DeAngelo Williams Touchdown Fiasco Proves Incompetence of NFL Officials

Chris TrapassoAnalyst INovember 6, 2012

Nov 4, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) outruns Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley (56) to score a touchdown during the first half at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Order was restored when the regular NFL officials came back to work, right?

While we haven't seen as many utterly ridiculous judgement calls since the infamous "Fail Mary" play in the Week 3 clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, incompetence still lingers within the guys we all were excited to have back. 

DeAngelo Williams' 30-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins in Week 9 was the latest demonstration of said incompetence. 

As the Carolina Panthers running back turned the corner and neared the sideline, you can hear a blown whistle—listen for it when Williams reaches the 17-yard line.

Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley, according to Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrar, said he "would have pushed Williams out of bounds had he not heard the whistle"—you can see the defender slow up after the whistle was blown. 

Blowing the whistle was bad enough. 

In all likelihood, line judge Thomas Symonette, the man who blew the whistle, anticipated Williams would drift out of bounds instead of simply reacting to what he saw in real time. 

Not good. 

To make matters worse, per Farrar's report, referee Carl Cheffers said postgame that "the officiating crew decided that Williams was already in the end zone when the whistle was blown," which is downright insane. 

The crew held an on-field conference and ultimately decided the play would stand as a touchdown as initially called on the field.

Now, the NFL is admitting its mistake, saying the Panthers should have been awarded the ball and a first down at the 17 or a chance to replay the down from the Redskins' 30. 

Either way, the anticipatory rogue whistle and Cheffers' justification after the game are scary reminders as to the ineptitude that remains within the group of NFL officials. 

An honest mistake—probably—but the explanation after the game was an insult to our intelligence and proves traces of incompetence can be found in the zebras making the calls at the professional ranks.