Between several lengthy discussions and at least one controversial call, referee Jerome Boger got plenty of screen time during the Raiders’ 26-19 AFC wild-card loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati on Saturday.
It’s likely to be his last time on television this postseason.
An ESPN report Sunday morning indicated Boger’s crew is not expected to receive any more assignments from the NFL during the playoffs.
All crews are graded by the league after each game and their marks are not expected to be good enough to warrant another opportunity.
The most blatant error came on a Bengals touchdown in the second quarter. An official blew his whistle in the middle of a play while the ball was in the air, but the crew decided after a prolonged conversation the whistle had come after the ball was caught in the end zone for a touchdown.
Replays suggested that was incorrect, but the play is not subject to review.
Rookie safety Tre’Von Moehrig said Sunday he did hear the whistle on the play as he was playing defense.
“I think everybody heard it,” he said. “But no excuses. Could I have been in a better position to make a play? Yeah, for sure. We were in a scramble drill. Quarterback got outside the pocket and everybody was running around trying to find a guy. Running toward the receiver as the play was going on.
”I heard the whistle and didn’t even see the ball thrown until the receiver jumped up to catch it. I turned around and thought it would be a replay of the down, but you can’t change it.”
Linebacker Denzel Perryman wasn’t on the field at the time and said the team squandered plenty of opportunities, so he didn’t want to use the call as an excuse.
He did, however, insinuate some of his teammates stopped once they heard the whistle.
“Anybody hears a whistle on the football field and we stop,” he said. “A whistle blows before the play and then the next one you hear, you know to stop. I wasn’t on the field. I’m not going to get into it or whatever, but people heard whistles. We’ll leave it at that.”
The long conversation on the field by the officials as they discussed the play was just one of several moments when they were the focus of the game, which at times made it feel disjointed.
The NFL assigns different officials to work together in the postseason instead of the crews that have worked together all season.
Perryman had the best season of his career, finishing among the league leaders in tackles and making his first Pro Bowl. His focus entering the offseason will be improving his coverage ability in the passing game.
In case he ever forgets where his weakness may lie, he can always just check on social media.
“I know I need to work on my pass (defense),” he said. “A lot of people knock me for that. I see it on Twitter a lot … So maybe in my offseason all the people that bash me about pass coverage can come teach me how to cover receivers and tight ends. But in all seriousness, in the offseason I’ll be working on my pass coverage.”
Wide receiver Bryan Edwards scored three touchdowns in his second season, but there was one that stood out from the others.
Edwards has a particular affinity for the 7-yard touchdown reception he hauled in against the Browns to open the scoring in what was eventually a 16-14 victory to start a 4-game winning streak.
“There were a lot of big moments throughout the season,” he said. “It’s honestly like a heavyweight fight every week. Playing in Cleveland and getting that touchdown, I felt that was kind of for me the moment of all the hard work coming to fruition when you kind of see the light and realize, ‘I’m coming along.’ That moment in Cleveland, to me, is one that sticks out.”