Football Zebras™

Live Blog: Falcons at Giants

NFC Wild Card

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Today’s officials are listed at the end of the post.

Sun • 4:20 pm EDT • 

Penalties: Falcons 3 for 15 yards (plus one that was declined by the Giants),  Giants 7 for 73  (+2 declined). One penalty resulted in the only two points the Falcons scored. No challenges or reviews made for an easy game check for the replay official. However, there was a key non-review on a first down spot near the end of the second quarter. In a game of a lot of tight ball-spotting calls, the one that jumps out is the missed spot.

Sun • 4:00 pm EDT • 

That Williams tackle  reminded me a lot of the Nick Fairley tackle of Pierre Thomas that was not flagged yesterday. Both were shortly after the whistle, but Fairley’s tackle was much more forceful. Video of the hit:

Sun • 3:58 pm EDT • 

4th qtr | 2:33 There doesn’t seem to be much more that Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams could have done on the play to avoid the 15-yard roughness penalty and keep the player from achieving the first down.

Sun • 3:30 pm EDT • 

4th Qtr | 10:47 Back to a good spot on the Jacobs run, whose knee was down before he rolled forward to the sticks.

Sun • 3:17 pm EDT • 

Easy call on the illegal block in the back when the blocker is shoved into a somersault.

Sun • 3:15 pm EDT • 

3rd Qtr | 4:21 Possibly another bad spot, as Roddy White was down at the 21, but the officials spotted him just outside the 20, just inches shy of the first down. Then, the Falcons went for it and were stuffed. Had they been spotted a full yard short, they may have kicked the FG instead.

Sun • 3:14 pm EDT • 

Huge penalty on the Falcons for 12 men in the huddle. One yard short on the 3rd-and-15, and loss on downs on 4th. Giants then turn it around for seven points.

Sun • 3:09 pm EDT • 

3rd Qtr | 5:10 We’ve now seen illegal substitution (12 men in the huddle) penalties in each of this weekend’s games. These are playoff teams, remember.

Sun • 3:04 pm EDT • 

3rd qtr | 5:14 No grounding penalty on Ryan: well outside the tackle box, and pass made it beyond the line of scrimmage.

Sun • 3:03 pm EDT • 

3rd Qtr | 5:14 Ryan did two things that Manning didn’t earlier: he got out of the pocket, and he threw it past the line of scrimmage. No intentional grounding there.

Sun • 2:57 pm EDT • 

3rd Qtr | 7:51 Owens contacted Nicks plenty before the pass, but it was within five yards, and there was no holding. Nor was there any altering the movement of the receiver once the ball was in the air. I think that’s a good no-call.

Sun • 2:42 pm EDT • 

First half summary

Penalties: Falcons 1 for 5 yards, Giants 3 for 28. Falcons also declined 1 penalty. Falcons get a safety on a Giants intentional grounding penalty. No challenges or replays in the first half, although, there was one that was missed by the replay official.

Of all the tight calls on spots, this one will be the one that is remembered, not the six of them that were right. And if you are playing the Joe Buck drinking game, and you had “It depends on the spot,” then you are flat on your ass right now.

Sun • 2:38 pm EDT • 

The “official” first down marker is seen at the bottom of the screen.

Sun • 2:38 pm EDT • 

Bad call there. NFL analyst Mike Pereira is discussing on Fox right now (and he tweeted that right after you posted).

Sun • 2:24 pm EDT • 

2nd qtr | 1:23 The 2nd down completion to Nicks looked like it may have been spotted a bit short of forward progress. A rare miss that may have cost the Giants the ball. Plus there was no measurement, which was also odd.

Sun • 2:23 pm EDT • 

2nd qtr | :29 Head-first slide by Falcons’ Matt Ryan goes to the spot of the ball at the end of the slide. If it was feet first, then it would go to the the spot at the beginning of the slide.

Sun • 2:16 pm EDT • 

Also, field judge Laird Hayes had at least three sideline calls on punts which are not easy.

Sun • 2:08 pm EDT • 

Video of the 4th-and-inches play for the Falcons:

Sun • 2:03 pm EDT • 

And all three spots looked spot on.

Sun • 2:02 pm EDT • 

2nd qtr | 3:31 Head linesman Phil McKinnely and line judge Tom Symonette have had some hard spotting calls on three short yardage situations.

Sun • 1:50 pm EDT • 

Clear intentional grounding, but good communication with Cheffers’ crew to make sure all criteria met. Spot foul in end zone is a safety

Sun • 1:49 pm EDT • 

2nd Qtr | 13:44 Three close calls in a row, and all appear to be correct. The ball was correctly spotted just short of a first down on 3rd & 4th down for the Falcons. Then Eli Manning threw the ball away while in the end zone, but did not get it back to the line of scrimmage, nor was there a receiver in the area, resulting in a safety.

Sun • 1:17 pm EDT • 

1st Qtr | 10:57 Eli Manning’s knee was down just before the ball was ripped out. Good call in real time by the crew.

  • R — #12 Carl Cheffers (12th year, 4th as referee)
  • U — #96 Undrey Wash (12th year)
  • HL — #110 Phil McKinnely (9th year)*
  • LJ — #100 Tom Symonette (8th year)
  • FJ — #80 Greg Gautreaux (10th year)*
  • SJ — #125 Laird Hayes (17th year)
  • BJ — #30 Todd Prukop (3rd year)
  • Alternates — Scott Dawson (#70, U from Alberto Riverón’s crew), Mark Steinkerchner (#84, LJ from Terry McAuley’s crew)

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