Football Zebras™

Live blog: 49ers at Falcons

2012 NFC Championship

NFC champWe will be live blogging the calls and rules interpretations from the 49ers-Falcons 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 Terry McAulay. The full crew list is at the bottom of this post.

Mark Schultz
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.

Mark Schultz
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.

 

Mark Schultz
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.

Matt Holmquist
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.

Matt Holmquist
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.

Matt Holmquist
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.

Mark Schultz
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.

Ben Austro
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.

Matt Holmquist
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.

Mark Schultz
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.

Mark Schultz
Sat Dec 24 • 2:46 pm EST

Vikings at Packers (video)

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

Ben Austro
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.

Ben Austro
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.

      Yr. Crew College Occupation
R 77 Terry McAulay 15 McAulay Louisiana State college officiating coordinator for Big East
U 124 Carl Paganelli 14 Winter Michigan State federal probation officer
HL 106 Wayne Mackie 6 Steratore Colgate director of housing
LJ 68 Tom Stephan 14 Boger Pittsburg State president and CEO
FJ 60 Gary Cavaletto 10 Corrente Hancock general manager, agricultural operations
SJ 56 Allen Baynes 5 Corrente Auburn realtor
BJ 112 Tony Steratore 13 Boger California (Pa.) co-owner, supply company
  • Alternates: Carl Cheffers (upfield), Greg Bradley (line), Mike Weir (deep)
  • Replay official: Earnie Frantz
  • Replay assistant: Brian Matoren
  • Supervisor: Ed Coukart
  • Observer: Jim Duke

13 comments for “Live blog: 49ers at Falcons

  1. Mike
    January 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Just noticed, the “Start of Drive”marker ( the X ) is in the aux line to gain spot… Have the changed it?

  2. JP
    January 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    The roughing call on LB Nicholas for Brushing Kaepernick’s face mask was a little petty. It should
    have been a non call. Many more non call infractios are far worse than this silly call.

  3. falcons get screwed again by refs in big games
    January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Yes you are allowed to touch within 5 yards but that was a hold all day every day a the personal foul on the falcons for hitting the face mask of colin kaepernick was bs he was in the act of throwing at the same time defender was leaping to deflect the pass how are you able to bat down a ball if. U can’t do such a thing nfl needs to have better refs there were no refs in the back when white got held

  4. January 21, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Every human being tuned into this game saw ridiculous calls against Falcons.
    It is a hold all day everyday by SF against White on 4thdown and refs, as they all do, get scared
    and swallow their whistles. Where are replacement refs when you need them. Contact is one thing but riding the receiver like a rented mule is OK?

    No one believes the roughing passer was forcible for chrissakes. McAulay did that for theCommissioner as directed. Inadvertent, non threatening touching is simply not a penalty.

    Falcons in Super Bowl if one or both of these calls are made correctly.

  5. Tony
    January 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

    The penalty against the Falcons at 2:50 in the 2nd Qtr was Personal Foul Unnecessary roughness not Unsportsmanlike conduct.
    A USC is a non contact foul whereas a P.F. involves contact. It is important as 2 USC’s are automatic disqualification unlike a Personal Foul theoretically you could do all day unless it is a flagrant personal foul like Targeting which could result in immediate DSQ.

  6. JP
    January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

    The roughing face mask brush on Kaepernick was called by the ref behind the play. They said the
    Play was “justified”. This does not mean it was the right call. It would have been more “justified”
    and correct as a non call. Winning and losing comes down to 4 or 5 plays in a game. You would hope that those 4 or 5 plays resulted from the player and not the ref. Maybe instant replay to review officiating poor judgement is “Justified”.

  7. PWest
    January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    The roughing call on LB Nicholas for Brushing Kaepernick’s face mask was a turning point in the game. The Falcons had stopped the 9ers drive & without this call the ball goes back to the Falcons. Kaepernick was not moved at all by the contact. It was a bad call, refs but not even mentioned in the recap above. Winning and losing comes down to 4 or 5 plays in a game. You would hope that those 4 or 5 plays resulted from the player and not the ref.

  8. Ben Austro
    January 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Quoting Tony:

    The penalty against the Falcons at 2:50 in the 2nd Qtr was Personal Foul Unnecessary roughness not Unsportsmanlike conduct.

    You are correct. I was entering that into the live blog too fast, and I got my un- fouls mixed up. Post corrected.

    It is important as 2 USC’s are automatic disqualification unlike a Personal Foul

    In the NFL, there is no automatic disqualification rule. Although, at the officals’ discretion, any USC can result in the thumb, particularly if there is a flagrant repeat violation after a warning.

  9. Tony
    January 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up Ben, I don’t want to learn too many NFL rules as we only use NCAA in Australia and it gets too confusing if you have more than one set and there are quite a few differences I believe. No wonder coaches get mixed up between Friday night, Saturday & Sunday.

    I have only seen it once while watching the game live and at the time I felt the RTP call on Nicholas against Kapernick was not worth a flag.

    So I agree with the sentiments above about the call but it was not a game changing call. There where quite a few instances where the line officials where not calling ineligible receiver downfield on a few Falcons pass plays – of is it not a requirement in NFL that the inside receiver should not be covered ?

  10. Tony
    January 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    No edit button ?

    Just noticed the RTP call is not mentioned in the story ?

  11. PWest
    January 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Mike says:
    January 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    • 0 0

    Just noticed, the “Start of Drive”marker ( the X ) is in the aux line to gain spot… Have the changed it?

    JP says:
    January 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm
    • 6 0

    The roughing call on LB Nicholas for Brushing Kaepernick’s face mask was a little petty. It should
    have been a non call. Many more non call infractios are far worse than this silly call.

    falcons get screwed again by refs in big games says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    • 4 1

    Yes you are allowed to touch within 5 yards but that was a hold all day every day a the personal foul on the falcons for hitting the face mask of colin kaepernick was bs he was in the act of throwing at the same time defender was leaping to deflect the pass how are you able to bat down a ball if. U can’t do such a thing nfl needs to have better refs there were no refs in the back when white got held

    Billy Walker says:
    January 21, 2013 at 5:14 am
    • 2 2

    Every human being tuned into this game saw ridiculous calls against Falcons.
    It is a hold all day everyday by SF against White on 4thdown and refs, as they all do, get scared
    and swallow their whistles. Where are replacement refs when you need them. Contact is one thing but riding the receiver like a rented mule is OK?

    No one believes the roughing passer was forcible for chrissakes. McAulay did that for theCommissioner as directed. Inadvertent, non threatening touching is simply not a penalty.

    Falcons in Super Bowl if one or both of these calls are made correctly.

    Tony says:
    January 21, 2013 at 10:56 am
    • 0 0

    The penalty against the Falcons at 2:50 in the 2nd Qtr was Personal Foul Unnecessary roughness not Unsportsmanlike conduct.
    A USC is a non contact foul whereas a P.F. involves contact. It is important as 2 USC’s are automatic disqualification unlike a Personal Foul theoretically you could do all day unless it is a flagrant personal foul like Targeting which could result in immediate DSQ.

    JP says:
    January 21, 2013 at 11:13 am
    • 1 0

    The roughing face mask brush on Kaepernick was called by the ref behind the play. They said the
    Play was “justified”. This does not mean it was the right call. It would have been more “justified”
    and correct as a non call. Winning and losing comes down to 4 or 5 plays in a game. You would hope that those 4 or 5 plays resulted from the player and not the ref. Maybe instant replay to review officiating poor judgement is “Justified”.

    PWest says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    • 0 0

    Tony:
    You said: Just noticed the RTP call is not mentioned in the story?

    But it was mentioned by me. See Below:

    The roughing call on LB Nicholas for Brushing Kaepernick’s face mask was a turning point in the game. The Falcons had stopped the 9ers drive & without this call the ball goes back to the Falcons. Kaepernick was not moved at all by the contact. It was a bad call, refs but not even mentioned in the recap above. Winning and losing comes down to 4 or 5 plays in a game. You would hope that those 4 or 5 plays resulted from the player and not the ref.

  12. Ben Austro
    January 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    The roughing-the-passer rule is by the book. There is a recognition that, during the normal course of play, the quarterback is going to have incidental hits to the head.

    However, there is a recognition that the quarterback should not be subject to a cheap head slap by an onrushing defender just because he couldn’t control his arms. This was typically seen that a defensive lineman “sends a message” to the quarterback on a near-sack by slapping the quarterback’s head. So, the Competition Committee issued a point of emphasis for referees to watch the quarterback’s head for unnecessary head contact.

    In this case, the defender had his hands up at “12 o’clock” and chopped down and contacted the quarterback’s helmet. Because of the blow was a forcible blow, and not simply brushing the helmet, this was a textbook foul, and Terry McAulay did not hesitate in throwing a flag.

  13. Tony
    January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks Ben – that makes sense.