Football Zebras
2016 Postseason2016 Wild Card PlayoffsWild Card liveblog: Giants at Packers

Wild Card liveblog: Giants at Packers

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.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
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)


Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20178:37 pm

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.


Cameron Filipe Anonymous
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20177:46 pm
2:49 | 4th qtr. Packers TD — Aaron Ripkowski 1 yd. run (Mason Crosby kick). GB 38-13 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20177:28 pm
9:27 | 4th qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 16 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 31-13 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20177:25 pm

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.

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.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20177:07 pm
:25 | 3rd qtr. Packers FG — Mason Crosby 32 yd. GB 24-13 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20176:57 pm
3:00 | 3rd qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 30 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 21-13 key
Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20176:50 pm
5:23 | 3rd qtr. Giants TD — Tavarres King 41 yd. pass from Eli Manning (Robbie Gould kick). GB 14-13 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20176:42 pm

A Hail Mary in a Giants-Packers playoff game from Lambeau Field? From the 2011 postseason…

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 8, 20176:21 pm

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.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20176:11 pm

Green Bay 14-6, halftime

Penalties, 3. Green Bay 1/10, New York Giants 2/37.

Replays, 0.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20176:11 pm
:00 | 2nd qtr. Packers TD — Randall Cobb 42 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 14-6 key


Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20175:57 pm
2:32 | 2nd qtr. Packers TD — Davante Adams 5 yd. pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick). GB 7-6 key


Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 8, 20175:55 pm

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.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 8, 20175:44 pm

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.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20175:39 pm
7:29 | 2nd qtr. Giants FG — Robbie Gould 40 yd. NYG 6-0 key
Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 8, 20175:34 pm

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.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20175:04 pm

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.

Cameron Filipe Cameron Filipe January 8, 20175:00 pm
5:48 | 1st qtr. Giants FG — Robbie Gould 26 yd. NYG 3-0 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20174:57 pm

Here’s Ed Hochuli at his last playoff game at Lambeau Field in 2014.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20174:39 pm

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
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 8, 20174:37 pm

13°, wind chill 2

16 thoughts on “Wild Card liveblog: Giants at Packers

  1. why aren’t the officials calling the holds,you cant go that long twice official#19 failed to make the call right in front of him

  2. On the two handed push off by Cobb on the Hail Mary TD catch, the referee was looking up at the ball not watching the players in front of him. That’s improper technique.

  3. so what happened when #88 made the catch at 12 min mark about ,even the announcers notice the pick which is illegal, then the next play a questionable fumble , and hochuli articulates the call to make it so no review to be done, BS, they were not even concerned montegomery was down . Even Buck calling the game sounds Packer favored.

  4. clearly Apple cant cover people 4 big plays , between special team receivers screwing up returns , and crummy calls when the holding is so blatant like the Cobb TD at 31pts, the giants are done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank u Eli Apple ……

  5. Rene, you’re correct. This “all star” crew has been missing calls left and right. I think they just want to go home.

  6. Interception in end zone at end of game should have resulted in touchback, as the intercepting player’s teammate was standing OOB and made contact with him.

  7. Its’ just a matter of time before a player is seriously hurt or killed due to a late of a targeting rule in the NFL. The biggest offender are the Steelers and the officials and the league continue to look the other way for ratings. Follow the $$$$.

  8. Rough game for the officials in this game. The missed facemask, missed penalty on the Jordy play, missed delay of game, and missed holding calls offset the good calls that were made. Clearly, the “allstar crew” concept was another failure this weekend.

  9. Only referee Ed Hochuli has the power to over rule the 2 minute warning! LOL! CBS was heading to commercial, the clock was at 2:00 to go in the half, and Ed makes them put four seconds back on and the Giants run another play. Great stuff (I could not hear over the noise in the room where I was watching the game but I assume one of the teams had called a time out and Hochuli was just correcting the clock). But it looked funny from where I was sitting and knowing Eddie, it all just sort of made sense. Who else but Eddie would (or could) overpower CBS and going to TV commercials? Well done Eddie! Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you!

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