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NFL exec: Ref erred on penalty call in Texans-Chargers

A rough opening week for NFL officials continues.

Dean Blandino, NFL vice president of officiating, said Tuesday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," that the wrong call was made when Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas was penalized 10 yards for unnecessary roughness after making contact with Texans long snapper Jon Weeks.

The penalty took a field goal off the board and awarded the Texans a first down from the Chargers' 9-yard line. Houston scored a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage to cut San Diego's lead to 28-21. The Texans went on to win, 31-28.

"No, this was not a correct call. This is not the intent of the rule as it was written," Blandino explained. "The rule is to protect the snapper on a field goal or extra point from a direct forcible blow to the head or neck area, or with the crown/forehead/hairline parts of the helmet to the body. It was not designed to prohibit any contact with the snapper, which is what happened on this play."

Blandino broke down the play on video and explained that incidental contact between Thomas and Weeks should not have been ruled a foul. It was an error that led to four points for the Texans.

"It's a judgment call by the umpire, he's looking at that, and in his judgment, he felt that it was enough for a foul," Blandino said. "And in our review today, we felt that it was not."

Blandino's acknowledgment comes two days after referee Bill Leavy mistakenly awarded the San Francisco 49ers an extra down in a key situation during their Week 1 win over the Green Bay Packers. Like the Texans, the 49ers took advantage of the officiating error, scoring a touchdown on the next play.

Blandino -- who's been quite outspoken of late -- also said Monday that officials were wrong to call a personal foul on 49ers left tackle Joe Staley during the scrum that preceded the touchdown.

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