Former NFL vice president for officiating and current Fox Sports officiating expert, Mike Pereira, gave high marks to the wild card crews. Pereira says even though the officials had many difficult calls to make, the officials got them right and were not part of the game story.
Pereira broke down three plays. He lauded the excellent communication between line judge Mark Perlman and field judge Jon Lucivansky during the Redskins-Seahawks game. Russell Wilson completed a pass to Sidney Rice right on the sideline. Lucivansky initially ruled Rice out-of-bounds, but a quick consultation with Perlman resulted in the line judge properly over-ruling Lucivansky. Pereira noted, “Having the courage to stick your nose into the fray and overturn a fellow official’s decision is a strong sign of an outstanding official.”
Pereira also handed out a gold star to back judge Steve Freeman for a call early in the first quarter, when he ruled a potential touchdown catch by the Redskins’ Joshua Morgan out-of-bounds. Pereira noted that Freeman was very close to the play and had to look straight down at Morgan’s feet. Even though he had hardly any angle on the play, the back judge was able to see Morgan only get one foot down in-bounds. The former officiating boss also noted that before 2008 that play would have been ruled a touchdown due to a force-out.
Having the courage to stick your nose into the fray and overturn a fellow official’s decision is a strong sign of an outstanding official.
—Mike Pereira on line judge Mark Perlman
On to the Colts-Ravens game where Pereira praised referee Mike Carey for the Andrew Luck intentional grounding call late in the first half. While Luck was out of the pocket the pass didn’t land beyond the line of scrimmage. Since Luck failed to meet both criteria on that dump-off pass, Carey properly threw the flag. Carey also had to deal with the 10-second runoff rule as the foul happened with less than a minute left in the half. Pereira also made note of the Ray Rice fumble and pile-up in the first quarter where the officials ruled a Colts’ recovery while replay indicated that the Ravens got the ball back. He stated that fumble scrums and team recovery are not subject to review.
Let’s hope that Pereira has similar glowing praise for the divisional round crews.