The Washington Times - December 2, 2013, 04:28PM

Mike Shanahan said he spoke to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, on Monday regarding the mishap late in the Washington Redskins’ 24-17 loss to the New York Giants where a play was marked as a first down on the field but was actually recorded as a third down.

“He gave me a call and just went over the scenario,” Shanahan, the Redskins’ coach, said Monday afternoon. “Obviously, they made a mistake, and you live with it.”

The Redskins were facing second-and-5 from their own 41-yard line after the two-minute warning when wide receiver Pierre Garçon caught a pass and was ruled down near the Redskins’ 46-yard line. While referee Jeff Triplette said after the game that his third down signal was adequately communicated to both sidelines, the chains were moved in accordance with a first down.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III then threw a pass over the middle to tight end Fred Davis, who dropped it near the Giants’ 31-yard line. Triplette then announced that the following play would be fourth down, not second down as the Redskins believed, forcing a change in the play call and strategy.

Blandino released a statement through the league office on Monday, noting that Triplette correctly signaled third down but that the head linesman, Phil McKinnely, “incorrectly motioned for the chain crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.” He said only Triplette, as the referee, “can rule and signal a first down.”

Triplette said after the game that the typical scenario would have been to stop the game and reset the markers, but because the Redskins did not have a timeout, he did not want to do so to give the team “an unfair advantage.”

Blandino, in his statement, said Triplette’s decision to allow play to continue was in error.

“In this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs,” Blandino said. “This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.”

The resulting fourth-and-1 play led to a six-yard catch by Garçon, but he had the ball ripped out of his hands by Giants free safety Will Hill. The Giants then kneeled down twice to end the game.