Refs Blow Awfully Embarrassing Call Against the Browns, Again

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.

A week after one of the worst calls you'll ever see in the NFL helped the Cleveland Browns lose, officials in the team's tilt against the Washington Redskins attempted to one-up that Week 3 crew when it comes to embarrassing decisions that contribute to a Browns loss.

As the Browns drove into Washington territory, down 24-20, Browns running back Duke Johnson coughed up the ball as he took a handoff to the left. The ball immediately bounced back into his grasp, as he stood over the pileup with the pigskin in hand.

Meanwhile, several Redskins jostled for something—obviously not the ball—on the ground below line judge Sarah Thomas, who, based on clearly no evidence, ruled that Washington had the ball that Johnson was waving in front of her.

Browns fans took to Twitter to voice their well-deserved displeasure.

A Redskins punt and Browns interception later, the Redskins tacked on another touchdown to put the game out of reach and win 31-20.

For their part, the Browns, who confidently entered their Week 4 matchup despite being 0-3, said the right things about the controversial play, while likely screaming internally.

"Obviously, it was a huge point in the game," said Browns coach Hue Jackson. "But hey, they called it. We can't let the ball out. We just can't turn it over. It's unfortunate we put the officials even in that spot. We should be holding on to the ball."

"I cannot put the team in that situation," Johnson said.

The league responded to outrage with a bowl of word salad that doesn't actually mean anything and defies both sight and logic.

"The on-field ruling was a fumble, recovered by Washington," wrote the NFL's Michael Signora in an email, according to ESPN. "It was confirmed as a fumble in instant replay without the need to stop the game. As to the recovery, several different angles were looked at, but with nothing definitive shown, there was no need to stop the game because the on-field ruling that awarded possession to Washington would have stood."

In other words: F**k you, Cleveland. Love, the NFL.