NFL: San Diego Chargers escape penalty which could have ended play-off hopes

Last Updated: 30/12/13 7:28pm

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Ryan Succop: Missed field goal from 41 yards but should have been given another attempt

Ryan Succop: Missed field goal from 41 yards but should have been given another attempt

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The NFL has admitted that the play-off-bound San Diego Chargers should have been penalised during the Kansas City Chiefs' missed attempt at a winning field goal on Sunday.

San Diego made the post-season after Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop fluffed a 41-yard attempt which would have almost certainly ended the Chargers' hopes of an AFC wildcard.

Succop drifted his attempt right of the posts with just four seconds left in the final quarter, meaning the contest headed to overtime where the Chargers ultimately prevailed.

But the NFL says the on-field officials missed a penalty on the kick, with San Diego escaping punishment after lining up in an illegal formation.

If the correct call had been made, the Chiefs would have been given another chance to win the game from 36 yards out.

If that kick had been made the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had beaten the Cleveland Browns earlier in the day, would have been virtually assured of qualifying for the play-offs instead of the Chargers.

"On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper. This should have been penalised as an illegal formation by the defence," the NFL said in a statement.

"The NFL Rule Book states that 'No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.' The rule was adopted this year as a player safety measure."

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