Refs miss facemask call vs. Rams’ Matthew Stafford

Being an NFL official is a much harder job than some realize, but it’s hard to excuse some of their mistakes — especially on Monday night.

On a key third-down play in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, Cardinals defensive end Jordan Phillips brought down Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to force a field goal.

Let’s just say it wasn’t the most clean tackle:

Yeah, quarterback helmets typically don’t spin that way without help. Replay showed Phillips’ fingers catch the bars of Stafford’s facemask, then grab him by the collar to get the much-needed sack.

It seems the only way the officials could have missed the penalty is if their view had been blocked by other players around the pocket, but that’s not much consolation to the Rams. Head coach Sean McVay could be seen on replay yelling “That’s a facemask,” as could seemingly half the accounts of NFL Twitter:

The sack and lack of flag on the play forced the Rams to kick a 33-yard field goal to take a 30-20 lead with 7:23 left. Fortunately, the potential four-point swing ended up not costing L.A. in its 30-23 win. The Rams’ defense held the Cardinals to only three points on their final three drives, despite a converted onside kick.

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