During the 49ers/Packers game on Sunday, the referee crew led by umpire Bill Leavy committed the sin of all sins: Making an officiating error that affects the outcome of a game. He’s now been downgraded, which means that he may be pulled from later games either in the regular season, playoffs or even the Super Bowl.
It was third down and six in the second quarter when Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambled to the sideline where he was walloped by Clay Matthews. Clearly an unnecessary roughness penalty, the refs called a personal foul on Matthews, however 49ers tackle Joe Staley was also flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after an ensuing fight broke out.
Since both penalties occurred after the play was already over, the teams should not have replayed third down, but rather it should have been fourth down and two. The Niners scored a touchdown on the very next play (third down), rather than likely kicking a field goal (fourth down).