Missed false start by Chargers that led to TD has Browns angry

Team tired of “bad calls on us each and every game”

Daryl Ruiter
October 14, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns won’t blame the officiating for Sunday’s 35-14 blowout courtesy of the L.A. Chargers, but the bad calls this season are starting to add up.

“At this point, I’m tired of having bad calls on us each and every game,” linebacker Christian Kirksey said. “I feel like the league has to do something about that.

“There’s nothing that you can do. It’s us against everybody.”

Kirksey was ready to unload on the shoddy officiating they’ve experienced this season, but he was careful in how he chose his words.

“I really want to hold my tongue on a lot, but they gotta do something about this,” Kirksey said.

The most egregious error came in the final minute of the second quarter when Chargers left tackle Russell Okung took three steps back before the ball was snapped. Several Browns defenders pointed but the officials did not whistle the play dead for the false start.

“It’s one of those things where you hope the ref sees it, but if they don’t see it we gotta keep playing,” defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi said.

L.A. quarterback Phillip Rivers quickly fired a 29-yard touchdown to receiver Tyrell Williams with half of Cleveland’s defense running in slow motion until they realized the play was not blown dead.

“Yep. Yep. Missed it,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “Yeah, I was told they missed it. Was very honest on my side. It sure wasn’t the guy on the other side. It was definitely the guy on my side. That was [a false start].”

By then it was too late, and the Chargers took advantage and a 21-3 lead with 51 ticks left on the first half clock.

“I could see when guys were getting off the ball they were pointing and kind of rushing at the same time,” Ogunjobi said. “It’s just one of those situations where you just gotta keep going. You just never know how critical that play is. You take those seven points off the board and it’s a different ballgame.”

Two weeks ago in Oakland, the Browns were the victims of a re-spot following a replay review on what was originally ruled a first down that resulted in a fourth down, punt and ultimately a tie game at the end of regulation that Cleveland lost in overtime.

In Week 1, the NFL admitted that officials erred in calling Myles Garrett for a roughing the passer penalty because of the emphasis on body weight with the rule on third down that gave Pittsburgh a fresh set of downs. The Steelers quickly score a touchdown instead of kicking a field goal. That four-point swing might have spared the Browns the first of three overtimes they’ve played this season.

“It’s like, every week, man,” safety Damarious Randall said. “It’s just something against the Browns every week we play.”

Randall had his own reason to be upset with the officials.

He felt that he came down with an interception in the endzone that was ruled a 45-yard touchdown reception by Williams with 6:34 left in the first quarter that gave the Chargers a 14-3 lead.

“I caught it clean and I was just falling back and [Williams] was just happy being the guy that was just laying there, and when the ref came over there we were both tussling because he was trying to grab it from me,” Randall said. “The ref saw it as we’re both tussling that 50-50 goes to the receiver, but I guess that’s just the world we live in.”