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Ref Admits To Botched Call In Packers-49ers Game

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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.

Head referee Bill Leavy admitted to making a mistaking in the Green Bay Packers game against the San Francisco 49ers that eventually cost Clay Matthews and company a touchdown.

Packers LB Matthews hit 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick well after he was out of bounds on a third-down play, and it started a brawl between the two teams. Matthews was flagged for the penalty, but an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty by 49ers OT Joe Staley offset it.

"On the play where the quarterback (Kaepernick) went out of bounds and was hit late out of bounds, and then there was a subsequent hit by a San Francisco player, the down should have counted," Leavy said. "The penalties were both dead ball and they should have offset at the spot where the runner went out of bounds. And it would have been fourth down."

The refs mistakenly didn’t call it as a loss of a down, and instead of the 49ers punting the ball away, they played another third down. That extra down extended the drive and resulted in a touchdown that may have changed the outcome of the game.

“The down ended when Kaepernick stepped out of bounds,” McCarthy said. “Both the late hit by Matthews and the unnecessary roughness foul on Staley are considered dead-ball fouls. As a result, the down should have counted and the fouls offset at the dead-ball spot, making it 4th-and-2 at the six-yard line.”