AFC Wild Card
We will be live blogging the calls and rules interpretations from the Colts-Ravens game. (If you see continue reading below, click it to see the entire feed.)
If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.
Today’s crew is headed by Mike Carey. The full crew list is at the bottom of this post.
After analyzing the intentional grounding call after the game, I noticed that initially the ball was spotted incorrectly. It had to be corrected with intervention of the game supervisor, much like what we saw in the replacement referee era.
I had noted during the initial delay that an intentional grounding foul is a spot foul if it happens more than 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. In other words, since the quarterback is evading the sack, the team is penalized at least that distance they would have lost.
I figured that was accounted for, since head linesman Dana McKenzie was seen gesturing to a point, and then pointing backwards, as if to indicate a greater loss of yardage. This was during the lengthy (but necessary) discussion with Colts head coach Chuck Pagano on the 10-second runoff.
When the teams lined up, the Ravens took a timeout, with the ball spotted at the Colts 48 yard line (9 yards from the previous spot). During the timeout, Carey spoke with alternate referee John Parry, who is wearing a headset, communicating with game supervisor Johnny Grier and observer Phil Luckett. After the timeout, Carey announced the correct spot on the foul was the 41-yard line, and the ball was moved back.
We railed on this when it happened in the replacement era, so it is only fair to point it out in the playoffs. While the Ravens saved this crew’s bacon on the timeout, the Colts nearly were able to gain seven yards from the officials.
This was an incredibly intense game today – such a contrast from yesterday’s games. Carey and crew had several tough, bang-bang calls today and I think they got most, if not all, of them correct. Carey’s crew can be proud of their efforts.
4th Qtr | 6:54. Colts challenged an incomplete pass ruling where receiver did not complete the process of the catch. Because the receiver must maintain control through to the ground, the fact that the ball popped out a split second after touching the ground does not constitute possession. Even though the defender poked the ball, it is incomplete by rule.
This is specifically the type of play that spawns the “process of the catch” rule. In this case, the receiver did not have the ball for any appreciable amount of time, so it would be a cheap fumble if the Ravens were to recover the loose ball.
It was a correct call by the rule, as the helmets collided, but the defender did seem to avoid the contact. Could make a case that the receiver’s head contacted the defender.
4th Qtr | 3:39. Ravens called for personal foul for hitting a “defenseless player.” Earlier this week Mike Pereira tried to provide come clarity to this rule.
2nd Qtr | :29. Andrew Luck throws an incomplete pass. Here is the process of the call:
- Carey has to determine if Luck was out of the pocket and throws the ball to avoid the sack.
- Carey has to confirm with the head linesman that the ball did not get to the line of scrimmage and that there was no receiver in the vicinity.
- The ball was tipped, so they have to determine if that materially affected the flight of the ball towards the line of scrimmage.
- Carey flags for intentional grounding.
- Carey has to determine the spot of the pass. Since it was more than 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, the penalty is a spot foul, not 10 yards.
- Because it was a foul that conserved time under 1 minute to play, it involves a 10-second runoff.
- The Ravens are given the option to decline the 10-second runoff. They accept the runoff.
- The Colts are given the option to counter the 10-second runoff by surrendering a timeout. They decline the option.
- Carey has to announce this mess. A correct call all around by the crew.
2nd Qtr |8:19. Ravens special teamer David Reed downed a punt at the 2 yard line. There was a penalty for illegal touching, as Reed stepped out of bounds and was the first to touch the ball. When that penalty occurs inside the 5 yard line, a touchback is awarded.
That fumble play is where having the umpire in the backfield hurts. IF the umpire were in his traditional position behind the defensive line, he could have had a great look at the fumble and scrum.
1st Qtr | 9:55. Nice job by the officials to quickly rule Colts possession on the Ravens’ fumble. Many times the fumbling team tries to steal the ball and trick the officials. Carey’s crew was quick and decisive.
SJ Laird Hayes worked in the Super Bowl last season, and had the call of the year.
|R||94||Mike Carey||23||Santa Clara||owner, skiing accessories|
|U||49||Rich Hall||9||Hochuli||Arizona||custom cabinetry|
|HL||8||Dana McKenzie||5||Morelli||Toledo||claims adjuster|
|FJ||63||Jim Quirk||3||Leavy||Middlebury||financial advisor|
|SJ||125||Laird Hayes||18||Cheffers||Princeton||professor, physical education & athletics|
|BJ||6||Kirk Dornan||19||Carey||Central Washington||purchasing manager|