Gary Kubiak is still confused about the penalty call that helped his team cut the Chargers’ deficit to seven points on Monday.
The play happened very early in the fourth quarter, when Chargers’ lineman Cam Thomas made contact with Texans’ long snapper Jon Weeks. Instead of a field goal, the penalty kept the drive alive and the Texans scored on the next play to make it 28-21. The Texans won 31-28.
Dean Blandino, the NFL Vice President of Officiating, later said on NFL Network that the call was not correct.
“No, this was not a correct call,” Blandino said. “This is not the intent of the rule as it was written. The rule is to protect the snapper on a field goal or extra point from a direct forcible blow to the head of neck area, or with the crown/forehead/hairline parts of the helmet to the body. It was not designed to prohibit any contact with the snapper, which is what happened on this play.”
Blandino said there was “incidental contact” to the head and neck area of Weeks but that it wasn’t enough to be a foul.
It was a judgment call on the field that the NFL ruled was the incorrect call upon their review. It doesn’t matter much for Monday’s game; that’s over. But Kubiak said he needed to get the rule clarified because he has been coaching his players thinking the call was correct.
“I’m still confused to be honest with you,” Kubiak said on Wednesday. “The way I understand it, you cannot go towards a center at all in a try, those type of things. We’re always having to coach our guys to get off the center because he is protected. I didn’t personally talk to anybody. I heard that that was said.”