Found September 09, 2012 on Pro Football Zone:

Photo by Jeffrey Beal

During today’s Arizona Cardinals – Seattle Seahawks match up, the replacement officials may have made their biggest mistake of the day. They ended up inadvertently giving the Seahawks a fourth timeout as time was winding down in the fourth quarterback.

Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com has the story.

The Cardinals were trailing 16-13 at the time, but Kolb calmly led them down the field and hit Andre Robertswith a six-yard pass to make the score 20-16. It would hold up, but not without some drama.

Seattle drove the ball down inside the five thanks to two pass interference penalties on the Cardinals and a couple of nice plays by Russell Wilson. That’s when all hell threatened to break loose. The Seahawks called a timeout after a Marshawn Lynch run, which the officials granted even though it seemed to everyone else on the planet that they didn’t have any timeouts left. They had called two before Doug Baldwin was banged up while dropping what could have been the game-winning pass in the end zone.

The officials explained that the Seahawks had a timeout left because the clock stopped on the incompletion, which is an incorrect interpretation of the rules. When a player is injured in the last two minutes of the game, there is supposed to be a timeout charged to his team. That should have led to the referees ignoring their timeout requests, but it didn’t.

In the end, it’s a good thing the fourth timeout that the Seahwks received didn’t affect the outcome of the game. But even though it didn’t, this should still come across as something very alarming to the NFL.

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