Late in the second quarter of Saturday’s Wild Card Game between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, Deshaun Watson was dragged down by his facemask.
Officials missed a blatant facemask on that sack. Should have set up a first-and-goal and instead set up a third-and-14.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 5, 2019
It was an extremely blatant facemask penalty.
Except, nary a single yellow flag appeared on the field. The refs either saw it and thought it was not a facemask or somehow were not looking at the person carrying the ball.
This non-call ended up really hurting Houston. A couple plays later, Watson missed DeAndre Hopkins on fourth down and the Texans turned the ball over on downs. Fans and analysts were stunned that the facemask wasn’t called.
That missed facemask could cost the Texans points. HOW do you miss that call?
— Ryan Phillips (@RumorsandRants) January 5, 2019
That's a blatant facemask on the QB, yet @NFLOfficiating misses it.
Decided to change the game when Clowney pushed Foles in the chest, though
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) January 5, 2019
Refs missed an obvious facemask on that sack, would've given Deshaun a first down and much easier shot at 21-7. Two big penalties missed that would've dramatically changed this game.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 5, 2019
— Marcos Sanz (@ElMarcosSanz) January 5, 2019
Bad missed facemask booooo
— Steelers Depot 🎄 (@Steelersdepot) January 5, 2019
However, as we’ve seen before this year, this is a problem that the league has to fix due to a “mechanic” explained by former NFL ref Terry McAulay.
The missed facemask on Watson couldn’t be seen by the Referee and mechanically, the Umpire does not have secondary coverage on the QB. His focus is on line play. Until the NFL changes that mechanic, this foul will be missed. See also Foles on the 2 pt try in the #HOUvsPHI game.
— Terry McAulay (@SNFRules) January 5, 2019
So, please do fix this, NFL. Sincerely, fans everywhere.