A missed field goal attempt in San Diego might have ultimately cost the Pittsburgh Steelers a trip to the playoffs, but a missed call could have been the real difference.
Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop missed a 41-yard field goal try with 4 seconds remaining in regulation Sunday that would have won the game for the visiting Chiefs. However, Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, reported Sunday night that the NFL thinks the Chargers should have been penalized on the play.
Based on a new rule this season, San Diego would have been penalized for an illegal formation when the ball was snapped.
The rule (Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3) is in relation to the overloading of one side of the formation when defending a field goal. The Chargers were shown on replays to have seven players on one side of the snapper; the rule dictates you can have no more than six in such a position.
Had the penalty been called correctly, the Chiefs would have received a second chance at winning the game in regulation with a field goal try from 5 yards closer. Instead, the game went to overtime and the Chargers pulled out a 27-24 victory.
If the Chiefs had won, the Chargers would have been eliminated from postseason contention while the Steelers would have grabbed the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.
Instead, the Chargers will visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in a wild-card game.