One of the major rule differences between the XFL and other football leagues is the opportunity to earn up to three points on PAT attempts. The referees of today’s Houston Roughnecks-Seattle Dragons game forgot as much, evidently.
The Roughnecks had an impressive comeback today, taking a 32-23 lead on the Dragons late in the fourth quarter. With two seconds left, P.J. Walker, the league’s MVP leader, took a knee with two seconds left on fourth down.
In the NFL, it would be basically impossible for a team to score nine or more points in just two seconds. That is not the case in the XFL. Teams can try one, two, or three point conversions after touchdowns from different distances from the goal line. That means a score could have set up a three point conversion to tie the game at 32.
Walker took a knee pretty deep in Seattle territory as well. It was not crazy to think the Dragons could score on one shot to the end zone and follow it up with a three-point conversion from the 10-yard line to tie it. Instead, the referees called the game over with what should have been two seconds left and Dragons ball.
XFL Houston QB Phillip Walker kneels on 4th down with 2 seconds left in the game that would’ve given Seattle the ball on the Houston 20 in a one score game (3 point conversions are possible).
Instead, game clock runs out, refs leave, and XFL says “see…what had happened was…” pic.twitter.com/0Dd8v3VAqb
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) March 7, 2020
It is a pretty terrible blunder, and a bad look for the XFL. To the league’s credit, though, it didn’t take long to address the situation.
The league has acknowledged the mistake, and that Seattle should have had a chance to win the contest. It also immediately announced that officiating supervisor, who was in charge of the situation, has been reassigned.
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 8, 2020
With the win, the Roughnecks move to 5-0. As with another infamous Houston team, some may put an asterisk on the record, though this was definitely official’s error and not the team’s. And good on the XFL for getting a statement and apology out very quickly.