Football Zebras
2016 Postseason2016 Divisional PlayoffsDivisional Playoff liveblog: Seahawks at Falcons

Divisional Playoff liveblog: Seahawks at Falcons

2016 NFC Divisional Playoff

Follow us here for rolling coverage of the calls and rules interpretations of the NFC Divisional Playoff game from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

If you have any questions or comments, use the comments section of this post, or tweet us @footballzebras.

Today’s crew is headed by Gene Steratore.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 14   Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 129 Bill Schuster 17 Steratore Alfred insurance broker
HL 110 Phil McKinnely 15 Vinovich UCLA inventory control
LJ 8 Dana McKenzie 9 Boger Toledo claims adjuster
FJ 50 Aaron Santi 2 Torbert Southern Oregon middle school principal
SJ 1 Scott Novak 3 Cheffers Phoenix sales manager
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 11 Steratore Aquinas College educator
  • Replay: Darryll Lewis
  • Alternates: Ruben Fowler (U), Ron Marinucci (LJ), Lee Dyer (BJ)


 

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 201711:09 pm

SVP/officiating Dean Blandino explains two calls from the game

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20178:06 pm

Falcons 36-20, final

  • Penalties, 12 — Seahawks 7/40 (+1 declined), Falcons 2/10 (+2 declined).
  • Replays, 3 — Booth review on a score (reversed), 2 Falcons challenges (reversed).
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:59 pm

2:29 | 4th qtr. On this interception, the Seahawks receiver is not ruled down with a complete pass. Replay did not stop down to review it, and confirmed the call. When playing at regular speed, this is a bang-bang play: contact to the ground and the loss of control of the ball happen in such rapid succession, the play can’t be shut down. The slow-motion replay makes it look more like a catch, but this distorts the time element necessary in the catch ruling.

Mark Schultz Mark Schultz January 14, 20177:51 pm

Good work by the Steratore crew to keep things civil during the kneel down sequence. Emotions are always so raw at the end of a hard fought playoff game and the losing team is bitterly disappointed. Things got a little tense, but the officials helped keep the lid on the game.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:48 pm
2:51 | 4th qtr. Falcons challenge — 58-yd pass ruled complete. Call reversed: Incomplete. ATL awarded a third challenge. key

Because the ball touched the ground and control was lost, this is an incomplete pass.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:44 pm

No flag was thrown for roughing the punter. The Seahawks defender was pushed into contact.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:31 pm
3:21 | 4th qtr. Falcons TD — Doug Baldwin 31 yd. pass from Russell Wilson (Stephen Hauschka kick). ATL 36-20 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:29 pm
3:40 | 4th qtr. Falcons TD — Mohamed Sanu 3 yd. pass from Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant kick). ATL 36-13 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:12 pm
13:45 | 4th qtr. Falcons challenge — Incomplete pass. Call reversed: complete. key

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20177:08 pm

14:43 | 4th qtr. Russell Wilson scrambles for the first down on a third and long. The lumber was laid down to stop him. Although Wilson is an open-field runner and does not have defenseless player protections, the shoulder and helmet blows are below Wilson’s head/neck area. While the helmet jolts, it is possible this is due to the force of the hit to the body. Either way, helmet contact is permitted.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20176:53 pm
14:57 | 4th qtr. Falcons FG — Matt Bryant 31 yd. ATL 29-13 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20176:53 pm
3:03 | 3rd qtr. Seahawks FG — Stephen Hauschka 26 yd. ATL 26-13 key
Rich Madrid Rich Madrid January 14, 20176:48 pm

Philip Wheeler on the Falcons was flagged for illegal formation on the punt return, giving Seattle a first down. On a FG/punt/XP, a defender cannot line up or move over the long snapper, because the long snapper’s head down and low, making him vulnerable at the snap. This was a player-requested rule.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20176:28 pm
9:12 | 3rd qtr. Falcons TD — Devonta Freeman 1 yd. run (Matt Bryant kick). ATL 26-10 key

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20176:15 pm

Falcons 19-10, halftime

  • Penalties, 6 — Seahawks 4/28, Falcons 1/5 (+1 declined).
  • Replays, 1 — Booth review on a score (reversed).
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20176:01 pm
:59 | 2nd qtr. Falcons TD — Tevin Coleman 14 yd. pass from Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant kick). ATL 19-10 key

Coleman got his elbow down in bounds prior to sliding out.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/820403612467593216

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:59 pm
6:09 | 2nd qtr. Falcons FG — Matt Bryant 35 yd. ATL 12-10 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:54 pm

12:23 | 1st qtr. A scramble by Russell Wilson has him sliding feet first to give himself up, and being contacted. Since Wilson started his slide at a point when the defense was zeroing in on him, the contact is acceptable as long as there is no forcible blow to the helmet. In this case, the Falcons defenders did let up, and the contact is incidental, considering the defenders suddenly caught up while in a full-speed pursuit.

One replay angle shows that there was helmet contact, but it looks to be incidental, and not a forcible blow which is a requirement for a personal foul call.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:45 pm

10:34 | 2nd qtr. A Seahawks holding penalty on the punt not only wiped out a terrific return, but it pinned the ball deep, leading to the safety. The hold was for the takedown that occurred to the punter’s right on the line of scrimmage.

The hold is enforced from the end of the kick, unless it is a pull-and-shoot maneuver, which occurs closer to the snap than to the kick.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:36 pm
9:28 | 2nd qtr. Falcons SAFETY — Russell Wilson sacked in end zone SEA 10-9 key

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:34 pm
11:23 | 2nd qtr. Seahawks FG — Stephen Hauschka 33 yd. SEA 10-7 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:33 pm
13:22 | 4th qtr. Booth review (score) — Touchdown, not touched down by contact. Call reversed: down by contact at the ATL 19. key

On the reception, Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson was able to get up and run for a touchdown. This was correctly ruled as down by contact on the replay review.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:19 pm

On the Julio Jones touchdown pass, there was offensive contact a little less than 2 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage, which would be an offensive pass interference call. (Offense may only do so at or inside 1 yard from the line.) While there absolutely could have been a foul called, when taken in total, the contact was essentially at the line and there is a significant amount of two-way contact on the play. The covering officials, I think, correctly leaned no-call in this situation.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20175:11 pm
14:18 | 2nd qtr. Falcons TD — Julio Jones 7 yd. pass from Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant kick). Tied 7-7 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20174:51 pm
6:30 | 1st qtr. Seahawks TD — Jimmy Graham 7 yd. pass from Russell Wilson (Stephen Hauschka kick). SEA 7-0 key
Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20174:37 pm

Falcons deferred their choice to the second half kickoff; essentially this means the Falcons will receive the kick at the start of the 3rd quarter.

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20174:35 pm

Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20174:21 pm

Steratore is the overwhelming favorite in our reader poll for the Super Bowl LI referee


Ben Austro Ben Austro January 14, 20174:17 pm

Gene Steratore is in his 14th season and 11th as referee. This is his 10th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

2 thoughts on “Divisional Playoff liveblog: Seahawks at Falcons

  1. Just out of curiosity, does anyone else feel Seattle LOVES to hold on almost every play but is never called for it? Is my understanding of what a hold wrong?

  2. you mean to tell me atlanta didn’t hold all game yesterday and was only called for 2 penalties, this is the nfl deciding who makes it to the super bowl

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