The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in a playoff opener that was marred by a whistle-happy officiating crew. Whistle-happy is an appropriate term for a game that involved an inadvertent whistle during a play. Joe Burrow’s second touchdown of the day should have been blown dead, but the NFL later claimed the whistle happened after the receiver caught the ball.
Whatever the case on that play, it appears the officiating crew involved will deal with some measure of fallout from the performance. Adam Schefter is reporting referee Jerome Boger and his crew are not expected to work the rest of the playoffs.
The report is not entirely clear, but the timing of it suggests this is fallout from the performance. Schefter reported the NFL usually takes officials assigned to the Divisional Round to eventually work the Super Bowl and Boger’s crew will not be taking part.
There were numerous problematic plays in Saturday’s game, which has been a running issue for Boger-officiated games for some time now. But the inadvertent whistle was the most obvious problem.
An official blew a whistle because he believed Joe Burrow had stepped out of bounds, according to Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby. Following the game, the NFL’s senior VP of officiating, Walt Anderson, told the pool reporter that the whistle had happened after the ball was caught in the end zone. It’s hard to understand given what the rest of the world saw and heard and so removing Boger and his crew from the rest of the playoffs would seem to be some attempt at a makeup call.