2016 NFC Wild Card Playoff
Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Wild Card Playoff game from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.
If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.
Today’s crew is headed by Ed Hochuli.
|R||85||Ed Hochuli||27||Texas-El Paso||attorney|
|U||19||Clay Martin||2||Hochuli||Tulsa||high school basketball coach|
|HL||13||Patrick Turner||3||Corrente||Cal State-Long Beach||plant manager|
|LJ||59||Rusty Baynes||7||Hochuli||Auburn-Montgomery||general manager, safety services|
|FJ||86||Jimmy Buchanan||8||Hussey||South Carolina State||insurance agent|
|SJ||125||Laird Hayes||22||Anderson||Princeton||owner of football camps for high school and youth|
|BJ||17||Steve Patrick||3||Blakeman||Jacksonville State||owner, supply company|
- Replay: Earnie Frantz
- Alternates: Bryan Neale (U), Ron Marinucci (LJ), Adrian Hill (FJ)
- January 8, 2017 - 7:46 pm 2:49 | 4th qtr. Packers TD — Aaron Ripkowski 1 yd. run (Mason Crosby kick). GB 38-13 key
- January 8, 2017 - 7:28 pm 9:27 | 4th qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 16 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 31-13 key
- January 8, 2017 - 7:07 pm :25 | 3rd qtr. Packers FG — Mason Crosby 32 yd. GB 24-13 key
- January 8, 2017 - 6:57 pm 3:00 | 3rd qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 30 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 21-13 key
- January 8, 2017 - 6:50 pm 5:23 | 3rd qtr. Giants TD — Tavarres King 41 yd. pass from Eli Manning (Robbie Gould kick). GB 14-13 key
- January 8, 2017 - 6:11 pm :00 | 2nd qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 42 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 14-6 key
- January 8, 2017 - 5:57 pm 2:32 | 2nd qtr. Packers TD — Davante Adams 5 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 7-6 key
- January 8, 2017 - 5:39 pm 7:29 | 2nd qtr. Giants FG — Robbie Gould 40 yd. NYG 6-0 key
- January 8, 2017 - 5:00 pm 5:48 | 1st qtr. Giants FG — Robbie Gould 26 yd. NYG 3-0 key
8:45 | 4th qtr. Eli Manning lost control of the ball in an attempt to pass when contacted by Clay Matthews. No one recovers the ball, and Matthews goes about 15 yards to recover the ball, and Manning pursues after him and touches him down. There were no whistles on the play, and Hochuli conferred on the call before signalling possession.
Manning’s forward hand motion was an “open hand” — that is, he did not have control of the ball when the arm was going forward. This makes it a fumble.
The crew was astute to not blow the whistle for an incomplete pass. In this case, a recovery can be reversed to incomplete. In the reverse, and the whistle had blown, since Matthews didn’t immediately recover the loose ball, the Packers couldn’t get possession.
While this was indicated as a “booth review” by the TV crew, the replay official confirmed the call of the turnover without a stop-down review by Hochuli.
Green Bay 38-13, final
Penalties, 5. Green Bay 2/20, New York Giants 3/42.
2:52 | 3rd qtr. Giants kick returner fields a kickoff inside the 5, rather than letting the ball go into the end zone or out of bounds.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) January 9, 2017
An out-of-bounds kick goes to the 40-yard line (when the kick is from the 35), even if it only is because it touched an out-of-bounds player, as the Packers demonstrated in Week 3.
A Hail Mary in a Giants-Packers playoff game from Lambeau Field? From the 2011 postseason…
0:00 | 2nd qtr. Good positioning by back judge Steve Patrick, working his first playoff game, on this Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass. Also nice, under control signal by Patrick and field judge Jimmy Buchanan.
Yup. @AaronRodgers12 just threw ANOTHER Hail Mary.
— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2017
Green Bay 14-6, halftime
Penalties, 3. Green Bay 1/10, New York Giants 2/37.
5:07 | 2nd qtr. Good intentional grounding call on Aaron Rodgers. He was in the pocket and there was no receiver near. This is a classic crew call. Hochuli threw the flag, but he really was Jimmy Buchanan’s call. Hochuli, if he’s doing his job, is watching Rodgers in the backfield and not looking to see where the ball flies. Buchanan can see that there was no one in the vicinity. He went in with line judge Rusty Baynes and reported what he saw the Hochuli, and the referee could make the final decision on whether or not to flag Rodgers. It was Hochuli’s flag but a crew call.
Nearest receiver was the Skycam pic.twitter.com/czT5HqoB83
— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) January 8, 2017
7:34 | 2nd qtr. Side judge Laird Hayes got an earful from Odell Beckham Jr., after he and LaDarius Gunter tangled on a pass into the end zone. In the FOX booth, Mike Pereira indicated it was a good no-call and I agree.
It would not surprise me if Hochuli comes out wearing a hood in the second half. The cold is making his face muscles stiff and I can tell he’s struggling to make announcements.
Interesting that the first 3 games of Wild Card Weekend had the three newest referees. Craig Wrolstad, Ron Torbert, and Brad Allen all started at referee in 2014. Wrolstad and Torbert were in the playoffs before becoming referee; Allen was hired directly to the referee position in the NFL. Between them, they have 2 previous playoff games at referee.
Hochuli, of his previous 24 assignments, had a divisional game at the position now called the field judge; 23 assignments came as a referee.
Hochuli’s postseason crew has 3 officials in their first or second year of eligibility.
Here’s Ed Hochuli at his last playoff game at Lambeau Field in 2014.
A photo posted by Football Zebras (@footballzebras) on
Referee Ed Hochuli is in his 26th season and 24th as referee. This is Hochuli’s 25th postseason assignment, the most of any active official, which include:
- 10 Wild Card Playoffs
- 5 Divisional Playoffs
- 8 Conference Championships
- Super Bowl XXXII
- Super Bowl XXXVIII