and turned a 3rd-and-20 into an automatic first down with possession on the Titans' 45-yard-line.
So, was this a penalty? Blandino thinks so.
Yes that’s a foul. Forcible contact to the head while QB is in passing posture.— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) October 3, 2018
A lot has been made of contact against quarterbacks this season, but this one seems pretty legitimate, especially with Blandino chiming in. We’ll see how much this decision by the refs hurts the Eagles come December if the team ends up needing one extra win.