Football Zebras™

Live blog: Ravens at Patriots (2011)

AFC Championship

We will be live blogging the calls and rules interpretations from the Ravens-Patriots game.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Alberto Riveron. His crew contains members from other officiating squads that were rating in the top three this season. The full crew list is at the bottom of this post.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sun Jan 1 • 2:57 pm EST

Browns at Steelers (video)

Very tough call for wing officials Ron Marinucci and Wayne Mackie and DeAngelo Williams barely gets the ball out of the endzone to avoid a safety.

To avoid a safety the entire ball has to break the goal line and get into the field of play. 

Excellent positioning by Mackie and Marinucci to break back to the goal line. There were in great position to rule on the Williams run.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Fri Dec 30 • 8:19 pm EST

12:52 | 1st qtr.

First foul of the night. Pass interference on Michigan thrown by the back judge. Easy call.

 

the Football Zebras.com staff
Fri Dec 30 • 8:10 pm EST

Beautiful night for a ballgame! 60-degrees and clear.

Referee Matt Austin leads the Southeastern Conference officiating crew.

FYI, the NCAA always assigns neutral crews to officiate bowl games. Up until about 25-years ago, there would be a split crew between the conferences playing in the bowl game.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 7:08 pm EST

49ers at Rams (video)

49ers running back Carlos Hyde caught a short pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and subsequently dropped the ball. Walt Anderson and crew officiated the play as if it was a catch and fumble, but later ruled that the pass was incomplete. This was challenged by the Rams. It was determined that Hyde caught the pass, turned upfield and fumbled the ball, and that there was a clear recovery by the Rams; therefore the call on the field was reversed.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 6:47 pm EST

Colts at Raiders

Ed Hochuli (and crew) flagged Derek Carr for intentional grounding. This is a “crew call”, where the officials near the pass bring information to the referee who then combines that with what he has seen and makes the determination. Carr threw the ball with no receiver even close to being in the vicinity. However, it didn’t appear that Carr was under pressure, which is a necessary element to the penalty.

Hochuli’s announcement of the rule was not incorrect: after Carr protested (picked up by the stadium mic) that his receiver ran the wrong route, Hochuli explained that the intent of the receiver does not matter when determining if he was in the vicinity.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 5:35 pm EST

Buccaneers at Saints

On a punt by the Buccaneers to the Saints, Buccaneers DB Ryan Smith was forced out of bounds on the coverage. By rule, if forced out, a kicking team player must return in bounds in a “reasonable amount of time.” Instead of this, Smith juked as if he was coming back in bounds and continued to run out of bounds in an attempt to get around Saints blockers. This is, by rule, enforced as an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 5:02 pm EST

Colts at Raiders

Chippy start to the game. Ed Hochuli flags offsetting personal fouls. The crew is pinching in on just about every play to snuff out any tinderboxes. Hochuli was also seen scolding two players who were threatening fisticuffs. It will be a busy game for the crew.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 4:44 pm EST

Vikings at Packers (video)

Line judge Sarah Thomas had to leave the game, presumably to be evaluated for a concussion, after being mixed up in a sideline tackle. Thomas returned later in the game.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 4:11 pm EST

Dolphins at Bills (video)

The Dolphins kicked a field goal to tie and send the game to overtime with 6 seconds remaining. Bills coach Rex Ryan realized that he only has 10 defensive players, attempted to call timeout and “ice” Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks, but did not call timeout in time. After the play, Ryan was quite flustered, protesting that he called timeout. Broadcast replays confirmed that the timing of his request was indeed too late.

Bills cornerback Corey White (#30) can be seen signaling timeout before the snap. However, he was in very close proximity to (although also behind) the side judge. If he was verbalizing “time out”, he would have at least gotten the official’s attention, but appeared to simply signal it in the general direction of the sideline. The signal itself does not grant a timeout – players or coaches must be recognized by the official.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 3:15 pm EST

Titans at Jaguars (video)

Jason Myers hit a 56-yard field goal. While it’s an exciting play, the officials are calm when signalling. Even though they exhibit a cool facade, making big calls is fun for the officials.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 2:46 pm EST

Vikings at Packers (video)

Sarah Thomas calls this closer-than-it-looks Aaron Rodgers touchdown scramble.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 2:26 pm EST

Washington at Chicago (video)

Bears quarterback Matt Barkley throws into triple coverage and is intercepted at the goal line by cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The call on the field was that the interception occurred in the end zone.

The review showed that Breeland was touched on the helmet on his way to the ground, which puts him down by contact by rule.

Without the contact, however, the same ruling would be made. Since Breeland lands in the field of play, this is where the interception occurred under the intercepting momentum rule. This means, if the ball is intercepted at the 1, a player’s momentum cannot carry him into the end zone for a touchback. If he doesn’t attempt to advance from the end zone, the momentum exception reverts the change of possession back to the 1-yard line.

the Football Zebras.com staff
Sat Dec 24 • 12:00 pm EST

Today’s officials

Substitutions

  • U 81 Roy Ellison* to Coleman’s crew (SD-CLE)
  • LJ 101 Carl Johnson to Blakeman’s crew (NYG-PHI/Thurs.)
  • FJ 95 James Coleman* to Cheffers’ crew (CIN-HOU)
  • SJ 89 Jon Lucivansky* to Corrente’s crew (DEN-KC/Sunday night)
  • BJ 39 Rich Martinez to Morelli’s crew (TEN-JAX)

*Swing officials that are moved between crews each week.

Today’s crew, listed with the referee they worked under in the regular season:

  • R — #57 Alberto Riveron (8th year, 4th as referee)
  • U — #115 Tony Michalek (10th year, Ron Winter)
  • HL — #79 Kent Payne (8th year, Carl Cheffers)
  • LJ — #47 Tim Podraza (4th year, Mike Carey)
  • FJ — #33 Steve Zimmer (15th year, Riveron)
  • SJ — #97 Tom Hill (13th year, Winter)
  • BJ — #61 Keith Ferguson (12th year, Leavy
  • Alternates — Walt Anderson (#66, R), Terry Brown (#43, FJ from Terry McAulay’s crew)

18 comments for “Live blog: Ravens at Patriots (2011)

  1. JennaJJ
    January 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    The non-intentional grounding call… The ball did not reach the line of scrimmage, not by any view on my box

  2. dilly
    January 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Jenna, I rewound my dvr, and watched the play again. You should do the same if you can. The ball bounced right on the blue line. While the line is not official, it does look like it’s lined up with the down marker and the line judge or head linesman (I couldn’t tell which it was).

  3. Ross
    January 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    4:45 p.m. “worth a challenge by the Ravens”? you mean challenge by NE? or else I’m confused

  4. dilly
    January 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Ross, yeah, that was a typo. He meant New England.

  5. Hoser
    January 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Why was PI not called on the play before the field goal? Sure looked like the db had a hold of the recivers jersey

  6. Zach
    January 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    “The ball was knocked out by Sterling Moore just prior to Evans’ second foot came down.” And then, “A still frame of the foot being down doesn’t finish that catch immediately.”

    That’s moving the goal posts a bit, isn’t it? I don’t think it would’ve been overturned but was amazed it wasn’t reviewed.

    “Why was PI not called on the play before the field goal?”

    There was all sorts of holding/contact-past-5-yards on that play as well as that, but teams always get away with murder at the end of the game. I’m a Ravens fan and I’m not surprised or disappointed by that… we’ve won games with rough defense on last-second throws just as often as we’ve lost them.

  7. eepobee
    January 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    i’ve replayed that lee evans play several times and i have to say i think it was a catch. he had both feet down and held it for at least a second afterwards. ravens definitely got stiffed on that! not even a review????

  8. dilly
    January 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I just reviewed the Lee Evans catch again, and it certainly was not one. The ball was knocked out just prior to his second foot’s heel coming down. It was most definitely not at least a second between securing the ball with both feet down, and getting it knocked out.

    You could make the argument that it was close enough to have been reviewed, but as it was inside of two minutes and the booth did not call for one, it means they did not see enough question to even review it.

    Ben explained it well in his post. Besides just having two feet down, the receiver also needs to “have the ability to complete a football move. If the ball is dropped or knocked down there must be some recognizable amount of time possessing the ball after the second foot.”

    As for the following play, NE FS Sterling Moore did grab the jersey or BAL TE Dennis Pitta, but this did not alter Pitta’s route, nor prevent him from attempting the catch. Had Moore tugged on the jersey and changed Pitta’s direction, rather than just having some of it in his grasp, it would’ve been an easy call. If officials threw a flag every time this exact play happened, so many pass plays would be penalized that we’d all be asking the officials to lay off and let them play.

  9. Ben Austro
    January 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    You are never, ever going to get a pass interference on that kind of play unless you absolutely maul someone. Especially in a conference championship game.

  10. Hoser
    January 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I generally like it when they keep the flag in their pocket but there has to be some consistency. If it is a foul in the first minute, it’s a foul in the last minute. I’ve seen plenty of phantom PI calls too. This one clearly could have gone either way. And what is up with CBS not even mentioning it or showing a replay?

  11. Ben Austro
    January 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @Zach … some variation here as we have two people typing and we are not in the same room. I was already responding to the argument that he might have held the ball for an infinitesimal amount of time after the second foot, and I was trying to head that argument off at the pass.

    I didn’t see if it was or not, but I was covering it as a moot point, while dilly was saying the ball wasn’t there at all prior to the second foot.

  12. truth time
    January 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    had both feet down. touchdown. F*CK this stupid game.

  13. dilly
    January 23, 2012 at 12:37 am

    NFL confirms that there was no need for a review of the Lee Evans non-catch on the final drive.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82638ef3/article/nfl-explains-why-flaccos-pass-to-evans-was-ruled-incomplete?module=HP11_headline_stack

  14. Tom
    January 23, 2012 at 1:12 am

    3rd Qtr | 3:48. Pats game on the Ravens TD why was there no face mask call – he grabbed the face mask about the 9 yd line and never let go

  15. gcpike
    January 23, 2012 at 2:41 am

    as soon as i saw the play i knew they got it wrong i ran the play over 50 times both feet were down and he had the ball for 2.3 seconds with full cvontrol im a patriots fan but; hey….. lets get it right the ravens had the score!!!

  16. Ben Austro
    January 23, 2012 at 3:03 am

    It is legal for a ball carrier to stiff arm an opponent in the facemask, but they cannot twist or pull it. For a few steps, he has a stiff arm, but it looks like his hand gets tangled in the facemask, and there is some twisting to get the hand back.

    This call in this specific situation will be missed 100% of the time, and it is because of proper officiating mechanics. Because the ball carrier is headed for the end zone and he is running along the sideline, no official can focus on the facemask. The head linesman is watching the feet. The side judge is staring down the goal line. The back judge, likely in the center-back of the end zone, probably sees the stiff arm, and won’t see twisting and pulling from that distance, unless there is a violent movement of the defender’s head. The field judge is stationed on the other side of the field, and is likely watching the goal line and possession of the ball. The line judge is opposite the head linesman, but he is clear across the field, and cannot make that call from that distance.The referee and umpire are still back in the vicinity of the line of scrimmage, and won’t be able to see the defender’s facemask.

    The touchdown and the sideline become priority in this situation. Whether or not it is a facemask (it’s still borderline to me) would never be called in that play. And facemask fouls cannot be called on a replay review, even though the touchdown was under review.

  17. Tom
    January 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Few steps – he grabs the mask (look at replay again) between 8-9 yd line and doesn’t let it go
    until he hits ground at goal line – hoe can that not be a penalty?. If the object of replay is to insure that the correct call is made, then personal fouls should be able to be assessed on replay – in this case the correct call isn’t in or out of bounds, nor is it td or not td – the correct call is personal foul on the receiver.

  18. Ben Austro
    January 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I agree there is a grab there. If the play is at the 50-yard line in the middle of the field, does that get called? More likely. It’s not a slam dunk, though, because (1) the official still has to see it and (2) the ball carrier is given a lot of leeway to stiff-arm to the facemask, as long as there is no yanking or twisting of the grille.

    The object of replay is more accurately characterized as “confirming the call on the field.” That philosophy is important, because it helps set the framework for the rules of what is and is not reviewable.

    Only one penalty can be called in replay, and that is 12 men on the field. In isolated other circumstances, there can be a penalty, but it is only because it relates to the boundary and end zone line, which are reviewable criteria. Even if Riveron felt there was a facemask, he cannot even comment on it, because it is not reviewable.