The 49ers were again the vicim of an awful call late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 26-24 loss to the Washington Redskins, when Pierre Garcon was called for offensive pass interference with 22 seconds remaining, knocking the 49ers out of field goal range, and spoiling C.J. Beathard’s shot at a thrilling comeback.
San Francisco was also the victim of a questionable final-drive OPI call in their loss to the Rams a couple weeks ago. Former Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira told Gary & Larry on Monday afternoon that Sunday’s call was far more egregious.
“I’ve got news for you, if you thought the one a couple weeks ago was bad, this one was horrible,” Pereira said. “There’s nothing about this that sets up as offensive pass interference, except for some contact, but if you watch him he’s working his way upfield, he was looking back toward the quarterback first. The ball was thrown to him. You could make a stronger case for defensive pass interference than you could for offensive pass interference. This whole emphasis on offensive pass interference has obviously gone to far here because I still maintain on the last one you couldn’t really tell.
“To use the Troy Aikman language, it was a horrible call at a horrible time. I agree with Tim Ryan, it was awful, and at that point in the game it better just be so obvious but the elements just were not there. If you’re gonna call a pick route, call a pick route when they throw to the outside and complete a pass to the receiver whose defender got picked, but it wasn’t even a pass to him.”
Gary asked Pereira if the 49ers are getting less love from the officials because of their 0-6 record. Pereira dismissed the notion, saying that when officials miss calls like the one on Garcon, their jobs are in jeopardy.
“No because I’m telling you if I’m the official that made that call, I don’t know which one it was, but he looks at that play after the game and he goes ‘oh my god, I got a downgrade, that’s at least one I know I’ve gotten in the game,’ and there’s a constant turnover in this league that has to do with performance,” Pereira said. “They don’t announce it, but there is, and so you don’t want to make those calls, and you don’t look at color of the jersey, you don’t even look at the player. You just want to make the right call, because if you don’t make right calls you’re going to be out of the playoffs, and maybe out of the league in a two year period, so it really doesn’t work that way.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Pereira’s comments on Garcon, start from the beginning.