New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL has issued a statement admitting an officiating error that played a pivotal role in determining the AFC's final playoff team.
"With 0:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, Kansas City faced a 4th-and-12 from the San Diego 23. The Chiefs attempted a 41-yard field that was no good.
"On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper. This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense.
"Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 (b) (1) of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that 'No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.'
"The penalty for illegal formation by the defense is a loss of five yards. This is not subject to instant replay review. Had the penalty been assessed, it would have resulted in a 4th-and-7 from the San Diego 18 with 0:04 remaining, enabling the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal."
The Chargers ultimately won in overtime to clinch the No. 6 seed.
If the correct call was made and Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop connected for the game-winning kick, a Chargers loss would have given the Pittsburgh Steelers the final AFC playoff berth.