Commanders’ Ron Rivera sounds off on officiating in loss to Giants: ‘Don’t ask me about the refereeing’


Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera had little to say during his press conference Sunday night when asked about a controversial call and seemingly missed penalty late in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants which could have ultimately changed the outcome of the game. 

On 3rd and goal with just over a minute remaining, star wideout Terry McLaurin was called for illegal formation which negated an apparent touchdown run by Brian Robinson Jr. 

New York Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux, #5, and teammates celebrate after Thibodeaux scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown during the New York Giants game versus the Washington Commanders on Dec. 18, 2022, at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
(Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

McLaurin told reporters after the game that he was told by the sideline official that he was lined up legally before the play, even checking with him twice. 

GIANTS-COMMANDERS GAME ENDS WITH CONTROVERSIAL NO CALL IN END ZONE: ‘IT’S CLEARLY A FOUL’

“I feel like I was on the ball the entire time. If you look through the game, I lined up there pretty much every play. So I checked to see if I was good the first time and he was like ‘move up a little bit’ so when I moved up, I checked to see if I was good and he said I was good. So… I’m not trying to get fined.”

He continued, “It’s frustrating because I pride myself on paying attention to detail and I’m detail oriented in everything I do. And with the game on the line, you don’t want to make a mistake to hurt your team and I just wanted to make sure I was good and I felt like I was with his confirmation.” 

Rivera was asked what he saw on the play which prompted him to respond, “What did you guys see on the film?” 

Washington Commanders head Coach Ron Rivera reacts during the third quarter against the New York Giants at FedExField on Dec. 18, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 

Washington Commanders head Coach Ron Rivera reacts during the third quarter against the New York Giants at FedExField on Dec. 18, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 
(Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

The reporter said he saw McLaurin signaling to the referee. 

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“That’s exactly what I thought too, thank you,” Rivera replied. 

Just two plays later with another chance in the end zone, officials missed an obvious pass interference call on Darnay Holmes as he covered Curtis Samuel. 

“Yeah I mean, I again – in fact, don’t ask me about the refereeing because I can’t answer the question,” Rivera said, but he made no excuse for Sunday’s loss. 

Darnay Holmes, #30 of the New York Giants, breaks up a pass intended for Curtis Samuel, #10 of the Washington Commanders, during the fourth quarter at FedExField on Dec. 18, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 

Darnay Holmes, #30 of the New York Giants, breaks up a pass intended for Curtis Samuel, #10 of the Washington Commanders, during the fourth quarter at FedExField on Dec. 18, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 
(Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

Washington had two turnovers in the red zone in the final six minutes of the game which could have ultimately tied the score or put the Commanders ahead. Rivera noted that without those critical turnovers “that last series doesn’t matter.” 

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“That’s huge. We can’t do that,” he said. “We had our opportunities. We put ourselves down there… we missed opportunities and we can’t do that. We talked about that when we were off last week that the red zone was something we got to be better at. And we didn’t do that. If we had done it, that last series doesn’t matter.” 

Samuel echoed that sentiment. 

“I mean, I can’t control that. All I can do is just try to make the play when the ball is in the air. I’m not a ref so ain’t nothing I can do about that.”



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