Football Zebras
CallsQuick calls: Week 13

Quick calls: Week 13


We will have our eyes on the games, but if you see anything confusing, unusual, or controversial, please let us know.


Ben Austro Ben Austro December 1, 20141:47 am

Broncos at Chiefs (image via SB Nation)

You do know there are cameras out there? Lots of them.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce made a crude gesture during a penalty announcement by Walt Coleman. Kelce was right in the frame with Coleman as he made his disagreement known (although he denies it, according to the link above).

Kelce is likely handing over a small portion of his game check for the infraction.

Ben Austro Ben Austro December 1, 201412:53 am

Titans at Texans

3rd Qtr. | 14:40 — Jeff Triplette’s crew calls offsetting pass interference penalties. Ordinarily, when we have mutual restrictive action, no flag is thrown, the play runs to its conclusion, and the down counts.

In this case we have two separate acts against a cornerback-receiver tandem, rather than simultaneous grappling. Once one flag is thrown, the second act will draw a second flag to offset. Offsetting pass interference can also occur when the fouls are committed at different parts of the field.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 201411:44 pm

Broncos at Chiefs (video)

The Broncos, on another of their punts, got a fortuitous bounce on a short kick. The ball bounced off of Chiefs special teamer Marcus Cooper making it a live ball. Omar Bolden recovered for the Broncos.

Bolden was out of bounds on the punt coverage, but contrasting to the last entry posted here, it is not a foul. Since Bolden was forced out, he only has to make an attempt to get back in bounds as soon as reasonably possible. He ran along the boundary for a bit, but he angled in within a time frame the officials found to be reasonable. If he kept riding the boundary out of bounds, it would be a foul — but not the 5-yarder assessed earlier. Instead, it is a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Regardless of how he went out of bounds, Bolden cannot be the first player to touch the ball. As soon as Cooper touches the ball, Bolden becomes eligible to recover the ball. And, since it is a muffed punt recovery, the Broncos cannot advance the ball.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 201411:22 pm

Broncos at Chiefs (video)

The Broncos were flagged on one of their punts because the gunner Andre Caldwell ran out of bounds to get around two Chiefs special teams players blocking him. Since he went out of bounds voluntarily, this is a 5-yard penalty on a punt play. The Chiefs caught the ball at the 9-yard line and were downed there.

The Chiefs have two options if they accept the penalty. Rule 9-5-1:

If there is a foul by the kicking team, the receiving team will have the option of taking the penalty at the previous spot and replaying the down, or adding the penalty yardage on to the dead-ball spot.

The Chiefs decided to replay the down instead of tacking the 5-yards on from the 9 and keeping the ball. The Broncos used that opportunity to run a fake punt for a first down.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 201410:07 pm

Cardinals at Falcons

Sorry, no video. On a first quarter punt, Devin Hester returned the kick for an apparent Falcons touchdown. Hester was flagged for a facemask foul at the 2-yard line, which is unusual, but not unheard of, for the runner. The runner is allowed to stiff-arm a defender, even into his facemask, so long as he does not grasp, twist, or control the facemask. It is arguable if Hester actually committed a facemask foul, but with a defender’s head being racked around such as it was, a game-speed call of controlling the facemask is expected.

The Falcons coaching staff was livid and stepped onto the field to voice their displeasure. This drew an unsportsmanlike conduct foul on the Falcons bench. In this case, both fouls are enforced, because the unsportsmanlike foul was well after the play was over. The facemask foul is enforced first, and the chains are set. Then, the between-downs foul on the bench is enforced, placing the ball 1st-and-25 at the 32.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20149:06 pm

Cardinals at Falcons (video)

Referee Terry McAulay doesn’t have enough evidence to overturn this touchdown. The official was in perfect position to rule.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20147:10 pm

Bengals at Buccaneers (video)

The Bengals try a surprise onside kick that goes all sorts of wrong. First of all the Bengals were offside, then the ball never went 10 yards. Had the Buccaneers player muffed the ball before it went 10-yards it would have been a live ball for the Bengals. Had the ball touched a Bengals player before going 10-yards, the Bengals would have been guilty for a “first touching” violation and the Buccaneers would have been awarded the ball at the “spot of first touching.”

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20146:59 pm

Patriots at Packers (video)

Ed Hochuli upholds a Jordy Nelson touchdown, as called at the pylon by Adrian Hill.

If Nelson lost control of the ball and it touched the pylon, it would have been a touchback.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 20146:56 pm


Bengals at Buccaneers

The controversial 12-men foul on the Buccaneers and the illegal challenge of that foul by the Bengals is its own post.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20146:50 pm

Saints at Steelers (video)

Do you want to know what it’s like to be an official in the middle of a fight? A late hit along the sideline ignites a scrum, that spills into the photographers area. I’m sure the NFL doesn’t want to see fights period, especially ones that spill out of the field of play into a non-players area.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20146:42 pm

Panthers at Vikings (video at :02)

Mike Pereira tweets that TV cameras caught teams warming footballs on the sideline using those portable heaters. The former VP for officiating says that is against the rules.

Incidentally, the game balls are handled by attendants hired by the home team. The six kicking balls are handled by a league-hired K Ball Coordinator

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20146:03 pm

Titans at Texans (video)

Referee Jeff Triplette has a tight pass-fumble ruling.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 20144:50 pm

Browns at Bills (video)

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel attempts to pass but is ruled to have fumbled the ball. The Bills recover the fumble in the end zone. With the removal of the infamous tuck rule, Manziel’s pass attempt falls right on the border of incomplete/fumble. Had the tuck rule still been in effect, this would have been a clear incomplete pass.

The replay official reviewed the play as it was a turnover and a score. The call was reversed to incomplete, because Manziel was still demonstrating forward movement of the ball. While it is a potential continuous motion from the pass into the tuck, the replay review considered it was indisputably still a passing motion, and therefore incomplete.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz November 30, 20143:23 pm

Redskins at Colts (video)

Line judge Julian Mapp and field judge John Lucivansky team up on a nice sideline toe-tapping catch.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 20142:14 pm

Chargers at Ravens (video)

A touchdown catch by Chargers receiver Kennan Allen was reviewed to see if he lost control and the ball touched the ground. Referee Walt Anderson ruled inconclusive, and the touchdown stands.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 20141:04 pm

Thanksgiving Day games

See our quick calls from Thursday.

Ben Austro Ben Austro November 30, 20141:03 pm

Officiating assignments

This week’s referee assignments

Crew rosters

21 thoughts on “Quick calls: Week 13

  1. Question about the San Diego at Baltimore game that I am hoping you can explain. Twice now there have been pass interference calls against SD with the contact occurring in the endzone. I thought that meant that the ball would be spotted on the 1, but the officials placed it on the 3. On the second foul, I thought the ref (sorry, but I can’t think of his name) even said it would be placed on the 1, but it was placed on the 3. What gives? Thoughts? Thanks much – really appreciate your site.

  2. The officiating by Walt Anderson and his crew was especially specious. The end zone PI on Baltimore HAD to be offsetting penalties and a SD WR was clearly blocking while the ball was in the air and before it was caught on the resultant TD pass. Unreal.

  3. Doesn’t the bogus review call on the Manziel f umble come frpom headquarters? Dean Blandino is an idiot someione should teach him the tuck rule. The end of ther Ravens game was a travesty. Two blown calls in a row by tghe same official.

  4. SD @ BAL

    The PI palooza…
    Why is it that the 2 DPI calls on SD were placed at the 8 and 3 yard lines, allowing only a 10 point gain from them combined, yet the DPI call against BAL (controversial in it self) was placed at the one? Also why was Levine flagged for DPI when we was held down? What is the Difference between that and the OPI call against Steve Smith Sr. in Cincy a few weeks back? And then the illegal pick play. How is it that people can get paid and let that much BS slide in such a short time.

  5. I agree with the other comments here about the officiating in the SD-Balt game. Not only was the ball placed at the wrong mark on the pass interference in the end zone calls, the calls themselves were poor, especially the last one on Balt. And how is the winning TD pass by SD not a clear pick play? The SD WR was clearly picking and blocking the Balt DB before the ball was even thrown. I can’t believe a game was decided based on so many bad officiating decisions, but it was.

  6. Did I see correctly in the Packers-NE game that Hochuli’s crew called NE for too many men on the field when they only had 11 and NE had to challenge the call to get it reversed? And then right after that they made NE punt the ball a second time (replay the punt) because Hochuli’s crew were not in position? I have seen that several times this year (the worst was when Hochuli made Oakland rekick an on-side kick against Seattle because his crew was not in position). That is just unforgivable to make a team do over a play because the officials are out of position. Why does the NFL allow this?

  7. Hochuli’s crew’s performance was atrocious. In addition to vanowensbody pointing out they can’t even count to 11, there were two other flags they just picked up and said there was no foul (so why’d you throw the flag in the first place, idjits). There was missed offensive PI: a pushoff on Davante Adams (though Adams smartly used his hand in front of his body, so official behind him couldn’t see the push, so perhaps not fair to blame refs for missing it, even if defender suddenly going the wrong way seems obvious). The one that got me riled, and kept the final Pats touchdown drive alive, was ridiculous defensive PI on Tramon Williams on 3rd & 6. Williams is standing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage, never moves from his spot, WR (#11 iirc) runs into him then turns around, moves back toward the line a yard or two and drops the ball, then goes begging for the call and gets it 5 seconds after the play is dead. Un-friggin-believable. Defender never moves, gets hit by offensive player, and they call PI. Perhaps we shouldn’t allow DBs on the field at all. We could just have games of pitch and catch.

  8. Oops, the Tramon Williams call was for Illegal Contact, not PI. Still, it gave the Pats an automatic first down and kept the drive alive (it was 3rd & 6 on their side of the field). Heck, even the TV announcers pointed out that a defender has a right to hold his position…

  9. The NFL is eager to fine and announce them for players’ various transgressions. However, there is a dearth of information from the NFL as to the weekly incompetence of their officials. Why can’t the NFL release information weekly as to which officials and crews have been chastised instead of hiding this vital information?

  10. I don’t mind a flag being picked up…if there was no foul. I’d rather an official with a better view make the call.

    The re-punt for being out of position was in the Steelers / Saints game. And I believe the official gave the motion to start the play clock so it was his fault…not the players.

    Here’s the play:

  11. The play clock is running, at the conclusion of 3rd down. But the rule is that the officials must get in position.

    The umpire is over the ball to allow a substitution to complete, so he’s doing his job. Once the ball is ready, he will exit and assume a position behind the punter. The long snapper has been made aware of this.

    Short of teleportation, not sure what you are asking the umpire to do there.

  12. I’m just asking if the ref is signaling for the play clock to start. If that’s the case its on him…not the center.

  13. Manziel turnover – Even if you accept this is a throwing motion, why is a backwards throw not a turnover when recovered by the opposing team? I thought to over-turn the ruling on the field required the replay to show clear, undisputable evidence. If this play fits that standard then it suggests there is no standard. It is much easier to accept a bad ruling on the field then it is to see a bad overturned call from a replay official.

  14. Just saw Blandino’s explanation that the ball went backwards because it hit the Bill defender’s helmet. However the ball is in Manziel’s hand when the Bills helmet knocks it out. So why is that not a fumble? Also in the replay his arm is coming across his body in an attempt to bring it back to his chest when it is knocked loose. The arm is not going forward.

  15. @The Glenn: He did not signal the play clock to run, because it was already running. The ball is ready for play in theory, but, again, the center knows that the official has to get into position.

    @John: If the throwing motion is forward, it is by rule a forward pass. If the ball deflects or the quarterback’s arm is hit and the ball ultimately goes backwards, it is still considered a “forward pass,” as long as there is a forward throwing motion.

  16. Got it now…he was resetting the 25 second play clock.

    Still…seems silly to have replay because the official was a couple feet away and going to move anyway after the snap.

  17. Watching it s couple of times again it still appears that Manziel is tucking the ball and the ball and his arm both turned in before any contact was made. I don’t see where there was an indisputable forward motion to overturn that call. Thankfully it didn’t matter, but if by some miracle Cleveland came back and won that game that call would have some major backlash.

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