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Raiders set a penalty record and the refs still missed a crucial flag

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The referees missed a penalty that could have given the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the game. Yes, in a game where the Oakland Raiders racked up 23 penalties, an all-time NFL record, they should have had one more. And it was a pretty egregious missed penalty, too. Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times grabbed a screenshot.

This helmet-to-helmet penalty came on third-and-six with 1:06 remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 24-24. The pass fell incomplete in part because of that hit, which should have incurred a fifteen-yard penalty and a first down. That would have given the Bucs a first down at their own 45-yard line with 0:58 remaining and three timeouts — plenty of time to get a field goal.

Then again, Roberto Aguayo had already missed an extra point, and the Bucs offense appeared to be completely incapable of moving the ball at that point in time. They gained a grand total of seven yards in the two drives they’d get in overtime, so a flag here would have been no guarantee of a field goal attempt, let alone a game-winning field goal.

Still, this was such an obvious call even in real time that you wonder how the referees missed it.