Chain gang gives Redskins first down but the refs do not


In a bizarre finish on Sunday Night Football, the chain gang gave the Washington Redskins a first down but the referees signaled for third down.  I’m sure this would have completely changed the Redskins play call after they didn’t gain any yards on the next play, because the play after would have been fourth down and not second down.  Terrible miscommunication by the referees and the chain gang.

As you can see by the marker at the bottom of the screen, the linesman and chain gang signaled for a first down.


However, head referee Jeff Triplette signaled for third down, which overruled the first down. Why no measurement, though?


Like Mike Shanahan, chang gang woman had some words for the ref. Chain-Gang-woman-mike-shannahan

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View Comments (4)


  1. The___Don

    December 2, 2013 at

    This entire crew should be suspended for the rest of the season. They make the replacement zebras look pretty good right now.

  2. SportsGuy

    December 2, 2013 at


    • concretejimmy

      December 2, 2013 at

      I said keep the replacement refs. But everyone was whining.

  3. Scot

    December 3, 2013 at

    The entire crew must work as a team or you will have a cluster f. Here is what most are missing. The Redskins player was ruled down outside the right hash mark. It is the Line Judge’s responsibility to help the Umpire mark the ball. The Head Linesman on the other side of the field closest to the Redskins bench is simply to mirror the Line Judge’s spot. The Line Judge moves in position to spot the ball. He is to use his up-field (Right) foot. He runs with his right foot along the superimposed yellow line and just prior to stopping steps off the line and marks the ball short. It appears he decided to yield to the spot indicated by the Head Linesman. The Umpire retrieves the ball to move it to the nearest hash mark but does so by turning his back to the Line Judge. He instead picks up the mirrored spot of the Head Linesman who does not have the best view of the spot. The Umpire uses the spot of the Head Linesman which was marked short of the 1st down. It is then ironic the Head Linesman motions for the chain gang to move the sticks. He is not to do this until the Referee signals 1st down but the Referee relies on the flank officials to let him know if it’s 1st down or if a measurement is in order. Bottom line is the Referee has to stop play and get everyone on the same page. He instead concluded, because the Redskins were in a hurry-up, the chains and down marker could be fixed in time for the next play. This crew will receive a demerit on its evaluation which could impact whether or not they will do playoff games.

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