NFL informs Bucs the offensive pass interference call on Winslow was incorrect
The NFL has informed the Bucs that the pass interference penalty against tight end Kellen Winslow that nullified a touchdown Sunday against the Detroit Lions should not have been made.
On third and goal, Winslow was engaged with Lions safety C.C. Brown but broke free in time to make a 2-yard touchdown reception.
But Winslow was penalized for offensive pass interference and the Bucs were forced to settle for a game-tying field goal before losing to the Lions 23-20 in overtime, crippling their playoff chances.
"They apologized,'' said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. "We've had a number of those this year. It's real discouraging. We've played some tight games, but you can't have those kind of mistakes. It's disappointing, obviously.
"Now, it wasn't the only play in the game, but it was a critical one at a critical time.''
The review of the play by the league's officials buttresses the opinion given by Mike Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, who analyzes key calls each week for FOX Sports.
Pereira said the play should have been a no-call. He also suggests that Brown might have been more guilty than Winslow.
"I felt it was incorrect because the defender played into Winslow and, at that point, both were holding on to each other and no advantage was being gained one way or another,'' Pereira wrote on Foxsports.com. "If anything, it almost seemed like the defender was more responsible since he initiated the contact. In plays like this, I feel it is best not to make a call at all. The Bucs had to settle for a field goal and ended up losing by three points."
Bucs coach Raheem Morris would not comment on the NFL's review of the play involving Winslow.
"It's Christmas and I just bought a bunch of people gifts,'' Morris said. "I like to keep my money so I can provide gifts for my lovely staff.
"I did see the old director of officiating had a comment, so you can just read his article and take out of that the context. I guess that's legal, so you can read his. Me? I'm going to give you a nice no comment.''