There were several controversial calls by officials during the weekend's first-round playoff games, including a possible facemask penalty that was not called on the winning play in overtime of the Arizona Cardinals' triumph over the Green Bay Packers.
The Cardinals beat the Packers, 51-45, in the highest-scoring postseason game in NFL history. The Cardinals won when cornerback Michael Adams knocked the ball from the hand of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a sack. The ball hit Rodgers's foot and, before touching the ground, was grabbed by Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby, who made the catch and ran to the end zone for the game-ending touchdown.
Replays showed that Adams grabbed Rodgers's facemask on the play. However, referee Scott Green did not call a penalty that would have nullified the Cardinals' touchdown.
According to the league, which issued a "rule explanation" Monday, a facemask penalty is a judgment call that is not reviewable by instant replay.
The NFL rulebook says "no player shall twist, turn, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction."
The rulebook says that a play on which a player "incidentally grasps" an opponent's facemask in a manner that "is not a twist, turn or pull" is not a penalty.