Commanders Fans Believe They Were Jobbed

Commanders Fans Believe They Were Jobbed by Refs
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Never mind a referee playing free safety against Minnesota Vikings free safety Camryn Bynum, enabling an inexplicable touchdown.

Washington Commanders fans and media believe they were jobbed by officials in Week 9.

The Vikings defeated the Commanders 20-17 on Sunday, carving out a 4.5-game lead in the NFC North and a 99% chance of entering the playoffs. Foremost, this was the play where an official ran into Bynum, creating the Commanders touchdown.

The transaction above was met by a generalized shrug of shoulders by Commanders loyalists and disdain from Vikings fans. But there’s no recourse for a referee changing the outcome of a play, so onward the game’s activities went.

Fast forward about an hour, and Kirk Cousins delivered a pass to Justin Jefferson that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Washington. Yet, the play was called back for defensive pass interference and didn’t feel too controversial at the time.

But Commanders-themed media seized on the play as a “horrible flag” despite vivid visual evidence of the Washington cornerback grabbing Jefferson.

It is unclear what was horrible about the penalty.

Here’s another angle:

And then the flood of angst arrived from Commanders faithful.

It wasn’t just one or two.

A person with the Twitter handle @commanderyear wasn’t pleased.

Andrew Livingston also blamed the officiating.

Another claimed there was “cheating.”

“Terrible” was used as an adjective.

The NFL defines pass interference: “It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball. Pass interference can only occur when a forward pass is thrown behind the line of scrimmage, regardless of whether the pass is legal or illegal, or whether it crosses the line.”

An NFL referee. © Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK.

According to Commanders folks, holding a wide receiver’s shoulder pads does not “significantly hinders an eligible player’s opportunity to catch the ball.”

Washington now has a 13% chance of reaching the postseason, per FiveThirtyEight.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).