The San Francisco 49ers got an extra third-down play in the first half because of an officiating error — and scored a touchdown on it.
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After a third-and-6 play at the Green Bay 10-yard line in the second quarter, Colin Kaepernick was hit out of bounds by Clay Matthews. The Green Bay linebacker drew a personal foul penalty, but so did 49ers tackle Joe Staley for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Because both penalties came after the play ended with Kaepernick stepping out of bounds without gaining a first down, it should have become fourth down. The league said the penalties were dead-ball fouls and the ball should have been spotted at the Packers 6, making it fourth-and-2.
However, game officials gave the 49ers another third-and-6 play, and they scored a touchdown on Kaepernick’s 10-yard pass to Anquan Boldin.
"The down should have counted," referee Bill Leavy said after the game. "The penalties were both dead ball, and they should have offset at the spot where the runner went out of bounds. And it would have been fourth down."
Had it been correctly marked as fourth down, they likely would have kicked a field goal. Instead, the Niners went ahead 14-7. San Francisco won 34-28.
The rule in question states:
"Dead ball fouls by both teams are offset at the succeeding spot, and the down counts, and any disqualified player or players must be removed …"