The Atlanta Falcons on Sunday beat the Kansas City Chiefs 40-24 but they did it with a little help from the replacement referees.
The Falcons second touchdown came on a bubble screen from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones but along with that play came an illegal pick from Harry Douglas. BJ Kissel asked me about this on Chop Talk last night but I hadn't seen the replay yet.
Now that I have seen it I can say it is indeed a bad call. It didn't make a difference in the game -- the Chiefs are losing that one either way -- but the call was still wrong.
We explain why after the jump.
Here's how they line up pre-snap. It looked like Ryan audibled out of a play and into the screen. Julio Jones is on the bottom of your screen and Harry Douglas is in the slot.
The snap is in. Look at Julio coming back for the pass on the screen and, why, who is that going after Stanford Routt? It's Harry Douglas! Surely he's not going to illegally screen him, is he?
"Wow, right there," Brian Billick of FOX said on the broadcast replay. "You can't do that. You can't block down field on a play like that. That's one the officials missed. You can make him avoid, you can act like you'er going on a route and have a little collision. You can't flat go out there and cut the guy."
Another angle -- Julio clearly hasn't touched the ball yet Douglas is taking out Routt's knees.
The aftermath. Routt is flipped upside down. Julio is catching the ball with momentum on his side. The Falcons have the rest of their blockers set up nicely as you can see.
The block is made and Julio is off to the races with blockers in front of him.
You know what, for good measure why don't we have Douglas go ahead and block Routt again. That illegal pick wasn't enough in the first place.
That is your weekly replacement ref screwup.