Robert Griffin threw the ball downfield on first down. The pass was incomplete, and it brought up fourth down.
Wait, hold on a second. A play before Griffin threw downfield, he completed a pass that appeared to go for a first down. That's what the linesman told Shanahan when he asked for a measurement. Head official Jeff Triplette was trying to communicate the fact that it was third down.
But it was too late.
Instead of having some sort of conference among the officials or a review, they just carried on as normal. It would be fourth down for the Redskins. Here's how Shanahan explained the tough break:
Shanahan on that last sequence: "Well, I said I wanted a measurement and he said, 'You don't have to, it's a first down.'"— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) December 2, 2013
It was fourth-and-1, but it caught the Redskins off-guard. Still, Griffin completed a pass to Pierre Garcon. He caught the pass, which was far from a guarantee on Sunday night for Washington's receivers, but he gave it away to Giants' defensive back Will Hill.
The confusion robbed the Redskins of a chance to tie the game. Driving inside Giants territory, they didn't know what was going on and fumbled the game away.