In a painful twist, it turns out that Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore shouldn’t have known in his loss to the Falcons, per NFL rules.
On Sunday, Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker hit what Patrick Mahomes considers his “best throw of the year.”
Hail Mary sailed at the last second, 62 yards, over defenders in the outstretched arms of Panthers star wide DJ Moore. Understandably, Moore was very excited about making what he believed to be winning the game.
In his spirited celebration, Moore took off his helmet. NFL officials called the flag that put the extra point back 15 yards. Panthers player Eddy Pineiro didn’t have a day and missed the kick…and then missed another match-winning chance in overtime.
But regardless of Pineiro, Moore was blamed for pulling the hawks against the hawks.
After the game, the coach of the Panthers Steve Wilkes He said, “We have to make sure we’re smart enough.” While this is general sage advice, it turns out that Moore didn’t actually break any NFL rules.
Panthers: DJ Moore did not after all deserve a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct
As difficult as it may be to be an NFL referee, a mistake in Moore’s celebration only serves to ruin the reputation of the league’s officials. Hard or not, the officials made a call and stood there which made the plus point even more difficult for the Panthers, which ultimately cost them the game. It’s hard not to wonder what would have happened if officials had made the right call.
Although the dust has settled and NFL fans are now aware of the mistake, there is no way to rewrite the end of the Panthers’ painful loss. As with all other controversial game-changing calls in NFL history, this call is just another hard stomach breaking—especially when the game practically opened with Donte Jackson objecting.
As Wilkes said, it’s important for a player to be very careful when it comes to NFL celebrations, especially when the league has cracked down on such moments inconsistently in recent years. All it took was the wrong set of eyes and the wrong call to lose the match at the speed that Walker and Moore seemed to win.
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