joe judge
Syndication: The Record

Joe Judge threw the challenge flag on a third-quarter Broncos touchdown, which, by rule, negates the automatic review.

Scoring plays are automatically reviewable in the NFL.

However, the automatic review could be negated if the non-scoring team throws the challenge flag.

That’s exactly what occurred Sunday in the Giants‘ Week 1 loss to Denver. Head coach Joe Judge believed Denver tight end Albert Okwuegbunam stepped out of bounds when diving for the pylon on what was a Teddy Bridgewater touchdown pass.

The officials confirmed the score, considering the Denver PAT team lined up to kick the extra point. However, Judge still threw the challenge flag, which as we previously explained, negates any sort of review in the first place. It also cost the Giants one of their three second-half timeouts.

Judge provided an explanation for the blunder following the 27-13 loss.

“That’s completely on me, I know you can’t challenge a scoring play. That was a little bit more of an emotional [decision], I was looking for feedback from the officials,” Judge said. “It looked to me on the jumbotron, and some feedback I got from up top watching the replay, that he may have stepped on the white. I was screaming for the officials — we were supposed to get some feedback on what they hearing in New York [where the NFL’s Replay Command Center is located]…I had to do something to draw their attention…so I threw the flag.

“I knew it couldn’t have been a challenged play. I fully take awareness and ownership of that. I told the team that was something that I can’t do and waste a timeout…I can’t tell you if [the touchdown] was good or not, obviously they ruled it was good, I’ll trust what their opinion was on that…that crew did a good job tonight, I’m not blaming that crew for anything. They did a good job — those guys, for the most part, were great at communicating. That was a point in the game when I wanted to get some feedback so we knew what we were doing right there going forward.”

The touchdown and ensuing extra-point conversion from Denver made it a 17-7 game at the time. The Broncos followed that up with 10 additional points, six of which were thanks to a 70-yard Melvin Gordon touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that essentially sealed the deal.

The score was close for a significant portion of the afternoon — the touchdown Judge is talking about basically made it Denver’s game, and the Broncos never looked back.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.