Officials cost Jacksonville 43 yards in field position
Posted: Tuesday December 14, 1999 01:42 AM
Brian Griese's second-quarter fumble caused some confusion among the officials when the initial ruling was challenged. AP
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A play in the Monday night game between Denver and Jacksonville demonstrated the fallibility of the NFL's new instant replay system.
Late in the second quarter, Jacksonville defensive lineman Tony Brackens sacked Denver quarterback Brian Griese and forced a fumble that was recovered by Jaguars linebacker Bryce Paup inside the Broncos 20.
Thinking Griese's arm had been going forward at the time of the fumble, referee Gerry Austin blew the whistle and signaled an incomplete pass.
Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin asked for a review of the play, and Austin agreed that Griese had fumbled.
But because the whistle had blown before Paup recovered, officials had to award the ball to Denver back at the spot of the fumble.
NFL observer Bill Swanson said if the whistle blows while the ball is on the ground, the ball belongs to the team that last had possession.
"That was frustrating. So many of these are," Coughlin said after the Jaguars' 27-24 victory. "Many times, it's either down by contact or the whistle blew. This was one wrong that was not righted, and obviously would have made a huge difference."
Denver was forced to punt two plays later, but the error cost the Jaguars 43 yards in field position.
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