NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino today released the Week 13 media video covering noteworthy calls and penalty enforcements from last week. Pass interference, blocks and tucks, and too many men on the field calls were all highlighted (view the video here).
- As we covered on Sunday, and in what Blandino dubbed the “play of the week,” the situation in Tampa Bay Sunday drew lots of attention. You’ll recall that the Bucaneers offense had too many players on the field during a play in the 4th quarter, the Bengals head coach then attempted to challenge the play once it was over (it’s not reviewable), and the eventual review from upstairs explained a complicated set of circumstances that is rarely seen on the field.
- The tuck rule was also discussed as a play during the game between Bills and Browns led to Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel being – what many thought – sacked, but turned out to be an incomplete pass as he was ruled to have been in a forward passing motion. The ball then hit the helmet of the defender, thereby knocking the it loose and to the ground. Because Manziel was not attempting to tuck the ball and he was in what was determined to be a forward motion, it was ruled an incomplete pass.
- During Monday night’s game, Jets Tight End Jeff Cumberland (#85) was not flagged for an illegal clip/block because of where he was lined up at the snap. Remember, players lined up outside the tackle box at the snap are allowed to block low toward their own goal line from the side and are not subject to the ‘peel back’ rule. This is precisely what Cumberland did. Blandino emphasized that the Competition Committee will review this no-call rule in the offseason in an effort to increase the focus on player safety.
- Pass interference clarification was discussed this week as well. Pass interference calls are usually big yard gain/loss calls, so the league has been training game officials to really make sure a receiver was interfered with if a pass interference flag is thrown. The rule states that a defender cannot significantly hinder an eligible receivers ability to catch a pass. Whether the defender is looking back at the ball or not is not necessarily a determining factor for calling pass interference; the officials must focus on whether or not the receiver’s ability to catch the pass was significantly affected.
- Finally, during the Panthers at Vikings, NFL sideline crews alerted the officials in New York that teams were heating up balls on the sideline using the gas heaters, which is not allowed. Blandino’s office issued reminders to each team this week reminding them that the use of heaters, or any other methods of altering the game ball, is prohibited.