Chargers admit FG defense merited penalty

SAN DIEGO — Asked about the illegal formation officials failed to call on Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop‘s missed goal that could have won the game for the Chiefs, San Diego coach Mike McCoy said his defensive unit was misaligned on the play.

McCoy also said the Chargers did not knowingly line up in an illegal formation.

“We misaligned on it,” McCoy said. “I’m not going to deny that. But hey, those calls all balance themselves out over the year. It’s part of the game. We’re all human.”

With the Chargers needing a win to advance to the postseason and the game tied at 24-all, Succop missed a 41-yard field goal that would have ended the Chargers’ season.

However, replays showed that the Chargers had seven players lined up to the right side of the defensive formation, a clear violation of a new rule implemented by the league this season. The rule states that the defense can only have six players on one side of the formation on field goal and extra point attempts. The rule was put in place by the league to help further protect players in vulnerable positions susceptible to injury.

Officials failed to call a penalty for illegal formation, which would have resulted in a 5-yard penalty and another opportunity for Succop to win the game with a 36-yard field goal attempt.

McCoy was asked if anyone on the sideline or up in the coaches’ booth knew his team was misaligned on the play, and were concerned the penalty would be called.

“Things happen for reasons,” McCoy responded. “I can’t always tell you why, but they happen for reasons. … We didn’t do it on purpose, I’ll tell you that.”

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers was asked if he believed the missed call was payback for things that have not gone his team’s way in the past.

“Did we get a few breaks yesterday? Yeah,” Rivers said. “But did I think for one bit we were given anything? Absolutely not, we fought like crazy to stay alive all year. And we fought like crazy to earn these last four [wins].”

The Chargers won four straight, and five of their last six games to finish 9-7 and reach the postseason for the first time since 2009. San Diego will travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in an AFC Wild Card game on Sunday.

  • Covered Seahawks for Tacoma News Tribune for six seasons.
  • Played college football at University of Puget Sound

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