After Alex Smith led the Washington Football Team on a game-tying drive with just 16 seconds left, it seemed almost certain that Sunday's clash with Detroit would be heading for overtime.
That didn't happen, though, largely due to a mental error by Washington rookie Chase Young. With just 12 seconds remaining, the No. 2 overall pick was called for a roughing the passer penalty on Lions QB Matthew Stafford, one that moved the ball to midfield. Two plays later, Lions kicker Matt Prater would it a 59-yard game-winning field goal.
After the game, Washington head coach Ron Rivera was asked his thoughts on the penalty call.
"He hit him too hard, I guess," Rivera said.
Young's hit on Stafford wasn't a brutal hit by any means; it was more of a shove in the back. However, with Stafford having already released the football, the hit came late and warranted a penalty.
Rivera was a bit upset with the call, too, because of what he called "inconsistency" from the referees regarding roughing the passer calls throughout the afternoon.
"They hit our guy and knocked him to the ground and we didn't get a penalty," the head coach said. "So, just a little inconsistent."
The play is one Young certainly regrets. But, Rivera also thinks that play can be used as a teachable moment for the rookie moving forward.
"The quarterbacks are treated extra special. We have to be aware of that," Rivera said. "You just tell him you got to be aware. Understand that's the quarterback. What they may have gotten away with in college, unfortunately, they're going to treat these guys a little more carefully. It's unfortunate and he'll learn from it. It's tough."