The Green Bay Packers held onto defeat the Carolina Panthers 24-16 on Sunday, but it could’ve ended very differently if CMC had a bit more bounce in his stretch.
After a boffo final drive, the Panthers worked their way down snow-covered Lambeau Field, all the way to Green Bay two-yard line. With just four seconds in regulation remaining, Carolina gave Christian McCaffrey the ball and trusted him to twist his way past the goal line. McCaffrey rushed up the middle, but appeared to be stopped just one yard short.
As with any potential scoring play at the goal line, an official review took place, but the league deemed McCaffrey short of reaching the end zone. This likely wasn’t getting overturned anyway, but the refs on hand had one perfect replay angle of the potential score…but it was unintentionally blocked by Panthers receiver Curtis Samuel. Like, perfectly blocked.
Oh man, it doesn’t get more unfortunate than that.
As is the case with any call, if there’s no conclusive evidence, then the ruling on the field stands. So with McCaffrey “falling a yard short,” the clock struck zero and the Packers emerged with the W.
You can’t fault Curtis Samuel. He was just standing at the one-yard line, joined by fellow receiver DJ Moore, watching the play unfold. He was at the right place, but at the wrong time.